Deputy Sheriff William S. Wright

Deputy Sheriff William S. Wright

Letcher County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Tuesday, January 30, 1900

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William S. Wright

Deputy William Wright was shot and killed by two brothers as he was on his way to their home to arrest them. The brothers opened fire at the same time as the three met on the road, killing Deputy Wright instantly.

In 1902 both the Reynolds brothers were convicted of his murder during a heavily attended and highly emotional trial in Bell County and sentenced to life in prison. One was pardoned by Governor J.C.W. Beckham in 1905 and the other by Governor Augustus E. Wilson on January 1, 1909.

Deputy Wright's murder was the result of an ongoing feud between Deputy Wright's family and the Reynolds' family that started 18 years earlier and would go on for many more years.

Deputy Wright had served with the Letcher County Sheriff's Office for only three months. He was survived by his wife and 11 children. He was an ex-member of the Kentucky Legislature.

Deputy Wright's son, William Wright, was shot and killed in the line of duty on April 11, 1901, while also serving with the Letcher County Sheriff's Department as a result of this feud.

It is important to note that many feuds occurred in Kentucky, and often information about officers who lost their lives as a result of them is often confusing, contradictory, and refuted by others.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service, Sir.

S. Mullins

July 22, 2022

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