Constable M. M. Givins

Constable M. M. Givins

Potter County Constable's Office - Precinct 1, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, January 12, 1889

M. M. Givins

M. M. Givins was appointed as the constable for Precinct 1 by the Potter County commissioners court and was referred to as the “Old Town” constable. Constable Givins received from the court warrants for three local men charged with illegal gambling. Constable Givins located two of the men in the back room of a saloon. The men protested being arrested, and the crowd started harassing the constable. Constable Givins became upset, but calmed down. Sheriff James Gober and three prominent men entered the room. Constable Givins believed the sheriff would back him up so he told the two men that they would have to make bond with the magistrate.

A bystander became upset and threatened to fight the constable. When the man started towards the constable, the constable drew his weapon. The sheriff told the constable to "hold up" and drew his pistol. While there are varying accounts as to what happened next, apparently the sheriff's pistol accidentally discharged and the bullet struck the constable. Constable Givins did not return fire, and collapsed on the floor. Givins gave a dying declaration starting that the sheriff shot him. He died two days later.

Sheriff Gober, who was the first sheriff of Potter County and the youngest sheriff in the U.S. when elected in 1887, was indicted by the Grand Jury and released on bond. The trial commenced on September 9, 1889, the same day the sheriff’s bond was declared insolvent. Gober was acquitted two days later. On October 7, 1889, no bond was approved for the sheriff and his office was declared vacant.

Very little personal information is known about M. M. Givens. County commissioners donated $37 to bury Givins. He was reported to have been buried in Amarillo, but the location is unknown. He reportedly had a wife and children in Decatur, Wise County.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, January 10, 1889
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender acquitted

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After 126 years, your service is still appreciated. Thank you and may God look over you.

Lt. Milton E. Proctor
Deer Park Police Dept, Oh (Ret)

January 11, 2015

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