1. Rayford Earl Masters was born on 1 Feb 1914 in Limestone Co, Texas. He died on 29 Jul 1992 in Dallas Co, Texas. He was buried in Coolidge Cemetery, Limestone Co, Texas.
Sheriff of Brown Co. lived in old jail
Ray E. MASTERS was elected November 7, 1950, re-elected November 4, 1952, November 2, 1954, November 6, 1956, and served until January 1, 1961. Contributed by Patsy Johnson in Brownwood at firstname.lastname@example.org
1920 US census — Limestone Co, Texas
1930 US census — Limestone Co, Texas
James Troy Braswell Escapes Jail
James T. Braswell broke out of the county jail at 8p.m. on July 5, 1955. He brushed by Jailer Doug Jarvis just after the jailer had unlocked the door to the second floor “bull pen” to deliver a fresh five gallon trash can. Braswell ran down the metal stairs through the jail office, then through a connecting hall between the office and the jailer’s apartment. He left the jail through the kitchen door on the north side, jumped over the metal fence and ran toward Adams Branch northeast of the jail.
He kept out of sight along the Santa Fe railroad tracks by crawling under some brush. Braswell later hopped aboard a slow moving freight train and got off at Temple. He then hid in a corn field and the next day he took a freight train to Fort Worth. He was later captured near Roby, TX, after being hit four times by bullets. Officers in the posse shot at least 15 times at Braswell. The bullets cut into or grazed his left shoulder, right cheek, left rib, and right thigh. Doctors found his wounds not to be serious. At the time of his surrender, he had a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver.
He was brought back to Brownwood by Sheriff Ray Masters on Saturday, August 6, 1955. During his short freedom he had been involved in at least one robbery of B & B Grocery Store of $200.
Gilbert Amos Tried Jail Suicide
Gilbert Amos had written a five-page letter “To the Press and To Whom it May Concern after notes to my dear wife” prior to trying to commit suicide in the Brown County Jail on October 26, 1955. Jailer Doug Jarvis found Amos unconscious with a gas hose in his mouth. The hose had been removed from a gas heater in the cell. Gas was spewing from the hose at full capacity when it was removed from his mouth.
This took place on the third floor of the jail and the jailer discovered what was happening when he approached the cell with breakfast at about 8 a.m. He smelled gas and immediately found out what was going on. Amos’ cell mate was asleep at the time. He had replaced James Troy Braswell as Amos’ cell mate. Both, Amos and Braswell, had been charged as partners in a number of crimes in the Brown County area.
Dr. H. L. Lobstein, Brown County health officer and Fire Chief Charles Alford responded to the emergency. They brought a portable resuscitator with them. Dr. Lobstein said that Amos was a “pretty sick man” after regaining consciousness. Amos had become despondent after his wife and five children had visited with him the previous afternoon for about 30 to 40 minutes. He felt that the only way he could help his family was through Social Security and that the only way this could be accomplished was if he was dead. Thus, the suicide attempt.
The following afternoon, Amos was taken back to the Texas penitentiary at Huntsville after an examination by Dr. Lobstein that his condition was good enough to permit his travel to the penitentiary.
Escape Through Light Fixture Hole
Three men escaped the jail in July 1957 through a light fixture hole in a cell and slid down blankets tied to the roof. They were captured three days later near Hasse in Comanche County.
The Brownwood Bulletin reported on August 25, 1957, that two prisoners had been on a hunger strike at the jail for several days. The prisoners were R. B. Crow and Robert Emerson. Billy Lane Barton of Comanche was also a participant in the strike but he was transferred to San Patricio County jail in Sinton where he was wanted by officers there. They started their strike on a Wednesday but Baton was moved on that Friday and by Saturday evening, Robert Emerson started eating. At that time, R. B. Crow had not given up on his strike. Ray Master, Sheriff, felt that they had gone on a hunger strike because they were moved from the bull pen on the second floor to the third floor because they were causing fear among the other prisoners.
After leaving Brown County, He also worked in the Dallas County Jail.
Rayford married (1) Ruby Mae Thompson on 5 May 1940. Ruby was born in 1919. She was buried in Coolidge Cemetery, Limestone CO, Texas.
They had the following children:
2F i. Carolyn Ann Masters was born in Brown Co, Texas.
Carolyn married Douglas Ray Cullinane on 9 Jul 1966 in Comal Co, Texas.
Rayford married (2) Lorene Couch.
They had the following children:
3F ii. Quida Raye Masters was born in Navarro Co, Texas.