Correction Officer H. D. Parsons

Correction Officer H. D. Parsons

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, July 26, 1898

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H. D. Parsons

Corrections Officer H.D. Parsons was shot and killed during an escape from the Donovant Convict Farm near Eagle Lake, Texas.

At 11:30 p.m. H. D. Parsons was working as the night prison guard at the Donovant Convict Farm when he was called to the grated window of a cell and asked to bring some medicine for an alleged sick man. Parsons brought the medicine and placed it on the window sill when his hand was caught by a convict, and he was jerked against the grating. Then another convict grabbed his pistol from his belt and killed him. They then took a bench and knocked the window out, and four convicts made their escape. Another prisoner caught hold of the alarm bell and rang it in the face of a threat from a convict about to shoot him. None of the convicts was serving more than ten years. The convicts crossed the river and made for Scull Creek bottom while being pursued by a posse with bloodhounds.

On August 17, 1898, the doctor was arrested at about 1:30 a.m. near Mayfield in Milam County by the sheriff and a posse of guards. The doctor told reporters he was sent to prison from Polk County about two years ago under a charge of bigamy for a term of 10 years. He was sent to the Donovant convict farm as a surgeon and physician, and he was serving in that capacity when he escaped. He denied being involved in the murder of Guard Parsons. It is unknown if he was charged with the murder. The Texas Prison Museum reported that the doctor was discharged from prison on November 22, 1904.

Corrections Officer Parsons was the son of General George Parsons of Washington, D.C. In 1880 he was living in Bellville, Austin County, with his wife and three children. One child died in 1886 from an accident.


  • Age 52
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

correctional Facility, escape, prison work crew

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Officer Parsons,
On today, the 125th 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 than that of a Corrections Officer.


United States Border Patrol

July 26, 2023

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