Bob Wills Osage County ranch in quiet title suit

| | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (0)

I'm working on analyzing the C-1 forms submitted by candidates for Tulsa City Council. In the process of locating real residential addresses for donors who insist on listing their business addresses, I needed to look at Osage County land records, and while I was there, on a whim I searched for "WILLS JAMES" as in James Robert aka Jim Rob aka Bob Wills. Wills owned a ranch described as "north of Tulsa" where he and his extended family lived. I'd always wondered exactly where it was.

Bob_Wills-Tommy_Duncan-Horse-Newspaper

His dream was to retire there with his whole band, but World War II intervened, the band went their separate ways, and he went to California, returning to Tulsa for a few years in the late '50s before heading to Texas for the rest of his career. His final resting place is in Memorial Park Cemetery here in Tulsa.

Lo and behold, I found this: A journal entry dated 2010/08/17, the result of a quiet title lawsuit in Osage County, CV-2001-403. The Grantor list has 32 names and appears to include Bob Wills, his parents, all of his brothers and sisters, one of his ex-wives (the former Mary Lou Parker of Pawhuska), and a number of nieces and nephews.

WILLS, J T
WILLS, EMMIE LEE
WILLS, BOB
SULLIVAN, RUBY WILLS
SULLIVAN, ROBERT LEE
HOUSE, ELOISE WILLS
WILLS, JOHNNIE LEE
MCKEE, HELEN WILLS
MCKEE, JIM ROB
KERR, OLGA LOUISE WILLS
WILLS, LUTHER
WILLS, JOHN DAVID
WILLS, BILLY JACK
WILLS, JOHN DEWEY
WILLS, DOROTHY
MCKEE, JIM ROB JR
OMSTEAD, KAREN L KERR
WILLS, JAMES R II
WILLS, JOHN D
LARIOS, KASEY LEE WILLS
TAYLOR, BOBBIE NELL SULLIVAN
WILLS, LORENE M
CLOUD, MARY LOU PARKER WILLS
MORROW, DELTA SUE HOUSE
STOUT, LERLENE HOUSE
COPPEANS, MILLICENT ANN WILLS
WILLS, JOHNT T
KELLEY, DAYNA MCKEE
SUITOR, SHYRL ANN KERR FIDDNER
BOUCHARD, JOYCE LEE WILLS
WILLS, LUTHER JAY JR
WILLS, BILLIE JACQULYN

Grantee is Presley Ford, Jr. An obituary reports that he died on January 15, 2002, at the age of 86.

On the court docket, the list of summonses appears to include all of Bob's living relatives as of 2001 and is followed by a long list of "entry of appearance and disclaimer of interest" notations in 2002. Then eight years intervene until the plaintiff moves to substitute the Osage Nation as plaintiff, and in two months, the title is quieted.

Here are the specifics from the county clerk record.

Legal description:

S15 T20N R12E NE NE
S14 T20N R12E NW NW L1
S14 T20N R12E SW NW L2
S14 T20N R12E NW SW L3 Partial
S15 T20N R12E SE Partial

Instrument number: I-2010-005504
Book 001428
Pages 0181 to 0187

Mapping the location seems simple, but it appears that the township/range/section system for Osage County is skewed with respect to the rest of the state. The property appears to be north of the Osage Million Dollar Elm Tulsa casino and northeast of the old Downtown Airpark, but you'd need to see the full legal description in the lawsuit and an official plat map to know for sure. I don't have time to translate legalese, but there may be some relationship to the casino parcel, which was finally taken into trust in July 2011. (It had been thought that any land within the former Osage Reservation could be used for a tribal casino, but federal courts ruled that it's not a federally recognized reservation, so the land would have to be placed into trust.)

There's more research to be done. I imagine that the parcel settled by the quiet title suit may have only been a portion of Bob Wills's ranch. I'm curious to know what legal mishap left title to the land in question. I may need to mosey up to Pawhuska some day soon.

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Bob Wills Osage County ranch in quiet title suit.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.batesline.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/6117

5 Comments

route66news said:

Nice work. I read one of the Bob Wills biographies, and wondered myself where that ranch was that Bob had planned to settle down.

Thanks. I'm hopeful that county will, as they have opportunity, put more property records online in searchable form. It would be a great resource for solving some of history's mysteries.

Brett Morrow said:

A web search turned this up. This is interesting to me as my Mother is listed above (Delta Sue House Morrow) and I have never heard about this. Looks like a little research is in order to solve my curiosity.

From the last names in the list, I gather that your mother must be Eloise Wills House's daughter, which would make Bob Wills your great uncle.

It would be interesting to see the deeds on the land. Was this a case of the land actually being held by all of Bob's family members, or a situation in which there was no clear disposition of the land, so they need to deal with all possible next of kin? Did Bob still own it when he died in 1975?

Edward Ford said:

My grandfather Presley owned the land where the casino is now, He bought it from the Wills family just after WWII. There used to be a brick house everyone called the Wills place just south of the Casino on 36th St N. I thought it was Bob Wills uncle who lived there though

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 6, 2011 11:05 PM.

Tate Brady, the Klan, and the attack on Greenwood was the previous entry in this blog.

Phil Lakin, the Midtown Money Belt's candidate for south Tulsa is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact

Feeds

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
Atom
RSS
[What is this?]