Sheriff William Louis Ellis

Sheriff William Louis Ellis

Baylor County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, August 6, 1916

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William Louis Ellis

On October 21, 1913, P. J. Bruce shot former Sheriff A. L. Board six times, killing him instantly. Bruce ran down the steps and opened fire on Baylor County Sheriff W. L. Ellis. In the ensuing shootout Bruce was shot two times and killed. Sheriff Ellis was seriously wounded. Bruce killed the former sheriff because the sheriff was with a deputy shot and killed Bruce's brother on August 18, 1901.

On August 6, 1916, Sheriff W. L. Ellis was shot around 12 noon by Stephen Brown, a prisoner, and died at 2:30 p.m. Sheriff Ellis had arrested Brown in connection with a theft from a local store and was bringing him to town. About two miles south of Seymour, Brown struck the sheriff with his handcuffs, stunning him. Brown then took the sheriff’s pistol and shot him. Brown fled the scene. A posse was assembled and caught Brown four miles west of town. Brown was shot and killed by the posse. Brown was still wearing the sheriff’s handcuffs and carrying his pistol.

Sheriff Ellis was buried in the Seymour Cemetery in Baylor County. He was survived by his wife, Ellen, and two children, Edith and Clay. Ellis was elected sheriff of Baylor County on November 5, 1912 and re-elected on November 3, 1914 and served until his death on August 6, 1916.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 3 years, 10 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender killed by posse

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff Ellis is a true hero. May his family live proud knowing he served his community with selflessness and courage.

Brian & Betsy Zielinski
Michigan War Dog Memorial K9 Salute Team Members

June 16, 2021

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