Bio & Incident Details
Age: Not available
Tour: Not available
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 11/3/1892
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: suspect killed
Deputy U.S. Marshals Tom C. Smith, Dave Booker and a man named Tucker left Gainesville for the Chickasaw Nation in the Indian Territory. The three lawmen boarded a northbound Santa Fe train. Around 11:00 p.m., just inside Indian Territory, the three deputy marshals entered a passenger car, reserved for African Americans, to walk to the smoking car. One of the African American passengers took offense to white men in the sleeping car, and pulled a pistol and shot Deputy Marshal Smith through the heart killing him. Deputies Booker and Tucker pulled their pistols and killed the assailant. It was reported the killer was Commodore Miller who was wanted in Dallas County and was escaping to the Indian Territory.
Smith was survived by his wife, Sallie, and their four children. He is buried in the Taylor Cemetery.
Smith’s father was the sheriff of Fort Bend County from 1852-1856. Smith later served as a Fort Bend County deputy sheriff and was involved in the Jaybird-Woodpecker War, Democratic “Jaybirds” were fighting the Republican “Woodpeckers” who had power since Reconstruction, in which Sheriff J.T. Garvey and others were killed on August 16, 1889. Smith also served as the city marshal of Taylor, Texas; a deputy U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas; and a cattle detective involved in the Johnson County War in New Mexico. He returned to Texas in 1892 and became a deputy U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Texas operating out of Paris, Texas. His territory covered Texas and southern part of the Indian Territory.
Related Line of Duty Deaths
Sheriff James Thomas "Tom" Garvey