City Marshal James Isbell

City Marshal James Isbell

Bells Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, January 17, 1891

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James Isbell

A man walked into the Risenberg’s saloon in Bells and demanded the crowd “shell out.” Jim Isbell was the bartender and city marshal. Isbell placed the money on the billard table and the stranger took it. The robber ordered a man to take all of the patron’s money. As the robber’s attention was diverted, Isbell grabbed his pistol and fired one time. The robber calmly fired one round from his .45 caliber pistol, the bullet striking Isbell in the face and exiting his neck. A bystander grabbed the robber and the crowd joined in disarming him. The crowd considered lynching him but decided to place him under guard. The robber identified himself as George Smith. He admitted he bought the pistol the day before and was a farmer in Grayson County.

City Marshal Isbell succumbed to his wound on January 17, 1891.

George Smith was convicted of murder and hanged in Sherman by the Grayson County Sheriff on July 7, 1892.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, January 14, 1891
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1892

Most Recent Reflection

View all 4 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 121rst anniversary 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 murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Your memory will always be honored and revered for time never diminishes respect.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

January 17, 2012

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