Deputy U.S. Marshal William H. Anderson

Deputy U.S. Marshal William H. Anderson

United States Department of Justice - United States Marshals Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Friday, November 8, 1878

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William H. Anderson

William Collins was a member of the Sam Bass gang. On April 10, 1878 he took part in the robbery of the train station at Mesquite, Texas in Dallas County. Collins was arrested later that month and taken to Austin to stand trial. In June he was transferred to Dallas and housed in the county jail under a $15,000 bond. A landowner named John Cole posted the bond. Collins immediately fled Texas and a bench warrant was issued.

William H. Anderson was appointed a deputy U.S. Marshal in 1872. He began tracking the movements of Collins. Anderson learned that Collins was working as a bartender in Pembina, North Dakota. Anderson staked out the post office. Collins entered the post office while Anderson was seated inside. Anderson ordered Collins to throw up his hands. Collins started talking and lowering his hands. Anderson grabbed his left arm and asked a bystander to grab the other. Collins pulled away and reached for his pistol and Anderson fired at Collins. The slug tore through Collins right thumb, then passed through his coat and shoulder holster before lodging in his left shoulder. Collins fired and missed as Anderson took cover behind a stove. Anderson started to fire again when Collins shot him in the chest. Collins and Anderson both died at the scene.

Anderson was survived by his wife and two children. He was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location North Dakota
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, robbery

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Rest in peace always knowing that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

November 8, 2020

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