Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins

Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins

Taylor County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, January 8, 1884

Walter Collins

Zeno L. Hemphill was a known gunslinger. Allegedly Hemphill wanted to kill a lawman. In 1878 at the Flat, the riotous civilian settlement below Fort Griffin in Shackleford County, he and some other cowboys had planned to kill special deputies Henry Herron and Dave Barker for nothing more than notoriety. Deputy Herron disrupted the plot by hitting Hemphill in the head with his pistol before any lawmen were killed.

In 1884 Hemphill was the proprietor of the Cattle Exchange, a Pine Street saloon and gambling hangout, in Abilene. Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins and his brother, Frank, entered Hemphill's saloon. New gambling ordinances were in place which had upset the gambling house owners, including Zeno Hemphill. Words were exchanged between the Collins’ brothers and Hemphill and a gunfight erupted. Hemphill and Walter Collins were killed outright and Frank Collins was mortally wounded. Frank died on Friday, March 14, 1884.

Walter Collins was 28 years of age at the time of his death. He was buried in the Abilene City Cemetery. No wife or children were reported in 1880 census. He was a private in the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers between the years of 1878-1880.

Deputy Collins' brother, Patrolman James Collins, was shot and killed in the line of duty while serving with the Meridian, Mississippi, Police Department on October 28, 1888.


  • Age 28
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender suspect killed

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131 years today and we still remember and honor your supreme sacrifice. Rest easy, we have the watch...

Detective Darrell Gibson
Travis County Sheriff's Office

January 8, 2015

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