City Marshal Charles Powers

City Marshal Charles Powers

Wortham Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Monday, September 23, 1878

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Charles Powers

On Saturday, September 21, 1878, Frank Polk, who lived in the Pisgah Ridge community in Navarro County about eight miles northwest of Wortham, Freestone County, was arrested by Wortham City Marshal Charles Powers for a misdemeanor. Polk was a noted desperado who was friends with John Wesley Hardin. Polk was released on bond and stayed in town until Monday, September 23, 1878. Shortly before his trial he rode out of town. Marshal Powers and Constable Wingfield rode after him and arrested him. He was brought back to town and paid his fine. Polk left town but returned around 6:00 p.m. and rode back and forth in front of the store of Mayor W. M. Seely, who was also a Freestone County deputy sheriff. Polk dismounted with his Winchester rifle outside the store. Marshal Powers and an unnamed assistant city marshal approached Polk and told him to surrender his weapon. Seely then came out onto the street armed with a Winchester rifle. Polk started backing up with the lawmen following him. Suddenly Polk fired on Marshal Powers. Powers returned fire as he fell. The assistant city marshal shot Polk two times and Seely fired seven shots, hitting Polk three times. Both Powers and Polk died instantly.

Nothing is known about Marshal Charles Powers despite efforts by former Sheriff Sonny Sessions and the Freestone County Historical Society. No place of burial has been located.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender killed

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

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

September 23, 2020

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