One hundred forty-three Freedmen minors had similar opportunities, but, according to the Muskogee Times-Democrat in the spring of 1910, these children ended up in orphanages, dumped there by guardians who filched their wealth. When poor kids became “plute” (plutocrats/wealthy), courts assigned them guardians, usually whites with sway; many billed for false expenses and kept profits from the sale of their land. These “grafters,” comprised of whites, blacks, and parents, were prosecuted. Murder became a byproduct of greed.

In a scheme to claim the wealth of two Creek Freedmen, 12-year-old Herbert and 10-year-old Stella Sells, two men — one black and one white — were sentenced to life in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for placing dynamite under the children’s bedroom in the early hours of March 23, 1911, and causing their murders from the explosion. Likely, in such a small locale, Sarah Rector knew them.

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