Deputy Sheriff William Erastus "Bud" Tow

Deputy Sheriff William Erastus "Bud" Tow

Yancey County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, June 13, 1940

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William Erastus "Bud" Tow

Deputy Sheriff Bud Tow was shot and killed while riding with a posse searching for a fugitive in the Swiss Community, southeast of Burnsville.

The subject approached Deputy Tow from behind and opened fire, striking him in the back and legs multiple times. The man was arrested and sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison.

Two years into his sentence he severely wounded a prison camp guard during an escape. He remained at large for five years until being arrested in Tennessee by the FBI. He was returned to North Carolina in 1947 to face charges related to the escape and wounding of the guard.

Deputy Tow was a U.S. Army veteran of the Spanish-American War. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 59
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 30 years

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Tow.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 2, 2020

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