Book details lives of author’s previously unknown relatives
“Wrecked Lives and Lost Souls” is a very well-written book and brings to light the history of a family which was lost to the author for most of his life. Only after finding a shoebox full of letters cherished and protected by his mother for many years did Jerry Thompson finally gain some knowledge of his family and grandfather, Joe Lynch Davis. “Wrecked Lives and Lost Souls - Joe Lynch Davis and the Last of the Oklahoma Outlaws” is an outstanding chronicle of family history and their reign of lawless in their state.
Davis had a disputed background. When it was profitable, he was a Cherokee, so he could gain the benefits offered by the United States government to qualified Indians. Other times, the family would claim rights of Americans. Whatever claim was most profitable, the Davis family would pursue it. Out of this family confusion and being lawlessness enough to gain land and money, the Davis family grew to a powerful entity in the Muskogee, Okla., area. This chapter is read with a reminder of the song, “I am proud to be a Okie from Muskogee.”
Joe Lynch Davis learned the violence, duty, and even feelings, in gun battles when he was about 17 years old. His family with many uncles and cousins gave him the opportunities to participate in many smaller, yet deadly feuds. To accurately read the story, one must carefully read every word. If one skips a line or couple of words, the connection between the author and his many relatives may be lost. It is an excellent read, but sometimes confusing because of the many first names.
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