Travel Find Thursday – Dewey, Oklahoma

The Tom Mix Museum. 

Many people may not know who Tom Mix was, so I will tell you.  Tom Mix was a superstar in the era of silent movies in the United States.  He made over 236 movies for the Selig Polyscope Company from 1909 to 1917.  Most of them were short 15 minute films.  He changed studios in 1917.  Working for Fox Studios, he made 85 longer films from 1917 until 1928 when he signed with FBO Studios, which was owned by Joseph P. Kennedy.  This studio did not last long because of the stock market crash of 1929.  Tom Mix went on making movies for other studios including Fox until his death in 1940. 

Even the way he died is like the stuff movies are made of.  The story goes that he was driving too fast on a road in Arizona, he went around a curve too fast, a suitcase broke loose and hit him on the head causing him to loose control and run off the road into a ravine.  He died on October 12, 1940.

So what does this all have to do with a museum in Dewey Oklahoma?

Well, I’ll tell you.  The story goes that he was working at a Dude Ranch in Oklahoma starting in 1905.  This is where he learned how to be a “cowboy”.  In 1908 he went to Dewey Oklahoma to work as a town marshal in Dewey Oklahoma because the 1908 “tourist season” at the ranch was over.  He was also a bartender in the small town.  Wife number three and his daughter were born in Dewey.

Dewey is about 45 miles straight north of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The museum was founded in 1968.

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7 thoughts on “Travel Find Thursday – Dewey, Oklahoma”

  1. My father’s brother, my Uncle Bill, won a radio story contest when he was twelve, and got to go on the radio with Tom Mix. We have a sweet photo of the two of them together: Bill with his neat-boy clothes, and Tom in his cowboy duds.

    The extra-interesting thing to me was, my uncle was entirely deaf in the speech-frequency range, and was not wearing his aids in the photo (I’m sure the radio folk would not have allowed that), so he couldn’t have heard a word Mix said to him.

    (He was an extremely-gifted lip-reader, however.)

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