|Death: ||May 29, 1895|
Joe Beckham was elected the first sheriff of Motley County in February of 1891 and re-elected in November of 1892. He was drinking and gambling and was soon indicted for embezzling county funds. In June of 1893, County Commissioner George W. Cook and Sheriff Beckham got into a shootout in neighboring Childress County and both were indicted. Cook was acquitted and Beckham was freed for lack of evidence. The County Commissioners declared the position vacant and a new sheriff was appointed. Cook was elected Sheriff in November of 1894.
Beckham received a change of venue to Baylor County on his embezzling charge and Sheriff Cook traveled by train to Seymour to testify against him. Beckham was waiting for Sheriff Cook and shot him twice with a .45 caliber pistol. Sheriff Cook was shot through the arm, bowels and near the left nipple. Beckham jumped on his horse and fled. Sheriff Cook was taken back to Matador in Motley County where he died the next day.
Beckham fled and commenced a campaign of robbing and killing in Greer County in the Indian Territory. In December of 1895 a posse composed of Texas Rangers and the Wilbarger County, Texas sheriff and his deputies, surrounded Beckham and his gang. After a five hour shootout, Beckham was killed.
Cook was most likely buried in an unmarked grave in the East Mound Cemetery in Matador in Motley County. He was survived by his wife.
East Mound Cemetery
Created by: Ed Smith
Record added: Nov 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44494942