Texas Line of Duty Deaths
||DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT
Deputy Constable Jack B. Archer was serving in the place of Constable
J.L. Hall who was transferring prisoners from Grayson County to the
Texas State Prison in Huntsville. Several days earlier, Deputy
Constable Archer had arrested Harvey Adams for carrying pistols. On
July 12th, Deputy Constable Archer was attempting to arrest a man named
Corhorne for interfering in the earlier arrest of Adams. Adams now came
to assist Corhorne, and shot and killed Deputy Constable Archer. Archer
had lost his right arm serving for the Confederacy in the Civil War,
and had only his left arm to defend himself.
Deputy Sheriff Caywood and a posse of about thirty citizens followed
and caught up with Adams in Johnson County, a few miles south of
Cleburne, Texas. Adams refused to surrender, and was shot and killed.
No records were found to determine the disposition of the charges
Special Deputy Constable Archer was survived by his wife.
|Hodges, Dallas||35||5 May 1881||Constable
Dallas Hodges was shot and killed while attempting to question two men.
Constable Hodges had stopped the men and shown them his badge when they
opened fire on him. Two months later the two suspects shot and killed
Deputy Reuben Coleman, of the Grayson County Sheriff's Department, as
he attempted to arrest them for Constable Hodges' murder.|
One of the suspects was subsequently murdered by another outlaw.
Constable Hodges had been with the agency for 2 years. He was survived by his wife and nine children.
|Mounger, Thomas Frederick
||27 Sept 1911
||Constable Mounger was shot
and killed after responding to a report of a man trespassing in a
boxcar. When Constable Mounger approached the suspect he drew a .45
Caliber pistol and shot Constable Mounger. The suspect was later
Constable Mounger was survived by his wife and four children.
|Nelms, James A.||36||4 July 1879||Constbale
Nelms was shot and killed when he responded to a report of two drunk
men fighting at a saloon. When he attemptd to intervene he was shot and
Constable Nelms was survived by his wife and four children.
|Stark, John||41||20 Feb 1873||Deputy
Stark was shot and killed when he and another constable went to arrest
suspected horse thieves. While the constables mounted their horses
someone opened fire on them, striking Deputy Stark in the head.|
Deputy Stark had been with the agency for ten years and was survived by his wife and three children.
|NAME||AGE||OFFICE||DATE||DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT|
|Burgess, Lee D.||36||Deputy Sheriff||21 Dec 1906||At
approximately 4:00 p.m., Deputy Sheriff Lee D. Burgess had just
arrested an intoxicated Percy Yeager. Deputy Burgess was taking Yeager
to jail in Denison, Texas. On the way to the jail they walked past
Yeager's house. Yeager attempted to go into his house. Deputy Burgess
had to fight Yeager, and knock Yeager down with his "billy club."
Deputy Burgess then leaned over to pick up Yeager. Deputy Burgess fell
over and died from a heart attack.|
An investigation was conducted
to see if Deputy Burgess had been hit in the head with a rock. Doctors
determined that Burgess had suffered from heart problems and died from
a heart attack. No death certificate was ever madde.
was never prosecuted for the death of Burgess. However, three years
later, in 1909, Yeager was charged with robbery. The robbery case was
dismissed several weeks later.
Burgess was survived by his wife and
five year old daughter. He was buried in Block 20, Lot West 1/2 of 64,
in Fairview Cemetery, Denison, Texas.
|Coleman, Reuben D.||29||Deputy Sheriff||8 July 1881||Deputy
Coleman was shot and killed as he and other deputies attempted to take
a suspect into custody. The suspect was wanted in the murder of
Constable Dallas Hodges, of the Grayson County Constable's Office -
Precinct 7, two months earlier.|
One of the suspects was subsequently murdered by another outlaws,
Deputy Coleman served been with the agency for 3 years. He was survived by his wife and three children
|Gunter, Howard||50||Special Deputy Sheriff||24 April 1934||Special
Deputy Gunter was killed in an automobile accident while driving a
prisoner's car to the jail. He and his partner had just arrested two
escaped bank robbery suspects. The partner was transporting the two
suspects to the jail in the police car and Special Deputy Gunter was
following in the suspect's car. The other deputy suddenly slammed on
the brakes of the police car and Special Deputy Gunter slammed into the
back of the car, causing serious injuries. He succumbed to his injuries
the following day.|
Special Deputy Gunter had been with the agency for six years and was survived by his wife and six children.
