Deputy Sheriff Thalis Tucker Cook

Deputy Sheriff Thalis Tucker Cook

Brewster County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, July 21, 1918

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Thalis Tucker Cook

Fine Gilliland was working for a large cattle outfit and got into an argument with a small rancher named Henry Harrison Powe over an unbranded steer. Powe fired his pistol to scare the steer and prevent Gilliland from roping it. Gilliland thought Powe was shooting at him so he shot and wounded Powe. Both men opened fire and Powe was killed. Three days later Deputy Cook and Texas Ranger Jim Putman caught up with Gilliland in the Glass Mountains. Gilliland opened fire with his first shot hitting Cook in the kneecap. Ranger Putman shot Gilliland’s horse as he fled causing him to take cover behind the dead horse. A gun battle ensued until Putman was able to shoot Gilliland in the head and kill him.

Cook’s kneecap was shattered and leg became stiff and straight. He refused to allow doctors to amputate, and instead had his leg broken and bend slightly so he could ride a horse and continue his law enforcement career. Unfortunately he could no longer stand the pain and he died during amputation surgery on July 21, 1918. He was buried in the Nesbitt Cemetery.

Cook was only sixteen years old when he enlisted in the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers under Captain Neal Coldwell’s Company F on February 28, 1874 and served until August 31, 1874. He was one of the youngest men to ever serve in the Frontier Battalion. On September 16, 1876 he reenlisted in Company F and served until March 30, 1879. On April 25, 1889 he joined Company D under the command of Captain Frank Jones at Uvalde and served until November 30, 1889. Then Cook became a deputy sheriff in Brewster County for Sheriff James Gillett. Cook returned to Company D under Captain John R. Hughes at Ysleta on May 24, 1894 and served until November 30th. He reenlisted on March 10, 1896 and served until November 30, 1898 when he was discharged as a First Sergeant. During his breaks in ranger service, Cook also served as a railroad detective, cattle inspector, special ranger and El Paso County deputy sheriff.


  • Age 60
  • Tour 24 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, January 31, 1891
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

Deputy Sheriff Cook,
Just wanted you to know that even though you passed away many years ago, you are not forgotten. The Big Bend
Area Law Enforcement Officers Association is making sure that your service and sacrifice on behalf of the citizens
of Brewster County and the State of Texas are not forgotten. The Association is moving forward and making sure
that your name is included on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, the Texas Peace Officer Memorial, the Sheriff's Association of Texas Lost Lawman Memorial and the Big Bend Area Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial located on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Rest easy Thalis, we will
take it from here.

Chief Deputy ( Retired ) Ed Krevit
Big Bend Area Law Enforcement Officers Association

October 18, 2018

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