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 II
Abram Helms 1849-1850   Abner Womack Sr.
Lewis Neal 1850-1851    Lemuel Elisha Dunn
Thomas Wesley Smith 1851-1852    Richard Gaston Ashe
John Ford McGuffin 1852-1856   Daniel H. Womack
Alfred William Morris Sr.  1856-1860    Ruben "Rube" Davis Simonton
Lemuel Gilliam Clepper 1860-1862 >>   Isaac C "Ike" Griffith

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 the 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 a member of the Home Guard in both Refugio and Bexar Counties during the Civil War.

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Isaac McGaryIsaac McGary


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

Born in January 17, 1800 in Butler County, Ohio. Died 1866 in Galveston, Texas.
Married Elizabeth Visier in 1842 and had four children
First County Clerk of Walker County July 1846 – August 1852

Isaac McGary 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 in the battle. 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 from 1843 until 1845. When Walker County was created out of Montgomery County in 1846, he was elected the first County Clerk and served until 1852 when he resigned. McGary sold land to the State for the building of the Penitentiary in 1848. 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. In 1854 McGary was chief justice of Walker County. McGary furnished lumber for the first Courthouse in Walker County. McGary was a member of Forest Lodge No. 19 and served as a Junior Deacon.

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Joseph G SheppardJoseph G. Sheppard

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

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


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

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 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

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

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 SmithThomas-Wesley-Smith

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 was 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

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 W Morris SrAlfred William Morris Sr.


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 a private for the 1st Texas Volunteers in the Mexican-American War.

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Lemuel G ClepperLemuel "Lem" Gilliam Clepper

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

Lemuel Gilliam, born 28 Oct 1813, died in 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

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

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

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

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

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Theodore Boyd

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. 

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 IIAlfred W Morris

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 fifteen, Alfred Morris II enlisted in the Confederate Army and fought alongside his father, Alfred Morris Sr., 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 II 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, Alfred Morris II 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 a 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 later 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. 

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

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Lemuel Elisha Dunn

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, Hardeman's 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

Appointed Sheriff on November 29, 1878, and serve 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 Cemetery in Harris County. 

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Daniel H. Womack

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

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Ruben SimontonRuben Davis Simonton


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 Civil 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

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 William C. Hooker. Married Nancy Lula Landrum in 1886. Headstone shows that he was a Mason. Buried in Montgomery New Cemetery. 

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