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Dr. Henry Orland Riley
© Bowie Blade
Montague County, Texas
09 Aug 1901



In 1898, Dr. Henry Orland Riley was in the prime of his life. He enjoyed success and was a respected member of frontier society in Montague County, Texas.
He and wife Mary were among the founders of the Methodist Church in Bowie.
Alas, human frailty disturbed the picture and scandal and tragedy marred the lives of many.
As the family story has been passed down, in 1898, it seems that Dr. Riley and a man named Mr. Frank Horn both had an interest in the same woman, said to be of ill repute. This was very unfortunate as both had lovely wives and families. Bad blood developed between Dr. Riley and Mr. Horn.
Mr. Horn was a barber with his shop on the same street as Dr. Riley's office. On the afternoon of July 2, 1898, the two men encountered each other. Angry words were exchanged and a fight erupted in the street. Dr. Riley was "badly worsted" and his leg was broken. He managed to get into his office and as Mr. Horn proceeded to come after him, Riley grabbed his shotgun and fired at Mr. Horn. Mr. Horn was badly injured and died the next day.
Dr. Riley was charged with murder and put on trial. A trial in Montague County and and a retrial in Tarrant County both ended in a hung jury and were declared mistrials. A third proceeding was held in June of 1900 in Tarrant County. Dr. Riley was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison. He served about six months and was paroled.
By 1901, he was back at his practice in Bowie. He brought with him a new buggy built by himself and other inmates while in prison.

© Elk City Record
Beckham County, Oklahoma
17 Feb 1909



Dr. Henry Riley ended his life in El Reno Tuesday night by taking carbolicacid. For some time Dr. Riley has been melancholy and morbid, and the end comes as a climax not unexpected by some.
Prior to his death he had confided to his landlady, Mrs. Cox, that lifehad become a burden to him and the strain unbearable.
A few months ago,Dr. Riley moved from Elk City to El Reno, where he opened an office andstarted to practice medicine. His separation from his wife and childrenseemed to prey upon his mind, until he came to the point where life indeed, was a burden.
Dr. Riley was a pioneer of Elk City and well known in Beckham County and western Oklahoma, having resided here for many years.
Dr. Riley's remains were taken to Plattsburg, Missouri, his old home for interment.

© Cheyenne Star
25 Feb 1909
Submitted by: Wanda Purcell



Dr. Henry Orland Riley, at one time a prominent physician of Elk City and also coroner for three years of old Roger Mills County, committed suicide at El Reno one day last week.
Dr. Riley killed C. H. Horn at Bowie, Texas several years ago and his trial was one of the most noted in the court panels of that county.
He was convicted for the offense but later pardoned and moved to Elk City.
He had been a resident of El Reno a short time.


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