Sheriff Joseph S. Dawson

Sheriff Joseph S. Dawson

Cocke County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Thursday, April 20, 1899

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Joseph S. Dawson

Sheriff Joseph Dawson was shot and killed in Haywood County, North Carolina, while accompanying a posse in a search for illegal stills.

The posse had located a still and had arrested one person. As they headed back to Cocke County in the darkness they stopped to discuss the prisoner. They deputies were illuminated by a lantern when a shot was fired from the woods and struck Sheriff Dawson in the neck.

Two men were arrested and charged with murder.

Sheriff Dawson was murdered approximately 400 yards from where Posseman John Carver, of the United States Department of the Treasury, was slain on January 10th, 1905, while attempting an arrest.

Sheriff Dawson had served with the Cocke County Sheriff's Department for three years. He was survived by his wife and two children and is buried Campbell Cemetery in Cocke County, Tennessee.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location North Carolina
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Arrested

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the one hundred and tenth 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 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

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

April 21, 2009

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