Correction Officer Benjamin Williamson

Correction Officer Benjamin Williamson

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, Texas

End of Watch Monday, June 30, 1890

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Benjamin Williamson

In the early morning hours, Guard Riley Williamson took a squad of six convicts out on a work detail at the Butterfield Coal Camp (managed by Texas prison System as a work camp) about 16 miles south of Rusk in Cherokee County. Williamson was found with several bullet wounds to his head. The convicts had fled with his weapon. The convicts released other squads and the convicts secured more weapons from guards and civilians. Walter Freeman, a former guard at the prison who was fired for negligence, furnished firearms to the convicts who killed Williamson. Freeman was charged with the murder of Williamson, and for inciting a riot. He fled but was arrested shortly afterward at Little Rock, Arkansas. He was taken back to Texas where he posted bond and immediately fled the state. He was arrested again on June 30, 1891 near Princeton, Kentucky, and transported back to Texas to face charges. In July 1891, Freeman was convicted of inciting an insurrection and sentenced to six years in prison. On June 27, 1892, Freeman attempted to escape and was shot and seriously wounded by a guard. He was released October 7, 1896.

Virtually nothing is known about Williamson. He was buried in the Arnold Cemetery in Forest in Cherokee County. He had 10 children in the 1880 census.


  • Age 58
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender sentenced to 6 years in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Williamson,
On today, the 130th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas. There is no tougher job in Law Enforcement then that of a Correctional Officer.


United States Border Patrol

June 30, 2020

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