Deputy Sheriff David Neil

Deputy Sheriff David Neil

Smith County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, September 27, 1851

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David Neil

Sheriff John N. McKinley arrested Joseph Pierce with a warrant charging Pierce with assault with intent to commit murder. Sheriff McKinley placed Pierce in the log jail house at Old Canton, in southeast Smith County. Threats were made by relatives and friends of Pierce to rescue him from the custody of the sheriff. The sheriff assembled a posse to guard the jail. During the attack on the jail a shootout and fight with knives and an axe resulted in the death of Deputy Sheriffs David Neil and James Holden. Sheriff McKinley and Posseman Thomas Brock were wounded. A bystander was killed when a bullet went though a door. Among the attackers, Robert Pierce and Isaac Moore were shot and killed, and Peter Crawford was severely wounded but escaped. Robert Pierce was reportedly the attacker who killed the two deputy sheriffs.

Peter Crawford was charged with the murder of Deputy Sheriff Neil and Joseph Pierce was charged with the assault with intent to kill Sheriff McKinley. The records also show that from 1852 to 1857, numerous unsuccessful attempts were made to locate and arrest Peter Crawford and Joseph Pierce.

David Neil was survived by his wife and two children. No cemetery records for the burial location have been located.


  • Age 27
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Unknown weapon
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 158th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya


September 27, 2009

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