Deputy Sheriff Jourden Alexander Morris

Deputy Sheriff Jourden Alexander Morris

Smith County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, October 8, 1881

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Jourden Alexander Morris

Deputy Morris approached a crowd of drunken men in front of Andy Harper's Saloon in Lindale. He attempted to get two of the men to quit creating a disturbance. Three brothers, Jesse Starnes, Pleasant Starnes and Warren Starnes, and Bob Billips [aka: Billups] were in the crowd. Billips and one of the Starnes brothers told Deputy Morris he could not arrest them. Pleasant Starnes then hit Deputy Morris in the head with some object. Morris was then able to cut Pleasant Starnes with a knife. Deputy Morris was then shot twice in the back and once in the foot with a pistol. Morris died from the gunshot wounds and blows to the head. All four suspects were indicted for murder. Jesse Starnes was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to five years in prison. Pleasant Starnes was found not guilty by a jury. The charges against Warren Starnes were dismissed in January 1884, at the request of the Smith County District Attorney. Bob Billips was never arrested and tried for the murder of Deputy Morris.

Morris was survived by his wife, Sarah, and three children. He is buried in the Morris Cemetery, Smith County, Texas.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Morris,
On today, the 140th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Smith County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 8, 2021

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