1. George Washington Batton was born September 30, 1864, in Smithville, Tennessee. He died on June 3, 1922 in Hope, New Mexico. He is buried in Carlsbad, New Mexico
George Washington Batton married Lille Bell Volintine. Lillie was born on September31, 1872, in Lavaca Co, Texas. She died on June 13, 1950 in El Paso Co, Texas.
Elected Sheriff of Brown Co November 8, 1898
George Washington BATTON was elected sheriff of Brown County on November 8, 1898 and served until November 6, 1900. He was born September 30, 1864, in Smithville, Tennessee, and was killed June 6, 1922, in Hope, New Mexico, while trying to arrest an escaped convict. He is buried in Carlsbad, New Mexico. At the time of his death he was Sheriff of Eddy County, New Mexico. His wife was Lillie Bell Volintine, born September 31, 1872, in Lavaca County, Texas, and died June 13, 1950, at El Paso, Texas. The above information was courtesy of Jacqueline McClinton of Oglesby, Texas.
Tevis Clyde Smith told this story: Yarborough saw the men approaching from his upstairs window, ran into his room and barricaded the door. When the sheriff knocked and asked Yarborough to open the door in the name of the law, Yarborough, who was drunk at the time, fired through the door. Several of the bullets struck Sheriff Bell and he fell, fatally wounded. Deputy Sheriff Batton threw himself against the door and crashed into the room. Yarborough was ready for him with his Winchester raised. He pressed the trigger but the rifle jammed. Batton then aimed his Colt at Yarborough and fired.
By Mike Cox
The old tintype, the only known image of John Pearl, hangs in a small frame on the wall in the - Coleman county Museum.
Pearl never got to know it, but he has the singular distinction of being the first and last man legally hanged in the county. The jail in Coleman where Pearl was both incarcerated and executed was built in 1890 of limestone quarried from the nearby Santa Anna Mountains.
The lockup saw its share of miscreants and felons, but a decade went by before it held its first defendant in a capital case. Even then, the murder in question occurred in Brown County. not Coleman.
The victim was Ed Tusker, a cotton farmer who had a place south of Bangs. In December 1900, he disappeared. When his friends and neighbors began to wonder where he had gone - no one had seen him since Dec. 4, his hired hand said Tusker had decided to move to back to his native Germany.
That hired hand was Pearl, who sold some of Tuskers cotton and cottonseed in Brownwood. He said Tusker had left him his wagon and team, along with other equipment and a bill of sale for some property.
Tusker’s friends and acquaintances, however, had heard nothing of any plans on his part to return to his native country. Within a week of his disappearance, people began searching for the farmer. Someone thought to check the tank on Tusker’s place. On the second day of dragging operations, Tusker’s body --weighted down with a large rock--was found.
Pearl was tried and convicted in Brown County. The jury’s finding in regard to his punishment was easily written on a single piece of paper: Death by hanging.
But the defendant’s defense attorneys succeeded in getting their client a new trial, this time in Coleman County on a change of venue. District Attorney J.H. Baker, with JO. Woodward in the second chair, prosecuted the case.
Pearl’s attorneys tried to save their clients life by proving he was insane, but the jury did not buy it. After hearing the prosecution’s evidence, the jury found Pearl guilty and assessed his punishment as death.
Coleman County Sheriff Bob Goodfellow, a Dallas native who had attended Baylor University, was not particularly enthusiastic in the duty he faced. But the law was the law and he supervised the construction of a gallows inside the jail adjacent to the courthouse. Just as dutifully, he issued printed invitations to some 50 people to witness the event.
The sentence was carried out on Oct. 22, 1901. Goodfellow reluctantly sprung the trap. Dr. TM. Hays of the nearby town of Santa Anna had been called on by the county to certify the condemned man’s death. When he first put his stethoscope to the man’s chest, the doctor recalled, “My heart was beating so hard that I couldn’t be sure whether it was mine or his.”
Even though he had no doubt that Pearl was guilty as charged, his role in springing the trap bothered Goodfellow, who served as sheriff until Nov. 6, 1906, for the rest of his life.
Batton spent his life as a lawman but, unfortunately, he too was killed in Carlsbad, New Mexico. He and a posse entered a house to arrest an outlaw but the outlaw killed him first. The outlaw, in turn was shot by a New Mexico Sheriff (The Nice and the Nasty in Brown County, A collection of Stories by Ruth Griffin Spence; Banner Printing Co, Brownwood, Texas; pg 31)
Sheriff George Washington Batton
Eddy County Sheriff’s Department New Mexico; End of Watch: Saturday, June 3, 1922 Biographical Info: Age: 58; Tour of Duty: 14 years
Cause of Death: Gunfire; Date of Incident: Saturday, June 3, 1922; Weapon Used: Handgun; .44 caliber; Suspect Info: Shot and killed
Brown County Deputy Sheriff
Sheriff Batton was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend an escaped prisoner from Texas, who was serving a life sentence for murder. Sheriff Batton, along with a posse of deputies and citizens, surrounded the suspect’s hideout in the town of Hope. As Sheriff Batton entered the house, the suspect confronted the Sheriff and shot him in the abdomen killing him. The suspect continued to fire his weapon wounding a Deputy. The members of the posse returned fire and killing the suspect.
Sheriff Batton had served as Eddy County Sheriff for 2 years. He had previously served 4 years as a deputy and eight years as sheriff of Brown County, Texas. During his time with Brown County, Sheriff Batton was present when Sheriff Charles Bell was shot and killed. Sheriff Batton returned fire and killed the suspect.
He was survived by his wife, three daughters, and a son, who was later elected sheriff of Eddy County.