City Marshal Joseph L. "Joe" Crixell

City Marshal Joseph L. "Joe" Crixell

Brownsville Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Friday, August 9, 1912

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Joseph L. "Joe" Crixell

In the early 1900’s, the political and racial situation in Cameron County, and in the county seat of Brownsville, was volatile. The Democrats (Blues) controlled the county offices and were predominately white, and the Independents (Reds) controlled the Brownsville municipal offices and were predominately Hispanic.

At about 9:45 p.m., City Marshal Joe Crixell had finished his rounds of the city on horseback, and had returned downtown to Elizabeth Street, between 12th and 13th Streets. Marshal Crixell tied his horse outside a saloon owned by his brother, Teofilo Crixell. Deputy Sheriff Paul McAllister, a former Texas Ranger, was seated in a chair a short distance away in front of the Club Saloon. Crixell approached on the sidewalk, and when he was within five feet of McAllister, McAllister shot Crixell six times with a .45 caliber automatic pistol. Crixell died within 10 minutes without speaking. Crixell’s pistol was still in his holster, and had not been fired, and no words were exchanged between the men. Texas Ranger Captain J.M. Fox and Private James B. Mercer were nearby, and arrested McAllister. McAllister was held without bail, but he gained a change of venue to Hallettsville in Lavaca County. McAllister was acquitted on November 11, 1913, based on a self-defense argument that Crixell that previously threaten him. McAllister remained a deputy sheriff until 1915, when he became a deputy sheriff in Duval County. On July 5, 1925, McAllister, now a deputy state game warden, was involved in a shooting that resulted in his death, and that of Nueces County Pct 1 Constable Carl M. Bisbee and his deputy, R.R. Bledsoe.

Crixell was survived by his wife and four children; three brothers, one sister, and his mother. He was buried in the Brownsville City Cemetery.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

City Marshal Joseph Crixell was the Uncle of my Grandmother... my Dad’s Mom.

His brother, Teofilo Crixell, mentioned in the report, was my Great Grandfather.

Rest In Peace, Great Uncle Joe...

Emile Champion
Great Nephew of City Marshal Joseph Crixell

March 16, 2018

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