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    Former Sheriffs From 1850-1880

      Francis Jourdan

    Frances Jourdan was the first Sheriff elected in Tarrant County, when Birdville was the County Seat, not Fort Worth.  He farmed near Johnson Station (present day Arlington) and employed future Sheriff John B. York; the beginning of a long Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office tradition.


    John B. York

    Elected for the first time in 1852, John B. York served two separate terms as the Sheriff of Tarrant County.

      William B. Tucker

    William B. Tucker was born in Casey County, Kentucky on October 5, 1824.  He was known as the “Father of South Side.”  Tucker grew up on a farm and was self-educated.  In 1852, he struck out on his own and moved to Tarrant County while Fort Worth was still an Army Garrison.  Tucker obtained 520 acres north of the settlement, where his diligence and honesty help turn neighbors into future constituents.

    Tucker was elected Sheriff in 1856 and soon set his sights on to the Office of District Clerk, which he won in 1858.  Several years later, he became a Justice of the Peace in 1862 serving until 1865 when Federal occupation authorities removed him from office.

    In 1867, he built the first housing addition south of what is I-30 today on a 170-acre tract. Today, it is the location of St. Joseph and John Peter Smith Hospitals.  William B. Tucker is believed to have lived until the turn of the century.


      John B. York

    Serving as sheriff for the second time, John B. York is recognized as the first peace officer killed in the line of duty in Tarrant County. He built the first County Jail at the present day corner of Jones and East Belknap Streets. On August 24, 1861, he died of stab and gunshot wounds.  Sheriff York was buried in the Mitchell Cemetery, located between two active railroad tracks behind the Fort Worth Grain Exchange on Old Decatur Road at 28th Street.  The grave is unmarked and the historical marker has been stolen.  Sheriff York’s family moved away shortly after his death.


      William O. Yantes

    William O. Yantes stepped in and completed Sheriff York’s uncompleted term.  Mr. Yantes served in the Confederate Army, as did many Sheriffs during this time period.


      John W. Gillespe

    John W. Gillespe served only one term as Sheriff and very little is written about his tenure. Records show he did serve in the Army of the Confederate States of America.


      James P. Davis


    James P. Davis was born in Louisiana in 1840 and moved to Tarrant County as a child where he grew up on a farm near Birdville.  In 1861, at the age of twenty, Mr. Davis traveled to Johnson Station (present day Arlington), where he joined Company A of the Ninth Texas Cavalry Regiment, Confederate States of America.  It is believed James P. Davis served only one year as Sheriff due to the reconstruction policies of the United States Government.


      B.F. Arthur

    Texas Provisional Governor Andrew Hamilton appointed B.F. Arthur the Sheriff of Tarrant County.  While Mr. Arthur was reported as being anti-secession and pro-union, other historical documentation supports the fact he was a Confederate Veteran.


      M.T. Morgan

    M.T. Morgan was appointed Tarrant County Sheriff on November 1, 1867, by General J.J. Reynolds’ Special Order # 25, and served until his resignation September 3, 1869.


      Sanders Elliott

    Sanders Elliot was also appointed by General J.J. Reynolds’ Special Order # 25 and served until July 20, 1869.



    Charles L. Loucks


    Charles L. Loucks (also spelled “Louckx”) was born and raised in France. Loucks came to Tarrant County in the late 1850s.  Special Order # 170, as issued by General J.J. Reynolds, appointed him as Tarrant County Sheriff on July 20, 1869.  Mr. Loucks served until his resignation in February 1870. Charles Loucks also held the job of Postmaster for the city of Fort Worth from April 1867 until July 1869.


      J.T. Furnish

    J.T. Furnish was another Sheriff appointed by General Reynolds in February 1870. But historical documentation reveals Thomas James was elected in both 1869 and 1873.  This situation reveals  General Reynolds’ desire to appoint someone before and after a Sheriff had been duly elected by the people of Tarrant County.


      Thomas B. James

    Thomas B. James was an early settler of Birdville and initially served as a Deputy Sheriff.  He served a little more than three (two- year) terms.


      J.M. Henderson

    J.M. Henderson was born in Bradley County, Tennessee on March 21, 1841.  His father died in 1846 in Missouri.  His mother remarried, but lost her spouse in 1849 while the family was enroute to California.  In 1851, his mother came to Texas with her children and some friends.  Henderson grew up in the vicinity of Birdville. Henderson acquired the 2,000 acre family farm, where he also raised cattle.

    Henderson enlisted in Green’s Brigade and Waulers Battalion, in the Confederate States of America, which was consigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department in July 1862.  He fought in a number of battles. One of his battles included the Banks’ raid up the Red River.  In the last Battle of Yellow Bayou, Henderson was hit in the mouth by a mini-ball that knocked out five of his teeth and broke his jaw.  He kept the recovered bullet the rest of his life.  For two months he was home on furlough.  Henderson returned to his outfit on the lower Brazos when Lee surrendered.

    Henderson started his political career in 1876, when nominated by the Democratic Party for the Office of Sheriff.  He served two terms. He also served four years as County Tax Collector.

    Henderson had rental property in Fort Worth and held stock in the Traders Bank.  He was a Royal Arch and Knight Templar Mason and belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church.  Present day Henderson Street was named after Sheriff Henderson.




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    100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196