19th Century Sheriffs

Montgomery County Sheriffs of the 19th century


Joshua Robbins 1837-1841                                       William C. Hooker 1862-1864 
Archibald M. McNeill 1841-1843    Ralph R. Bradly  1864-1866 
Isaac McGary 1843-1845    Lemuel Cartwright 1866-1869 
Joseph G. Sheppard 1845-1846   William Hames  1869
Samuel Grimmett  1846-1847    Theodore Boyd 1869
Thomas Betts   1847-1848    Abner Womack Sr. 1869
Erasmus Giles Collier  1848-1849   Alfred William Morris 
1869
Abram Helms  1849-1850   Abner Womack Sr.
1869-1871 
Lewis Neal  1850-1851    Lemuel Elisha Dunn
1871-1878
Thomas Wesley Smith 1851-1852    Richard Gaston Ashe
1878-1880
John Ford McGuffin  1852-1856   Daniel H. Womack
1880-1882
Alfred Williams Morris  1856-1860    Ruben "Rube" Davis Simonton
1882-1888
Lemuel Gilliam Clepper 1860-1862 >>   Isaac C "Ike" Griffith
1888-1902




Joshua Robbins
1837 – 1841

Became the first Sheriff of Montgomery County, Texas in 1837 and served until February 1, 1841.

Born in 1810 in Tennessee and died on February 22, 1847 in Walker County, Texas

Immigrated to Texas with his widowed mother and siblings around 1820.  Married Nancy Ann Ward, daughter of James Jordan Ward Sr. around 1830.  Together, they had four children: Allen Martin born 1834, Lucinda Elizabeth born 1836, George S. born 1841 and Mahulda Mary born 1844. 

Served in Elisha Clapp's Company of Mounted Rangers in 1836.
Served under Captain Watkins in a campaign west of the Brazos against the invasion of General Vasquez in 1842.
Elected Justice of the Peace for Walker County, Texas in 1846.

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Archibald M. McNeill 
1841 – 1843

Elected Sheriff on February 1, 1841 and served until February 6, 1843

County Surveyor 1840
Texas House of Representatives from 1846-1848
Born in 1804 in North Carolina and died in 1865 in San Antonio

Married Cynthia Jemima Edwards. By 1832 Archibald is in Madison County, Florida where he began his career as a postmaster, Justice of the Peace and later a court clerk. In 1840, Archibald is elected Tax Collector and then elected Sheriff of Montgomery County, Texas in 1841. He then serves as a Montgomery County Representative for the first two congresses of the Texas Republic. In 1845, Archibald moves to Colorado County, Texas where he serves as Justice of the Peace. In 1852 he is elected Chief Justice in Colorado County. He had served in 2nd Seminole War under his brother, Lieutenant John McNeill. He was both a private and second lieutenant in the Mexican War. Archibald also served as member of the Home Guard in both Refugio and Bexar Counties during the Civil War.

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Isaac McGaryIsaac McGary

1843-1845

Elected Sheriff on February 6, 1843 and served until February 3, 1845

Born in 1800 in Butler County, Ohio. Died 1866 in Galveston, Texas.
First County Clerk of Walker County July 1846 – August 1852

McGary married Eleanor Markland in Ohio.  He came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin in 1825 and fought in the Battle of San Jacinto under Captain William Kimbro’s Company where he received a donation land grant for his participation.  He also served in the Mexican War with Captain James Gillaspie’s Company from the Walker County area.  He served as Sheriff of Montgomery County in 1843.  When Walker County was created out of Montgomery County, he was elected the first County Clerk.  He served until 1852 when he resigned.  He sold land to the State for the building of the Penitentiary.  This land along with that of Pleasant Gray and Robert Smither now constitutes the “Walls Unit”.  McGary also served as a Director of the Penitentiary in 1853.  He furnished lumber for the first Courthouse.  He was a member of Forest Lodge and served as a Junior Deacon.  Later married Elizabeth Viser in 1842 and had four children.

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Joseph G SheppardJoseph G. Sheppard
1845-1846

Elected Sheriff on February 3, 1845 and served until July 13, 1846

Born March 13, 1810 Pulaski County, GA; Died January 7, 1905, Walker County, Texas.
Married Sarah Ann Saul in 1846 in Walker County
Served as the Worshipful Master of the Forrest Lodge No. 19, in Huntsville, Texas as a Mason.

