Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins

Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins

Taylor County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, January 8, 1884

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Walter Collins

Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins was shot and killed while investigating a gambling house, known as the Cattle Exchange, located at North 1st Street and Pine Street in Abilene.

The proprietor of the gambling house was a known gunslinger who had previously attempted to murder two deputies just for notoriety. In 1878 at the Flat, the riotous civilian settlement below Fort Griffin in Shackleford County, he and some other cowboys had planned to kill two special deputies for nothing more than notoriety. One of the deputies disrupted the plot by hitting the man in the head with his pistol before any lawmen were killed.

Deputy Sheriff Walter Collins and his brother, Frank, entered the man's saloon. New gambling ordinances were in place that had upset the gambling house owners. Words were exchanged between the Collins’ brothers and the man before a gunfight erupted. Deputy Collins and the subject were killed outright and Deputy Collins' brother, Frank Collins, was mortally wounded. Frank died on Friday, March 14th, 1884.

Deputy Collins was buried in the Abilene City Cemetery. No wife or children were reported in the 1880 census. He was a private in the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers between the years of 1878 and 1880.

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


  • Age 28
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and 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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