Bell County Sheriff Mitchell Williams is asking the public for help with a project. Williams plans to construct a memorial dedicated to all Bell County sheriffs and deputies who lost their lives in the line of duty. The memorial is to be displayed at the old courthouse in Pineville.
“Most people today are aware of recent sacrifices made in the line of duty, but they aren’t aware of those made in generations past,” said Williams. “This is to honor all the officers who have served the community over the last 100-plus years. We want to display their photos and any information we can gather on these officers for all to see.”
Current information on those officers is only a partial list compiled from the Officer Down Memorial Page.
They are listed with the date of the incident which caused their death:
Deputy Sheriff Anthony “Sean” Pursifull — Jan. 10, 2008;
Major Horace Hall Jr. — Aug. 14, 1980;
Deputy Sheriff Laith Warren — Sept. 18, 1952;
Chief Deputy George Thomas Fischer — Dec. 17, 1940;
Deputy Sheriff Frank Bowman — Aug. 6, 1932;
Deputy Sheriff Elihu L. Simpson — May 5, 1929;
Deputy Sheriff Phillip Mark Daniels — June 17, 1927;
Deputy Sheriff Andy R. Baird — May 4, 1924;
Deputy Sheriff Jim Collins — Jul 4, 1923;
Deputy Sheriff Bill Atkins — June 22, 1923;
Deputy Sheriff John McCoy — Jan. 9, 1918;
Deputy Sheriff Edward Neece — Nov. 7, 1912;
Deputy Sheriff Olan Collins — Oct. 3, 1911;
Deputy Sheriff Sam Collins — Oct. 3, 1911;
Deputy Sheriff Gordon Givens — Jan. 30, 1910;
Deputy Sheriff Tom Stewart — Nov. 1, 1903;
Deputy Sheriff Richard W. Slusher — April 11, 1902;
Deputy Sheriff Charles Cecil — Feb. 17, 1902;
Posseman John Doyle — Feb. 17, 1902;
Deputy Sheriff Joseph Manning — July 14, 1901;
Sheriff John C. Colson — June 1, 1897.
Williams is seeking photographs of as many of these fallen officers as possible. The photos don’t need to be current or in uniform. Any images from their life are needed and information on these individuals is welcomed.
“We should preserve the memory of these officers who have given their lives in the line of duty,” said historian Tim Cornett. “This is a good thing the sheriff’s office is doing.”
Anyone who may have photographs or paintings of these officers, or know of an officer that should be added to the list is asked to contact either the Bell County Sheriff’s Department or Cornett at [email protected]
Reach William Tribell at 606 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn