Deputy Sheriff Lafayette Coleman

Deputy Sheriff Lafayette Coleman

Brazos County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, March 6, 1878

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Lafayette Coleman

Deputy Sheriff Coleman left the county seat at Bryan on or about March 6, 1878, on horseback to serve process papers in the county. His horse was found on March 7th with his overcoat tied to the saddle, having six buckshot holes through it. Blood was found on the saddle and horse. A search was instituted and his body was never recovered. The newspaper reported that Coleman is said to have many enemies in the county.

In May a warrant was issued for W.N. Dobbs (also reported as Dabbs), a constable in one of the county precincts, for the murder of Deputy Coleman. Sheriff William B. Forman and a posse of seven men went to Dobbs' house and surrounded it. The sheriff entered Dobbs' house and engaged in social conversation with one of his brothers.

The posse heard the conversation and thought Dobbs had surrendered. As they entered the house Posseman George Gentry saw Dobbs with his pistol raised and the muzzle within two feet of his head. The cap popped but the pistol did not fire. Gentry fired at Dobbs and missed. Two other posse men entered and Dobbs fired at them. Dobbs was wounded in the thigh, his ear was shot off and his pistol was broken by a round. Dobbs fled the scene. A man was arrested and charged with aiding in Dobbs' escape. No information is known at this time if Dobbs was ever arrested or convicted of the murder.

No personal information is known from the newspaper accounts of the incident.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Escaped

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Coleman,
On today, the 128th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Brazos County.


United States Border Patrol

March 7, 2016

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