|May, Robert L.||47||Sheriff||26 May 1889||Sheriff
May was shot and killed by two cousins he had removed a weapon from
earlier. They returned to town after getting another gun and shot and
killed Sheriff May. One suspect turned himself in and received 40 years
in prison; the other was captured and sentenced to life in prison. |
Sheriff May had been with the agency for two years.
|NAME||AGE||OFFICE||DATE||DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT|
|Arnold, Donald Clark||42||Sherman Police Sgt||23 Dec 1969||Sergeant
Arnold was shot and killed when he interrupted a robbery at a local
service station. He routinely stopped at the station during his shift
to check on the graveyard shift employees. |
When he arrived at the
service station the three suspects took the attendant and hid in the
bathroom. As Sergeant Arnold walked through the building one of the
suspects fired through the open door, striking Sergeant Arnold several
times. He was found with his service revolver still in its holster. The
suspects then murdered the attendant and fled the scene. The shooter
was arrested and sentenced to death but later appealed the sentence.
Sergeant Arnold had served with the agency for 17 years,
|Ayers, Kirkland C.||29||Whitesboro City Marshal||1 Mar 1879||At
4:00 p.m., City Marshal Kirkland C. Ayers responded to a disturbance in
a store/saloon in Whitesboro. While attempting to arrest two suspects,
City Marshal Ayers was hit in the head with a chair. Ayers died from
his injuries at 1:00 a.m. the next morning.|
Pat Ware, and his
brother, Spence, were both charged with the murder of Marshal Ayers. A
Grayson County jury acquitted both brothers in April of 1880.
Ayers, was survived by his mother who lived in LaGrange, Troup County,
Georgia. His body was shipped by express train back to LaGrange for
|Ball, Samuel D.||33||Sherman City Marshall||2 Feb 1880||Marshal
Ball was shot and killed while attempting to eject a group of men who
were creating a disturbance at a local house of prostitution.|
He had been the City Marshal for two years and was survived by his wife and three children.
|Brooks, James W.||61||Collinsville : City Marshall||19 July 1905||At
approximately 12:00 noon, City Marshal James W. Brooks arrested Z. T.
Trice for failure to pay a court fine, issued six weeks earlier. Trice
was in his buggy with his wife, and on his way to Fort Worth to have
his foot treated. After making the arrest Brooks had Trice sit down in
a chair. Brooks was then apologizing to Trice's wife when Trice came up
behind Brooks and cut him across the abdomen, and stabbed him in the
heart. Brooks fell to the sidewalk and was pronounced dead by a doctor
within two minutes.|
Trice was arrested, and charged with the murder. On October 26, 1906, a Grayson County jury acquitted Trice.
Brooks was survived by his wife, Nannie. He had seven children, of which four survived him.
|Crane, John A.||37||Denison Police Officer||11 Oct 1901||Around
1:00 a.m. Officer John A. Crane responded to a disturbance. George
Puryear, 19, was complaining that he had been robbed at a bawdy house
by one of the women. Puryear and another man from the Indian Territory
(present day Oklahoma) had been in town all day and were drinking
heavily. As Officer Crane walked up to the scene, Puryear, who was on
horseback, turned in his saddle and fired at Officer Crane. The bullet
struck Crane in the leg above his knee. Puryear fled to the Indian
Territory where he was shot and killed by a posse of officers from
Denison, Sherman and Grayson County, Texas. |
slowly and eventually returned to work on light duty as a police clerk.
In May 1907 he became bedridden from the wound and had to leave the
department. He died on September 12, 1907 from the effects of the
wound. He was survived by his wife and two children. He was buried in
Fairview Cemetery, formerly Maple Grove Cemetery, in Denison, Grayson
|Day, John Shannon||Denison Police Officer||5 Feb 1874||Officer Day was shot and killed while attempting to arrest several men at a saloon during a disturbance.|
|Echols, W. L.||67||Van Alstyne Chief of Police||21 Mar 1929||Chief
Echols was shot and killed while making his normal rounds in the
business district. He came across several men who were preparing to rob
a bank and they shot him.|
He had been with the agency for 46 years and is survived by his wife and two children.
|Estes, Ches H.||34||Whitesboro City Marshal||3 Feb 1935||Marshal
Estes was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man who had
committed a rape only moments earlier. He had entered a darkened cafe
while looking for the man and was struck in the chest by a gunshot
blast fired by the suspect. The suspect was originally sentenced to
death but received a 99 year sentence on his second trial.|
Marshal Estes was survived by his wife
|Isbell, James||30||Bells City Marshal||14 Jan 1891||A
man walked into the Risenberg’s saloon in Bells and demanded the crowd
“shell out.” Jim Isbell was the bartender and city marshal. Isbell
placed the money on the billard table and the stranger took it. The
robber ordered a man to take all of the patron’s money. As the robber’s
attention was diverted, Isbell grabbed his pistol and fired one time.
