City Marshal David Thomas "Tom" Nowlin

City Marshal David Thomas "Tom" Nowlin

Mexia Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, September 26, 1896

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David Thomas "Tom" Nowlin

Several young men, including Constable James E. Eubanks, decided to play a prank on City Marshal Tom Nowlin. The men succeeded in putting blank cartridges in his pistol. They went to Freedmantown and raised a racket. Marshal Nowlin went to quiet the disturbance. The men opened fire with blank cartridges and Nowlin returned fire not knowing he was also firing blanks. Constable Eubanks pretended to be wounded. Nowlin believed he was outgunned and returned to town to get another pistol and was returning to the scene when he was told it was a joke. The pranksters had retired to the depot when Nowlin arrived. He told Eubanks he would cut off his arm before he would play such a prank on a friend. Eubanks drew his pistol and fired two shots that killed Nowlin. Witnesses said they saw Nowlin draw his pistol as Eubanks fired.

Eubanks was arrested and released on $5,000 bail. The city council met and declared that Nowlin was killed in the discharge of his duties and voted to hire an attorney to assist the district attorney. The disposition of the charges is unknown at this time.

Nowlin was a widower and had five small children. He was also a member of the city fire department. He is buried in the Mexia City Cemetery.


  • Age 46
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Arrested

Most Recent Reflection

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Marshal Nowlin,
On today, the 125th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Mexia.


United States Border Patrol

September 26, 2021

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