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Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd — Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills


Charley Arthur Floyd

If violent, charismatic idol of the common folk Jesse James had a twentieth-century heir, surely it was Charles Arthur Floyd (1904-1934). This farm boy son of the Cookson Hills of eastern Oklahoma was weaned on the exploits of James and his fellow Confederate Guerillas. When the South surrendered, they did not halt their war against a Federal government who had ravaged their homeland. Floyd’s own legend loomed large enough while he lived that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover named him America’s Public Enemy Number One. It grew larger still on the pages of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and when sung by Woody Guthrie as he strummed his guitar.

Floyd endures as one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in Oklahoma history. A lighting quick and deadly accurate marksman even when under fire, he committed spectacular felonies and