What was the Squirrel Rifle Brigade?


And what was its connection to the Oklahoma Constitution?

Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this article. All outside references are accredited and may be followed using the links. The outline for this article was written with the assistance of ai. This article is for educational and informational purposes and although the author is not a historian, all dates and accounts are factual according to accredited sources.

Keeping the Constitution safe

The renowned "Squirrel Rifle Brigade" earned its name through a lighthearted twist, yet its purpose held significant historical value: safeguarding the original parchment of the Oklahoma State Constitution.

This unique brigade came into existence as a jest, a response to an unusual turn of events following the constitutional convention held in 1907.

At the center of this intriguing tale was Chairman Bill Murray, whose unwavering determination to protect the document led to the formation of this peculiar brigade. After working so hard to help complete the writing of the Constitution, he kept the document instead of passing it on to the appropriate official.

Not going to hand it over, says Murray

In an unexpected act, Chairman Bill Murray defied convention by refusing to hand over the precious Oklahoma State Constitution to the Secretary of State after the constitutional convention concluded.

Instead, he took personal responsibility for its safekeeping, carrying it home in a sturdy strongbox. True, it wasn't stamped 'Top Secret', but he was a government official taking government documents home. What made him do it?

This unprecedented decision stirred up a public frenzy, as citizens were left in suspense, eager to catch a glimpse of the much-talked-about "sight unseen" constitution.

Finally breaking the silence on "why"

Years later, Murray shed light on the motivation behind his seemingly audacious actions.

He confessed to having discovered a copyist secretly altering the controversial corporations article within the constitution! This sounds like something right out of today's newspaper!

At any rate, this shocking revelation shattered Murray's trust, leaving him unwilling to relinquish the document to anyone else. Faced with the pivotal role of protecting the integrity and originality of the constitution, Murray assumed the extraordinary role of its guardian.

Protect and defend

The formation of the "Squirrel Rifle Brigade" was a symbolic gesture, reflecting the determination of Chairman Murray and his allies to defend the constitution against any potential threats.

Although the name might sound a little humorous, the brigade's purpose was earnest and rooted in the conviction that nothing should harm this important document, and each member of the brigade took their duty seriously.

Just like squirrels and their nuts

Those involved meticulously planned and executed strategies to ensure the constitution's safety, taking inspiration from the resourcefulness and vigilance of squirrels in protecting their precious nuts.

With a combination of caution and commitment, the brigade remained vigilant, prepared to counter any attempt to tamper with or compromise the sanctity of the constitution.

The legacy of the "Squirrel Rifle Brigade" endures as a testament to the unwavering dedication of Chairman Bill Murray and his commitment to preserving the original Oklahoma State Constitution.

****If you enjoy reading about Oklahoma's history, you might like reading about the Oklahoma rancher who played by his own rules


Hi, I'm Judy! I love bringing a magnifying glass to where psychology and history cross. What makes people do what they do? Why did they make that choice? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments and share this article on social media and with family and friends, if you'd like.

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Judy Derby has worked in the surrounding communities as a social worker and advocate. providing resources and information to help local families meet their basic needs. She's been writing about social issues and related topics for over 10 years.

Antlers, OK

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