Private August Werner

Private August Werner

Texas State Police, Texas

End of Watch Monday, August 14, 1871

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August Werner

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. Late in the evening Ben Yoast had a difficulty with a freed man in Bastrop. His intoxicated father, Frank Yoast, rode up, and drawing his pistol, demanded a fair fight, and threatened to shoot anyone who interfered. Two citizens intervened and separated Yoast’s son and the other man. Bastrop County Sheriff Jung and two Texas State policemen arrived and attempted to arrest Frank Yoast. Private August Werner and a citizen fired at Yoast. Yoast fired three shots, all that he had in his six-shooter, killing Werner, but only striking the clothes of Jung and the other policeman. Mrs. Halter, a lady subject to hemorrhage of the lungs, came out of a house nearby and becoming excited, fell on the steps and died of internal bleeding. One of Private Werner’s bullets struck and wounded a bystander. Frank Yoast fled the scene. Ben Yoast appeared in District Court in Bastrop, charged with two counts of carrying deadly weapons and assault to kill and murder. No records exist as to Frank Yoast ever being charged with the death of Private Werner.

The German born August Werner was a farmer before joining the state police. He was married and had children. He was commissioned as a private on November 12, 1870 in the 3rd District. He was transferred to the 4th District to work out of Bastrop. He had resigned on February 11, 1871 and was reinstated on August 7, only to be killed seven days later.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

For an agency to exist for only 3 years to lose 10 Officers is heartbreaking.

Today marks the 145th anniversary of your murder. I hope and pray that Mr. Yoast faced true justice either in this world or the next. The mayhem he caused over an essentially trivial matter can never be erased nor can it be truly forgiven.

I hope the Werner family has kept his memory alive through the generations, he earned it.

God Bless, Brother and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.

August 14, 2016

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