Private Jim Smalley

Private Jim Smalley

Texas State Police, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, January 22, 1871

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Jim Smalley

The Texas State Police were formed during the administration of Texas Governor Edmund J. Davis on July 22, 1870, to combat crime statewide in Texas. It was dissolved on April 22, 1873. The outlaw John Wesley Hardin was arrested in Longview charged with stealing a horse and the murder of Waco City Marshal Laben J. Hoffman on January 6, 1871. Texas State Police Lieutenant E.T. Stakes, Private Jim Smalley and a volunteer, L.B. Anderson, were transporting Hardin to McLennan County to stand trial when they camped for the night in Freestone County. Hardin has been searched but he had hidden a pistol under his arm on a string. While accounts as to what happen vary, Hardin shot and killed Private Smalley while Lt. Stakes and Anderson were gathering wood. Hardin escaped. The Governor offered a $1,100 reward, but Hardin was never tried for the killing of Private Smalley.

Texas Adjutant General Service Records indicate that Jim Smalley was paid as a private in the State Police, 2nd District, from October 1, 1870 until January 22, 1871 for a period of 3 months and 22 days. He was a 24 year old African American born about 1846 in Mississippi and was living in Harrison County, Texas in 1870. His place of burial is unknown at this time.

On October 6, 1871 Hardin killed State Policeman Green Paramore; on August 1, 1873, he was involved in the Taylor-Sutton feud and killed former State Police Captain and sheriff of Dewitt County, Jack M. Helms; and on May 26, 1874, he killed Brown County deputy sheriff Charles M. Webb. Hardin fled to Florida and Alabama where Texas Rangers arrested him on July 23, 1877. He was convicted for the murder of Deputy Webb on September 28, 1878 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was pardoned on March 16, 1894, and was admitted to the state bar as an attorney. He moved to El Paso where he was shot to death by Constable John Selman, Sr., on August 19, 1895.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 3 months, 3 weeks
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Pvt. Smalley,
On today, the 150th 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.


United States Border Patrol

January 22, 2021

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