Deputy U.S. Marshal John P. Fries

Deputy U.S. Marshal John P. Fries

United States Department of Justice - United States Marshals Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, October 25, 1873

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John P. Fries

John P. Fries was appointed Sheriff of Kinney County on July 15, 1870, and was elected on November 8, 1870 and served until May 30, 1870 when he resigned. State election records do not record anyone serving as sheriff of the county until April 18, 1874 when Warren Allen was elected. All contemporary accounts of the murder report Fries as the Sheriff of Kinney County and none mention his appointment as a deputy U.S. marshal. As was common during this period, men served as city, county and state lawmen and were also appointed as deputy U.S. marshals. All available evidence indicates that this was the case with Fries.

Fries was appointed a Deputy U.S. Marshal under U.S. Marshal Thomas Purnell of the Western District of Texas in Austin. On October 25, 1873, Fries was in Brackettville, the county seat of Kinney County, serving a warrant for desertion on a man named McWebber and a warrant for murder and escape on a man named Mansfield. While speaking to several men, an assassin fired one shot through the window and Fries was killed instantly. No one saw the assassin, but the men believed it was McWebber.

A $1,000 reward was offered by Kinney County and an $800 reward by Texas Governor Ed Davis. In December of 1873, the Grand Jury of Kinney County failed to indict either Mrs. Fritter, or an African American man who was arrested and charged with the murder. It is known at this time if anyone was ever prosecuted.

John P. Fries was born between 1849-1850 and was about 23-24 years of age at the time of his death. He was about 20 years old when first elected sheriff. No information as to whether he was married or had any children. His mother appears to have been deceased at the time of his death, but he was survived by his father, John Fries, and at least eight brothers and sisters. His place of burial is not known at this time.


  • Age 24
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Never apprehended

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No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 25, 2020

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