Written in Blood: The History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen - Vol. 2

Written in Blood: The History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen - Vol. 2

Written in Blood: The History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen - Vol. 2

Written in Blood: The History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen - Vol. 2

Excerpt

This is Volume II in the story of Fort Worth’s fallen lawmen. Volume I of Written in Blood (University of North Texas Press, 2010) covered the years 1861 through 1909, telling the stories of thirteen local peace officers killed in the line of duty. This volume takes the story from 1910 through 1928, covering another baker’s dozen of lawmen who died doing their job, and not just policemen but also constables, “special officers” who worked in the private sector, and even a police commissioner. The number of subjects in both volumes being thirteen is merely fortuitous; it is not for purposes of symmetry. One significant difference from Volume I: there are no sheriffs or sheriff’s deputies in this volume. That is because no sheriffs or sheriff’s deputies died in this era.

One problem we had with Volume I was identifying all the officers who died in those long-ago days. Several had been virtually forgotten with the passage of time, not because their deaths were unimportant but because of poor recordkeeping and short collective memory. Old newspapers and court records, when they are not missing completely, get harder and harder to access as the years go by. Historical resources nowadays tend to either be put online or thrown out because it costs too much to archive them. Fort Worth and Tarrant County officials have periodically discarded huge volumes of old records over the years for lack of storage space. With the second batch of fallen officers in this volume, we discovered that their deaths were known; it was their stories that had fallen through the cracks.

We made a decision in researching Volume I that we stuck to with this volume not to limit ourselves to a single group of lawmen, e.g., policemen or sheriffs and their deputies. We cast our net wide to include any local officer who wore a badge and carried a . . .

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