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Deputy Sheriff William  Marion County Sheriff's Department, Texas

Deputy Sheriff

William "Will" Griffith

Marion County Sheriff's Department, Texas

End of Watch: Wednesday, July 6, 1904

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 30

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 7/6/1904

Weapon: Shotgun; 12 gauge

Suspect: Killed

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A.L. (Ab) Allen had a record of arrests for drunkenness, gambling, horse racing and fighting. On April 15, 1884, Allen was armed with a pistol and drinking when an argument ensued, and Allen shot and killed Robert Pastian. Allen was convicted and sentenced to the state penitentiary for 60 years. About 1900 Allen was pardoned and returned to Marion County. Allen was again arrested for being drunk and fighting. On one occasion he was armed and threatened the sheriff and a deputy who tried to arrest him. On another occasion, he allegedly disarmed Deputy Sheriff Will Griffith and struck him on the head with a pistol. Bystanders intervened to prevent further violence.

On July 6, 1904, Ab Allen and Deputy Will Griffith met in front of the Star Saloon on Austin Street in Jefferson. A few words passed between them when Allen shot Deputy Griffith with a shot gun, which he had borrowed for the purpose of shooting his son, Ernest Allen, or Deputy Griffith. He allegedly met Deputy Griffith first, so the shooting commenced. Deputy Griffith pulled his pistol and fired several shots, striking Allen in the groin. Allen went into the saloon and fell to the floor and died minutes later. Deputy Griffith was shot in the bowels, and was taken to Dr. Armstrong’s office where he died at 7:30 p.m.

William “Will” Griffith was buried in Section L of the Oakwood Cemetery, Jefferson, Marion County. No marker located. He was survived by his wife and at least one son.

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To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 108th anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) Officer Larry Lasater
December 30, 2012

 

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