Osage County Courthouse – Pawhuska, Oklahoma - Atlas Obscura

Osage County Courthouse

Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Site of the 1926 murder trial of Ernest Burkhart who was involved in the "Reign of Terror." 

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Like something out of a Hitchcock movie, the Osage County Courthouse is menacingly positioned alone on a hill overlooking downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The courthouse was constructed in 1914 and grabbed national headlines in the mid-1920s with the trial of Ernest Burkhart, the nephew of William Hale, a wealthy Osage County cattleman. Hale, Burkhart, as well as many other locals, were complicit in the infamous “Reign of Terror” that saw nearly 100 members of the Osage murdered for their oil rights.

The Osage people had become extremely wealthy after rich oil deposits had been discovered on their lands. 

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