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Samuel Grimmett
1846-1847

Elected Sheriff on July 13, 1846 and served until April 11, 1847.
Killed in the line of duty on April 11, 1847

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Thomas Betts

1847-1848

Appointed Sheriff on April 28, 1847 and served until August 7, 1848
Notary Public 1846 (resigned in 1847)

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Erasmus Giles Collier
1848-1849

Elected Sheriff August 7, 1848 and resigned in February 1849

Texas House of Representatives. Montgomery County District 37: 1853-1854

Erasmus G. Collier was born about in 1802 in Virginia. By 1825 Collier relocated to Washington County, Alabama, where he married Olivia Livia Harrison, a Tennessee native. The couple produced seven children. Collier served as a circuit court clerk in 1831.

Collier moved to Texas before 1848 when he was elected to serve as sheriff of Montgomery County. Collier resigned from that post, but served in many other capacities. From 1850 to 1858 Collier was appointed by the Montgomery County Court to appraise estates; he also served as coroner and justice of the peace. Erasmus Collier was the Montgomery County representative to the Fifth Texas Legislature from 1853 to 1854. As a private citizen Collier earned his living as a hotelkeeper in Montgomery County. In 1852 Collier was additionally listed among the incorporators of the Lake Creek Bridge and Turnpike Company which was charged with building a toll road from Montgomery to Houston.


Abram Helms
1849-1850

Elected Sheriff on February 6, 1849 and resigned in June 1850

Born March 7, 1803 New York. Died May 11, 1860 Navarro County, Texas. Married Mary McGilvary March 2, 1856.
Overseer of the McIver plantation in Tennessee.

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Lewis Neal
1850-1851

Appointed Sheriff on June 13, 1850 and resigned March 1851.

Enlisted in the Texas 9th Infantry Regiment as Private

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Thomas Wesley Smith
1851-1852

Appointed Sheriff at 21 years of age on March 29, 1851 and served until August 2, 1852.

Born in Logan County, Kentucky on July 13, 1829. Died on March 20, 1902 in Willis, Texas.

While Sheriff, Smith organized deputies to effectively stop cattle rustling in Montgomery County. He married Margaret Hope Arnold in 1855 and appointed as a captain in the Confederate Army in 1861. In 1873, Captain Smith builds the "Old Crawford House" and later an opera house in Willis, Texas. Captain Smith and his son Owen owned a tobacco plantation and built the first brick cigar factory. In addition to his accomplishments, Captain Smith was a merchant, planter, private backer and a Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge from 1868 to 1872. It was thought that he was instrumental in providing the railroad ties and labor to build the railroad between Willis and New Waverly. 

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John Ford McGuffin
1852-1856

Elected Sheriff on August 2, 1852 and served until August 4, 1856. 

Born in South Carolina in 1813. Died September 10, 1887 in Seguin, Texas.  Son of Hugh Moses McGuffin and Jane "Jennie" Ford. 

McGuffin participated in the struggle for Independence in 1835 and 1836 while serving for the Army of Texas. Came to Texas is 1837. Married to Sarah Montgomery on July 20, 1838.

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Alfred William Morris
1856-1860

Elected Sheriff on August 4, 1856 and served until August 6, 1860

Assessor and Collector 1864, 1865, 1866

Born June 11, 1821 in Mississippi. Died September 29, 1866 in Montgomery County, Texas. Married to Matilda Palmer on February 22, 1845 in Jasper, Texas. Had seven children: Alfred William Morris II, Maggie Morris, Mattie Morris, Martin Bryant Morris, Edd Morris, John Walker Morris, Alexzina Morris. Served as first lieutenant in Company K 8th Texas Cavalry in the Confederate States Army. Also served as private for the 1st Texas Volunteers in the Mexican-American War.

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Lemuel G ClepperLemuel "Lem" Gilliam Clepper
1860-1862

Elected Sheriff on August 6, 1860 and served until August 4, 1862

Lemuel Gilliam, born 28 Oct 1813, died Magnolia, Texas ca. 1893.  He left home at an early age and went to Alabama.  He married 1836 to Rebecca A.T. Broadnax and moved to Texas with his brother Joseph in 1837. He was a Captain in the Texas Infantry, a regiment composed predominately of middle-aged men, primarily from Waller, Montgomery, Austin, Kaufman, Galveston and Walker Counties.  Captain Lemuel G. Clepper of Montgomery, commanded Company K.  The regiment was charged with defending the Texas coast from the Sabine River to Galveston and played an important part in the Confederate recapture of Galveston in January 1863. He farmed his own land, was listed in the 1860 census as a dentist and served the county as District Clerk, Justice of the Peace, Sheriff, and County Commissioner.

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William C Hooker
1862-1864

Elected Sheriff on August 4, 1862 and served until August 1, 1864.

Born May 1, 1815. Died November 16, 1899 in Montgomery, Texas.
Married Mary Ann Irion on February 16, 1854. Private in Tyler Co. Bell's Regiment and was a Texas Volunteer during the Mexican War. 

