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John Hamilton Bickett
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Sheriff John Hamilton Bickett

Sheriff John Hamilton Bickett was elected on November 4, 1890; re-elected November 8, 1892, November 6, 1894 and served until November 3, 1896. Sheriff Bickett has the distinction of having been elected president of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas in two consecutive years—1894 and 1895. Available records show only three Texas sheriffs have served consecutive years and only four have served more than one year. He was known by the voters to be a popular and efficient Sheriff.

Sheriff Bickett was born on March 19, 1861 in South Carolina. In 1879, then a young man and tiring of his native state, he went to a friend and borrowed $25, added to it $13 of his own, being all he had, and put the whole into a railroad ticket, boarded the car and came to Texas. His ticket reached to Hearne in Robertson County. From that point, he continued his way west afoot, crossing the Brazos and striking into Milam County. He began inquiring for work and found his first job in Maysfield where he took $12.50 a month on a farm. He made his home here for four years and engaged mainly in farm labor. In 1883, he came to Cameron and clerked for a year and a half in a store for B. Vogel, and then about the same length of time for R.F. Pool.

On January 1, 1887, he became a deputy sheriff under then Sheriff A. J. Lewis and held this position until 1890 when Lewis retired. At that time, a "free for all race" for Sheriff ensued with six candidates in the field. Bickett was elected Sheriff of Milam County by a vote of 2,257 out of a total of 4,440 votes cast. He gave such satisfaction that he was made the Democratic nominee for the office in August 1892 by acclamation, and in November following, was elected by a vote of 2,907 out of a total vote of 4,837 cast. It was the generally expressed opinions among the people of Milam County that John Bickett was one of the best Sheriffs they ever had. His courage, industry and executive skill made him a model officer in a position like that of Sheriff, which requires the constant exercise of those qualities.

Sheriff Bickett married in Brenham, Texas on September 10, 1891 to Miss Minnie Muse, daughter of Dr. J. S. Muse and sister of Judge E.B. Muse, former County Judge of Milam County.

In April of 1894, Sheriff Bickett investigated the death of Rockdale Constable Nathan Busby who was killed in the line of duty by Yeabel Chrio.

photo: Greg J. Kouba
Added by: ray&jay

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