Inspector Frank Chapman

Inspector Frank Chapman

United States Department of the Treasury - Customs Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Sunday, September 23, 1906

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Frank Chapman

Frank Chapman, mounted customs inspector at Lajitas, about half way between El Paso and Eagle Pass, and directly south of Alpine, in the Big Bend country [Brewster County], was shot and instantly killed by a Mexican smuggler on Sunday, September 23, 1906 about daylight. Texas Ranger Captain John Rogers reported that the murderer was under arrest. Later newspaper articles stated 14 Mexicans had been arrested. Inspector Chapman was under the jurisdiction of the customs office at Eagle Pass. Collector of Customs R.W. Dowe reported that smugglers had shot up the town of Lajitas and he had sent Inspectors Chapman and Donaldson to investigate. Chapman was in the lead when he was shot from ambush and fell back into Donaldson’s arms.

Chapman was reported to have seen much service on the frontier as a lawman. Seventeen years earlier Chapman and Dowe were scouts together and had many thrilling encounters with smugglers. Colonel Dowe reported that Chapman was an excellent officer and was brave to a wonderful degree. Chapman was reported to have been survived by his wife and four children.

Chapman was probably a deputy U.S. Marshal around 1893, a Texas Ranger at least in 1880-1881, and a customs inspector since at least the early 1900's. No information at this time as to where Chapman was buried, the name of his wife or children, his date of birth, or whether anyone was ever charged in the death of Inspector Chapman.


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

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in Peace Inspector Frank Chapman. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice protecting the citizens of the USA and The Great State of Texas.

I Pray for Peace for your Family, Friends and those brave souls who have chosen to follow in your footsteps. I also Pray that the scum that murdered you burns forever in the lake of fire!


Senior Special Agent Barry Sherwood Ret.
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, TX

September 23, 2016

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