Town Marshal J. T. "Tode" Hurst

Town Marshal J. T. "Tode" Hurst

Decatur Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Friday, August 26, 1887

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J. T. "Tode" Hurst

Town Marshal Tode Hurst was shot and killed when gunfire erupted during a race riot in Decatur.

The riot resulted when Marshal Hurst and several officers attempted to arrest an unruly man at a church gathering. A rioter was also shot and killed and the ex-marshal, who was assisting Marshal Hurst, was seriously wounded. The local militia restored order and arrested several rioters.

Two of the rioters were charged with Marshal Hurst's murder. One was convicted of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. The other was tried and acquitted. A third suspect, who was identified as being the one who actually fired the fatal shot, escaped.

In 1887 Marshal Hurst was the youngest elected town marshal in Georgia.


  • Age 22
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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James "Tode" Hurst was the son of Dr William R Hurst and his wife Sarah. He was my great great Uncle and mostly lost to family history until now. So happy to add your story to family history.

Lynn Lake
Great Great Niece

October 9, 2016

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