Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Transcription Tuesday: More Adventures of Sheriff Henry Lewis

Here are three more articles featuring Sheriff William Henry Lewis:

The Killing at Wilmer

20 January 1887, Dallas Morning News

Sheriff Lewis and Deputy Sheriff Carson returned yesterday from Wilmer, to which point they were summoned on Tuesday to look after the slayer of Horace G. Revels. The facts of the killing as imparted by Mr. Lewis to a NEWS reporter, are as follows:

George Priest last Sunday night married a stepdaughter of Revels, who was violently opposed to the match, and, it is said, swore that he would kill the couple. On Tuesday George Priest, his half sister, Mollie Dagen, and his uncle, W. Slavens, drove by old man Revels’ house in a wagon. On observing Priest, Reve3ls rushed out of his house with a revolver and followed the wagon, threatening to kill Priest. Slavens, who was armed, as Revels gained on the wagon, drew his shotgun and fired, killing him on the spot. One of the witnesses testified at the inquest to having heard the deceased say that he was going to kill Slavens also. Revels was found in the road, his head resting in a pool of blood, and his face and breast lacerated with buckshot. After the shooting Slavens turned the lines over to his nephew and fled to the woods, and had not up to the late hour last night been arrested.

Mr. Priest was in the city yesterday and claimed that the shooting was in self defense. A chamber of the pistol carried by the deceased was found empty.

On a Serious Charge

21 May 1887, Dallas Morning News

B. F. Mills Arrested on the Charge of Forgery

Gen. Cabell received a telegram last evening from Sheriff H. P. Ware, of Gainesville, which read: “Arrest B. F. Mills, Forged three checks here. See Sanger Brothers. They or the sheriff know him.” The telegram was turned over to Sheriff Lewis, who started out to find Mills. To get a clew was difficult, as neither the sheriff nor the Sangers knew anything about Mills. Sheriff Lewis learned, however, that a party from Gainesville had been seen in the city with his nose skinned and bearing other evidences of riotous living. Later on the sheriff dropped into Purdy & Randall’s to get supper, and while there observed a drunken man with a skinned nose engaged in conversation with another party. The sheriff shadowed the drunken man until they found themselves face to face in a street car. He there and then told him that his name was Ben F. Mills, and that he knew it to be so. Mills owned up and was taken into custody. After his arrest he said he knew what the trouble was about, but felt that he was going to come out of it with colors flying. The arrest was made within three hours after the receipt of the telegram.

Christmas Remembrances

27 December 1890

Hospital Patients and County Prisoners Receive Good Dinners and Presents

On Christmas day Steward Sanford of the city hospital tendered an elegant dinner to the hospital patients at his own expense which they highly enjoyed. Mr. P. P. Martinez remembered them by presenting each of the twenty-eight inmates with some cigars and tobacco and a silver dollar. Mr. C. H. Williams sent a pig and a turkey, and Mrs. W. G. Currie sent each patient a silk handkerchief and other things.

The prisoners at the county jail were given a Christmas dinner by Sheriff Lewis and Jailers Rhodes and Tanner. They also received such presents as cakes, fruits, tobacco and cigars, pocket change and other things from Mr. and Mrs. B. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Cole, Capt. J. C. Arnold and Mr. P. P. Martinez. For these things they request that THE NEWS to extent their thanks.


  1. In my home stomping ground in s. Oregon, we had a fair number of murders --- one of the last holdouts of the old west sort mentality --- but the newspaper accounts were most boring in comparison to the ones you have been transcribing. Keep on transcribing.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Joan - doncha get a kick out of the florid descriptions? I've gotten to the point on these things where I can kind of distinguish a least a couple of different writers.

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