Lawmen of Shelby County Memorial

Deputy - Shelby County

       J. W. Jackson was born to Thomas Washington Jackson and Sarah Ann Rachel Ridden on 26 March 1889 in Louisiana.
        He married Ollie B. Ryans (Rhymes) March 26, 1911. They had four children: James, Julius, Annie Bell and Ruby M.
        James Walter was a Shelby County Deputy under Sheriff H. E. Holt. On Thursday, May 5, 1927 he was on patrol and was getting out of his car in front of his father’s store in Center, Texas when his pistol fell to the running board, accidentally discharging and a bullet pierced his stomach. He died on Monday morning, May 9, 1927 in the Center Sanitarium. He was 38 years old.
    He, along with a Shelby County Constable, is on the Officers Down Memorial Page website  honoring them as officers killed in the line of duty.

Constable - Timpson         

        Daniel Edward “Ed” Chapman was born November 27, 1878 in Shelby County to James Chambers and Mary A. Stratford Chapman. He married Annis Ida Prince and they had four children Edgar Levi, Ruth, Harrison Lovice and Wiley Doyce.
         Ed Chapman was Constable for Timpson and died while on duty November 13, 1936 two days after being wounded in a shooting at the Stockman School gymnasium, where an Armistice Day dance was in progress.
       Two people attending the dance got into an argument and one of the men knocked the other one down with a gun. The victim then went and informed Constable Chapman and a justice of the peace what had happened. The three then went back and found the suspect and Constable Chapman asked him if he had a gun. The man said he did not have a gun, but when asked again he suddenly produced a .38 caliber revolver and shot Constable Chapman twice.
      The suspect then shot and killed the justice of the peace as Constable
Chapman returned fire, killing the suspect.
      Constable Chapman had been appointed constable only seven months earlier when the previous constable had resigned.

Game Warden

    John David “J.D.” Murphree was born September 6, 1930 in Shelby County to Ed Murphree and Dovie Irish Murphree. He attended Center Schools graduating in 1950 from Center High School.
        J.D. married Elora Mae Oswalt, daughter of Wesley Oswalt and Rena Fleming Oswalt, July 1, 1950. He worked for the City of Center and the Center Police Department. A good friend W. D. Lawler encouraged J.D. to become a Texas Game Warden. He graduated from the 11th Texas Game Warden Academy in 1958. He was stationed in Orange County. About 1961 he returned to Center and worked Shelby County for two years, leaving and going back to Orange County. Not long after returning back J.D. was killed by a Vidor youth near Mauriceville December 8, 1963.
        J.D Murphree’s name has been enshrined in the National Police Hall of Fame. There is 8,400 acre wildlife management area near Port Arthur that was named The J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area.