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

At 11:30 p.m. H. D. Parsons was working as the night prison guard at the Donovan convict farm located seven miles from Eagle Lake in Colorado County. Parsons 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 10 years. The convicts crossed the river and made for Scull Creek bottom while being pursued by a posse with bloodhounds.

On August 17, 1898 Dr. J. K. Miles was arrested about 1:30 a.m. near Mayfield in Milam County by the sheriff and a posse of guards. Dr. Miles 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. Superintendent Whatley sent Miles to the Donovan convict farm as a surgeon and physician and he was serving in that capacity when he escaped. Miles denied being involved in the murder of Guard Parsons. It is unknown if Miles was charged with the murder. The Texas Prison Museum reported that Miles was discharged from prison on November 22, 1904.

Parsons was the son of General George Parsons of Washington, D.C. He was about 52 years old at the time of his death. His place of burial is unknown. In 1880 he was living in Bellville, Austin County, with his wife and three children. One child had died in 1886 from an accident.


  • Age 52
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 26, 2020

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