happened at Ardmore, Oklahoma
it caused between two countries
some think a war almost took place
On June 8, 1931 the nephew of the President of Mexico was traveling from Kansas to Mexico when he and his two friends were stopped by Carter County Deputy Sheriff Bill Guess near 10th and E Street NW here in Ardmore. It was dark that evening and something went terrible wrong. Guns were pulled and two Mexican college students from Kansas lay dying on the street beside their car. What all happened that night that caused the shooting we may never know, but the incident caused such a fevered pitch in the national headlines, it prompted an apology from the president of the United States to the president of Mexico over the shooting of his nephew.
When Greg Laumbach happened on my webpage telling of the shooting, it prompted him to write a song about the incident that took place in Ardmore, Oklahoma back in 1931 that almost brought two countries to war.
Here is a complete account of the incident from the 1931 Daily Ardmoreite archives The Rubio Incident
Below are the words penned by Greg Laumbach:
“What Almost Caused a War”
words and music by
Greg E. Laumbach
Rainville, New Mexico
12/12/05 (copyright protected)
At times people’s fate needs to be reshaped,
In order to fit in a song.
I have done just that but kept to the facts,
According to what I was shown.
Three Mexican students crossed into Texas,
Perhaps through the Laredo Port.
Or they may have zig-zagged up to Matamoros,
As to Atchison, Kansas they drove.
They studied with Padres at St. Benedict’s College,
And now the school year was done.
They packed up their junk and slammed down the trunk,
And anxiously headed back home.
One can only imagine the thrill they were feeling,
While making their plans to have fun.
They were probably singing, and joking and jousting ,
The engine was humming along.
One fear they had known while so far from home,
Was that someone may know of their worth.
And rumors were out that because of their clout,
They could be kidnapped or worse.
They entered a town in Southern Oklahoma,
June 8th, Nineteen Thirty One.
And when they were stopped by some gun-toting hombres,
Should they put up a fight or just run?
When asked of their business they answered in protest,
What right do you all have to ask?
The Sheriff said one had what he thought was a gun,
And needed to put them to task.
The lead started flying two young men lay dying,
The third did not see what took place.
He stood there in shock as he heard the shots,
He felt the blood drain from his face.
They sent out the word to Fr. Richard Burns,
And to Presidente Rubio.
Dr. R. C. Conine quickly intervened,
And soon got things under control.
Perhaps those young men could still have lived,
If only they hadn’t packed guns,
That was not the case and in their youthful haste,
Brought ammo and weapons along.
The question remains with so many claims,
Was this justified by the law?
Or was it the stress on Deputy Guess,
And was he too quick on the draw.
Now this may be new to the many or few,
But it happened right here in Ardmore,
And what went down in our peaceful town,
Damn near sent two countries to war.
Greg gave me permission to place his song “What Almost Caused a War” on the OklahomaHistory.net website for everyone’s listening pleasure. You should be able to just click on the link below and the song will play using Windows Media Player. But keep in mind this song is 3 minutes long and nearly 1/2 meg (357k) in size, so it will take a few minutes to download if you are on a slow modem. DSL and broadband users should have no problem for a fast download. Also you can Right-Click on the link and download it (“Save Target As”) to a Folder on your computer for playing later.
Click here to play/download ——> ‘What Almost Caused a War’ by Greg Laumbach
The song is the property of songwriter Greg Laumbach so please contact him if you plan on anything other than your personal listening pleasure. You can contact Greg at:
The Singing Professor
PO Box 27
Rainsville, NM 87736-0027
Return to Oklahoma History Website
This webpage created January 17, 2006Last updated on January 17, 2006