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Ralph R. Bradly
1864-1866

Elected Sheriff on August 1, 1864 and served until June 25, 1866. 
First Lieutenant for the Texas 20th Infantry, Company K. Married April 7, 1871 in Montgomery County, Texas. 

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Lamuel Cartwright
1866-1869

Elected Sheriff on June 25, 1866 and resigned in April 1869. 
Part of the Fifteenth Texas Cavalry, Second Regiment, Johnson's Brigade

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William Hames
1869

Appointed Sheriff on April 16, 1869 by General J.J. Reynolds' Special Order #40 and resigned June 1869.

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Theodore Boyd
1869

Appointed Sheriff on June 28, 1869 by General J.J. Reynolds' Special Order #152 and was removed by Special Order # 246 in October 1869.

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Abner Womack Sr. 
1869

Appointed Sheriff on October 10, 1869 by General J.J. Reynolds' Special Order #233 and was revoked by Special Order #246 in November 1869. 

Married on June 18, 1874 to Anne Taliaferro Howard. Died in 1875. 

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Alfred William Morris
1869

Appointed Sheriff on November 20, 1869 by General J.J. Reynolds’ Special Order #272 and took the “test oath” December 5, 1869.  It is not clear how long he served since Womack was elected on December 3, 1869.

Born June 10, 1846 in Newton County, Texas. Died on June 26, 1925 in Galveston, Texas. 

Texas House of Representatives 1897, 1899-1900, 1901

At the age of fiftee, Morris enlisted in the Confederate Army and fought along side his father in the engagements around Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father was severely wounded. He was discharged to Texas to care for his father and settled on the Morris Farm. He then re-enlisted and served the remainder of the Civil War in the Texas company commanded by Dixon H. Lewis. Married May Bybee on April 21, 1901.  May and Alfred Morris had four children, all born in Conroe.  They are Mrs. Esther May Morris Creighton, Mrs. Bessie Morris Gray, Mrs. Emily Morris Kimbro, and Mrs. Virginia Morris Metzger. At the Age of 24, Morris was elected Sheriff of Montgomery County. During his tenure as a law officer, he was influential in breaking the grip of “carpetbaggers” and restoring sound government to Montgomery County.  He was also champion of improved education for people, black and white, whose lives had changed as a result of the Civil War. He conducted a school for freed slaves on the Morris farm to teach basic educational skills. In his latter years, he served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives, beginning in 1896, and one term in the State as a leading member of the finance committee.

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Abner Womack Sr. 
1869-1871

Elected Sheriff on December 3, 1869 and resigned August 12, 1871. 

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Lemuel Elisha Dunn
1871-1878

Appointed Sheriff on September 9, 2871 and served until November 1878 when the office was declared vacant by the Commissioner's Court. 

Born August 24, 1842 in Independence County, Arkansas. Resided in Texas since 1851. Died June 3, 1917. 
Served for the 4th Texas Cavalry, Hardemans Brigade, Confederate Army, September 1861-June 1865. Married Mary Virginia Oliver on April 20, 1870 in Montgomery County. 

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Richard Gaston Ashe
1878-1880

Appointed Sheriff on November 29, 1878 andserve until November 2, 1880.

Born December 25, 1849 in Brownsville, Tennessee. Died June 4, 1927 of hypostatic pneumonia in San Antonio, Texas.

Richard Gaston Ashe was a farmer in Lynchburgh, Harris County, Texas. He and his brother, Samuel Swann Ashe, were both members of the "Bayland Guards", a local militia company, before they left it to join their older brother, William, in "Terry's Texas Rangers" (8th Texas Cavalry Regiment) in the Civil War. Married Sallie Jones Ashe. Burred in the Glenwood Cemetary in Harris County. 

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Daniel H. Womack
1880-1882

Elected Sheriff on November 2, 1880 and served until November 7, 1882. 

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Ruben SimontonRuben Davis Simonton

1882-1888

Elected Sheriff on November 7, 1882 and served until November 6, 1888.

Tax Collector 1912-1924

Born ca 1844 in Robertson County, Texas. Died in 1900.

Ruben Davis Simonton was a sergeant in Company K of the 8th Texas Cavalry, Terry Texas Rangers during the Civial War. He became the Sheriff of Montgomery County after the Reconstruction. Married the daughter of Dr. E.J. Arnold, Lody (Louisa) of Montgomery County. 

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Ike Griffith - CopyIsaac C. "Ike" Griffith
1888-1902


Elected Sheriff on November 6, 1888 and served until November 4, 1902. 

Born June 3, 1852. Died January 15, 1921. 

Brother-in-law of Sheriff Willliam C. Hooker. Married Nancy Lula Landrum in 1886. Headstone shows that he was a Mason. Burried in Montgomery New Cemetery. 

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