Great ca 1939 Sheriff of Lamb County Texas Badge Named to Sam Hutson Sheriff from 1939 to 1944
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Great ca 1939 Sheriff of Lamb County Texas Badge Named to Sam Hutson Sheriff from 1939 to 1944

Code: pdgtx01939shs


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ARTIFACT: This is a Great circa 1939 Sheriff of Lamb County Texas Badge Named to Sam Hutson Sheriff from 1939 to 1944. 


Priori to becoming the Sheriff, Hutson was ta Deputy Sheriff of Lamb County from at least 1935 until 1939. 

During Hutson's time as Sheriff, Federal Narcotics Charges were brought up on a Dr. Roy Hunt, who was subsequently murdered! 

The story below, from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal of June 9, 2018 tells of Hutson's service s a Deputy when Sheriff Franklin Loyd was killed in the line of duty in 1937.


Lubbock Avalanche-Journal June 9 2018

When a Lamb County Sheriff was murdered

Christena Stephens For A-G Media

EDITOR'S NOTE: Caprock Chronicles is edited each week by Paul Carlson, emeritus professor of history at Texas Tech. This week's essay is by Christena Stephens, a writer and fine art photographer who lives in Sundown. It examines the 1937 murder of Lamb County Sheriff Franklin Loyd.

In 1937, Littlefield residents kept their doors unlocked. Children played out on the streets away from mothers' watchful eyes. For residents at the time, life was idyllic. All that changed on a March Saturday night when the Lamb County sheriff was gunned down near the town's railway depot.

It became a case where limited early forensics were used to convict the alleged murderer, who was the 150th man to meet his end in "Old Sparky", the electric chair in Huntsville, Texas.

"Hell no, I won't drop the gun. I will kill both you damn laws!" The words rang into the ears of Lamb County Sheriff Franklin Loyd right before three bullets struck his body and knocked him to the ground while trying to arrest a man for public drunkenness.

On that  March 20, 1937, evening, Loyd and his deputy, Sam Hutson, were unaware trouble was brewing in Littlefield.

Three boys told Loyd and Hutson that Leroy Kelley, a 32-year-old black man, was raising a ruckus with a gun and cursing at everyone. As they drove toward the Littlefield depot they spotted Kelley in the car headlights. "It was like he was zigzagging and walked like he had stumped his toe," remarked Hutson.

Loyd stopped the car and got out and yelled for Kelley to stop. When Kelley did not stop, Loyd picked up his pace advancing toward him. As he neared Kelley, Loyd reached out toward Kelley and encountered four bursts of gunfire.

Hutson grabbed at Kelley, and but lost his hold during the scuffle. He ran back to the sheriff, grabbed Loyd's gun, and fired at Kelley at least four times.

Loyd had no law enforcement experience when the county commissioners appointed him sheriff of Lamb County on June 11, 1935. A humble Amherst druggist, dry goods merchant and Mason, Loyd replaced Sheriff Len Irvin who was serving a two-year federal sentence for fraud. Loyd soon became a vigorous law enforcement officer and was hated among the lawless crowd.

Lubbock Dr. Julian Krueger did his best to save the sheriff, but the internal damages caused by the bullets were too extensive.

Krueger removed the bullet that severed Loyd's spinal column. As minutes turned into hours, it became evident Loyd would never awake from his surgery. The 48-year-old sheriff died a little over 24 hours after he was shot.

Charges were filed against Kelley after Loyd's funeral. The trial was quick in the small town wanting expeditious justice for its beloved sheriff. On April 5, the Lamb County Grand Jury returned an indictment of murder.

Sixty jurors were selected on April 6 and trial was set for April 8 with Judge Clarence Russell presiding. Kelley's two attorneys were appointed the day of the trial. On April 10 the jury came back with a death verdict, the first death penalty by a Lamb County jury.

The swift trial included testimony from Dr. Kreuger, who explained the extensive details of Loyd's wounds. He even came into the courtroom with the fatal bullet and introduced it as evidence.

Following court procedures for a death verdict, Kelley's attorneys filed for a motion for a new trial. Judge Russell overruled that motion, and the defense attorneys gave immediate notice of appeal. Kelley signed the documents with his "X".

He was remanded to jail with his sentence suspended until the appeal court decision.

Kelley's trial was the first murder trial in Lamb County to go all the way to the Appeals Court. The Court of Criminal Appeals failed to save Kelley's life. On Feb.

10, 1938, Judge Russell pronounced Kelley's sentence and set his execution date.

Kelley's life was ended in less than a year after the drunken shooting. As he stepped into the execution chamber Kelley was asked if he had anything to say and he mumbled, "I'm ready to go." On March 15, 1938, Leroy Kelley became the 150th man to die in the infamous "Old Sparky".

Grace Loyd completed her husband's term as Lamb County's sheriff, serving from 1937 - 1939. She was named sheriff in line with the traditional Texas custom where the wife was first offered the position in which her husband, acting in his official capacity as sheriff, gives up his life.

VINTAGE: Circa 1939 - 1944.

SIZE: Approximately 2-1/4" in height x 1-15/16" in width.

MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION: Gold Plated Brass, mostly worn off. No Catch.

ATTACHMENT: Vertical kick pin. No Catch.

MARKINGS:


C.D. REESE
57 
WARREN ST
New York N.Y.

ITEM NOTES: This is from a police and law enforcement badge collection that we will be listing more of over the next few months. KEIBM21 LAGGEX11/29/21 S&TVAGJJX-TREJJX&KABJJX07/22

CONDITION: 6.5 - 7 (Fine - Very Fine): The badge shows moderate to heavy wear. Tongue type C catch broken and missing. Some enamel damage. This badge was worn hard in the line if duty by an "in-the-field" Sheriff.

GUARANTEE: As with all my artifacts, this piece is guaranteed to be original, as described.