Rufus Cannon was commissioned on September 15, 1892 according to the Ft. Smith National Historic Site. He served directly out of Ft. Smith under Judge Parker. He was said to have been of African Cherokee origin and was familiar with many of the Cherokee native customs and the language.
Cannon captured the father of the outlaw gang, The Christian brothers in Pottawotamie, Indian Territory in 1895, when William Christian was among his captives. Cannon was also on the posse that tracked Bill Doolin.
But one factor to note is that all posse men were rewarded for the capture of Doolin—all except Cannon. It is not known exactly why he was not paid, though Heck Thomas was believed to have shared part of his reward with Cannon. He was later known to have been in a gunfight with outlaw Henry Starr.
Not much is known of his life after the capture of Doolin.
He later left the Ft. Smith region, and moved to Kansas City where he resided till his death. He did have a daughter Lizzie with a Creek Freedwoman, Amy Garison who remained in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma)