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Deputized Civilian John F. Tyler County Sheriff's Office, Texas

Deputized Civilian

John F. "Jack" Bowers

Tyler County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch: Wednesday, March 18, 1891

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 25

Tour: 1 day

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 3/15/1891

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Sentenced to 25 years; reversed

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Ed Weatherford pulled a pistol on Charlie Walker, an African American man, who was playing the harp before a group of African Americans at the train station in the Hyatt community in Tyler County, and demanded Walker start dancing. Deputy Sheriff Laurence Edwards and a private citizen, John Bowers, came along, and Deputy Edwards asked Weatherford, “Ed, give up your pistol;” and Weatherford said, “Go on, I’m not going to hurt anybody.” Edwards replied, “You know I am an officer, and it is my duty;” and said to Bowers, “Jack, help me to take the pistol.” Weatherford said, “Go on, Jack, I’m not going to hurt anybody.” Deputy Edwards told Weatherford again, “You know it is my duty.” Bowers then placed his hands on Weatherford’s shoulder, and was pushed back several times. Weatherford pointed his pistol at Bowers, and Bowers said, “Don’t do that,” as Weatherford shot Bowers in the stomach. Bowers put his hands on his stomach and walked off. Deputy Edwards grabbed Weatherford’s right arm and left shoulder, but Weatherford reached around and shot Deputy Edwards. Edwards fell, and Weatherford struck him on the head with his pistol two or three times. As Weatherford fled he said, “I told you to let me alone.” Bowers died on March 18, 1891. There is no personal information on John “Jack” Bowers.

Weatherford was convicted of murder in the second degree, and he was sentenced to 25 years in the state penitentiary. Weatherford appealed on district attorney misconduct, and the case was reversed and remanded. It is unknown if Weatherford was retried for the murder of Bowers.

Deputy Bowers is buried in Sumpter Cemetery, Groveton, Trinity County, Texas.

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Heroes live forever, Deputy Bowers, and we will never forget. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for the citizens of Tyler County and the great State of Texas.

Greater Houston C.O.P.S.
March 18, 2013


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