The robber calmly fired one round from his .45 caliber pistol, the
bullet striking Isbell in the face and exiting his neck. A bystander
grabbed the robber and the crowd joined in disarming him. The crowd
considered lynching him but decided to place him under guard. The
robber identified himself as George Smith. He admitted he bought the
pistol the day before and was a farmer in Grayson County.|
City Marshal Isbell succumbed to his wound on January 17, 1891.
George Smith was convicted of murder and hanged in Sherman by the Grayson County Sheriff on July 7, 1892.
|Johnson, Joseph E||Denison Police Officer||30 Oct 1879||Officer
Johnson was shot and killed when he and a constable went to a residence
to serve a warrant. The suspect, who was sleeping, suddenly woke up,
turned off the lights, and began shooting.|
Officer Johnson was survived by his wife.
|Lamance, James Arvil||53||Whitewright Police Dept., Corporal||23 Dec 2000||Corporal Lamance was shot and killed while pursuing a suspected drunk driver.|
Corporal Lamance and his brother, who was a reserve officer with the
same agency, were on patrol when they spotted the suspect and attempted
to pull him over. The suspect was known to police and had fled from
them on several occasions.
During the pursuit, the suspect led the
officers into a field and stopped his vehicle approximately 100 yards
away from the cruiser. The suspect then exited the vehicle and opened
fire on the officers, striking Corporal Lamance in the head. Corporal
Lamance's brother was able to return fire but did not strike the
suspect, who was arrested later in the night at his residence. The
suspect was acquitted of the capital murder charged in April, 2002.
Corporal Lamance had been employed with the three-officer Whitewright
Police Department for 3 years. He is survived by his wife and two
|McCarty, Absalom Kyle||40||Denison Police Officer||25 Dec 1882||Police
Officer Absalom McCarty was shot and killed while attempting to arrest
a man at the intersection of Austin Street and Crawford Street.|
man he was attempting to arrest was causing a disturbance and
brandishing a pistol while threatening to shoot. When Officer McCarty
arrived at the location the subject told him to put his hands up. The
subject then shot him when he refused to do so.
The subject fled to Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma). It is not known if he was ever captured.
Officer McCarty was a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. He had
served in law enforcement in Texas for at least four years.
|Miller, Wm Thomas "Will"||55||Whitesboro Police Chief||25 Dec 1940||An
accident occurred east of Whitesboro on Highway 82 at the scene of a
previous accident which Chief of Police Will T. Miler and other
officers were investigating. The lawmen were attempting to slow down
passing cars in the fog when one vehicle skidded and struck Chief
Miller. He was taken to a Sherman hospital and his condition was not
considered serious. His condition grew worse and he died at 9:30 a.m.
on Friday, December 27, 1940. |
Miller had served as Chief of
Police since the creation of the department in 1935. He was survived by
his wife, Matilda, two sons, Carl Miller and Charles Miller, and two
daughters, Mrs. James Flowers and Mrs. Lewis Glaslin; two brothers,
E.A. Miller and Larry Miller; and a sister, Mrs. John Clark. He was
buried in the Basin Cemetery in Grayson County, Texas.
|Patman, Charles||36||Denison Police Officer||2 May 1875||Police
Officer Charles Patman was shot and killed while he and his partner
searched a man suspected of having a concealed weapon. During the
search a second man approached them and fatally shot Officer Patman in
the face and wounded his partner.|
Both suspects fled the scene but
were later apprehended. The man who shot the officers had recently been
acquitted of murdering to men in Hearn, Texas, and was a notorious
outlaw. He was charged with murder and attempted murder but the charges
were dismissed in 1879 when the key witness in the case disappeared.
Officer Patman was survived by his wife and three children.
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