In Trust

In Trust

A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what's now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror. But other transfers of wealth played out more subtly—dollar by dollar and acre by acre, over decades—helped along by policies created by the US government. Learn more and follow our listener guides at bloomberg.com/intrust.

Episodes

August 30, 2022 1 min

A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what's now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror....

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For years, Osage citizens had to sift through rumors and wrinkled pieces of paper for clues to one pressing question: Who ended up with shares of their reservation’s mineral rights? The answer was a secret, guarded by the federal government. Until one day in 2009, when a local newspaper published a list of those names – including some familiar ones. Learn more and see bonus material from the episode: https://bloom.bg/3xujL9x 

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September 6, 2022 53 mins

The extended Drummond family includes TV’s “Pioneer Woman,” Ree Drummond, and Oklahoma Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond. If you add up the holdings of scores of family members, the Drummonds today are the biggest landowner in Osage County.  Many Osages have long wondered: How’d the family get so much land? An out-of-print book and hours of forgotten tapes reveal clues. They also point to an untold story of one Osage woma...

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September 13, 2022 51 mins

The Drummonds’ story, and a lot of the family’s early wealth and influence in Osage County, grew from one of their first businesses here, a store that the family patriarch took over in the early 1900s. It sold everything from flour to caskets. Much of it on credit. But the store had another function: It provided its owners financial leverage over Osage customers, in life and in death. Learn more and see bonus material from the epis...

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September 20, 2022 52 mins

By the 1920s, Fred Gentner Drummond was deeply embedded in Osage financial affairs. His store extended credit to Osages. He administered the estates of many of these same Osages – approving big debt repayments from them to his own store. But Fred Gentner and his brothers had another lever – a way to make Osage money work for themselves, and their friends. Hear how it worked, and how one Osage man fought back. Learn more and see bon...

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September 27, 2022 45 mins

Charles Wah-hre-she was an influential Osage religious leader. He died in Oklahoma City of a gallbladder illness, according to his 1923 death certificate. But for decades, Wah-hre-she’s family has heard a different story of his death. A descendant searches for answers, and tries to understand how a funeral bill grew so big it triggered alarms in the US Congress. Learn more and see archival documents and photos from the episode: htt...

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October 4, 2022 46 mins

She was hailed by the local press as a hero of Oklahoma’s drive for statehood, which divided communal Native lands into individual parcels that could be leased or sold. A few years later, she was assembling tracts of Osage lands that she flipped to ranchers including Jack Drummond. But Anna Marx LaMotte’s tactics were anything but heroic. This is the story of how one White woman worked to reshape Osage County in the years after all...

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October 11, 2022 47 mins

Hundreds of allotments left Osage hands, swiftly at first, and then over decades. Not long ago, the Osage Nation had just 30 days to try to get a big chunk of this land back, when a prized ranch was put on the block by billionaire Ted Turner. See archival documents, photos and more from the episode at https://bloom.bg/3fYU7Uw

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October 18, 2022 35 mins

A century has passed since a lot of the transactions that helped the three Drummond brothers amass tens of thousands of acres of Osage land. Now, with the Osage Nation seeking self-determination and Gentner Drummond running for state office, the fates of Osage and Drummond descendants continue to cross. Learn more at bloomberg.com/intrust.

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May 9, 2023 30 mins

Since “In Trust” aired, we’ve heard more stories about how Native wealth was exploited. Not far from Osage County, citizens of the Quapaw Nation tell eerily similar accounts of unexplained deaths and mismanaged mineral resources. Lead and zinc mining around Picher, Oklahoma, provided bullets for two world wars, but left Native families to restore land that looks more like the surface of the moon than the prairie.

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May 16, 2023 33 mins

There was one portrait of Oklahoma’s history that towered over all others. One with sweeping prairies and singing and dancing cowboys. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! became synonymous with America’s westward expansion. It also left out a key part of the state’s history and people.

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November 8, 2023 43 secs

At Bloomberg, we’re always talking about the biggest business stories, and no one is bigger than Elon Musk.

In this new chat weekly show, host David Papadopoulos and a panel of guests including Businessweek’s Max Chafkin, Tesla reporter Dana Hull, Big Tech editor Sarah Frier, and more, will break down the most important stories on Musk and his empire. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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November 21, 2023 30 mins

A little over a year from the first episode of In Trust has passed. Hosts Rachel Adams-Heard and Allison Herrera return to Osage County to discuss the reporting and story with members of the community. We’ll share highlights from the panel, moderated by Shannon Shaw Duty of the Osage News, and talk about Allison’s recent reporting from the premiere of “Killers of the Flower Moon” in Cannes. Learn more and see bonus material from th...

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December 14, 2023 51 secs

Bloomberg News Now is a comprehensive audio report on today's top stories. Listen for the latest news, whenever you want it, covering global business stories around the world.     

 

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