Heck Thomas

Heck Thomas

Original Name Henry Andrew Thomas
Birth
Oxford, Newton County, Georgia, USA
Death 15 Aug 1912 (aged 62)
Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA
Memorial ID 10191083 · View Source
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American Western Frontier Lawman. The youngest of 12 children, when he was only 12 years old he joined his father and his uncle and went off to the Civil War. They were officers in the 35th Georgia Infantry and he was a courier for them on the battlefields of Virginia. When Union Army Major General Philip Kearney was killed in at the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862, the general's horse and equipment was placed in the trust of young Heck Thomas and General Robert E Lee, himself ordered him to take them through the lines to Kearney's widow. He contracted typhoid fever in 1863 and was sent home to the family in Georgia. By the age of 18 he was an Atlanta Georgia police officer. The family moved to Texas in 1875 and he secured a job as a railroad guard and became a railroad detective. While with the railroad, he and other detectives tracked down the notorious Sam Bass Gang. He left the railroad in 1885 and went to work for the Fort Worth for a year. The famed "Hanging Judge", Isaac Parker appointed him a deputy United States Marshall out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. From 1886 to 1900, his jurisdiction was the Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. Famed for his bravery, integrity, and fairness, he quickly became a legend. Teamed up with Bill Tilghman and Chris Madsen, they were soon known as the "Three Guardsmen" and they were largely responsible for bringing law and order to the territory. They were responsible for the arrest or killing of more than 300 outlaws during their service. Heck had no equal when it came to hunting fugitives and his most notable accomplishment was the killing of Bill Doolin in August of 1896. In 1902 he became chief of police for Lawton, Oklahoma and lost the job in 1909 because of failing health and three years later died of heart failure.

Bio by: Tom Todd


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Clay Homister
  • Added: 30 Dec 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10191083
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Heck Thomas (3 Jan 1850–15 Aug 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10191083, citing Highland Cemetery, Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .