Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sheriff Baldwin's Mysterious Death

My 3rd-great grandfather Benjamin Franklin Baldwin, Sr. died on this day in 1869 [1, 2]. The circumstances of Franklin's death are very suspicious. On 11 Apr 1868, Franklin was appointed Sheriff of Walker County [3]. I believe this was still during Reconstruction as a General appointed him (probably a Union general). He was removed without explanation by a different General on 01 Mar 1869 [3, 4]. Exactly three weeks later he was dead. Had he become fatally ill in late February? Was he injured (shot?) while working as Sheriff? Was his death sudden and coincidental? Many questions remain about the end of Franklin's life.

If you have any information about Franklin or know of resources that may answer questions about his service as Sheriff of Walker County, please leave a comment.

[1] Walker County, Texas Cemeteries, Volume 2, North Walker County, Walker County Genealogical Society, Huntsville, TX, 2004. Page 99, McAdams Cemetery.
[2] B. F. Baldwin, Jr. Bible. Owned by Benjamin Franklin Baldwin. Jr. and Clara Ann Clarke. "Deaths Page"
[3] Tise, Sammy, Texas County Sheriffs, Hallettsville, TX, 1989. Page 518.
[4] Texas State Archives: Records of Military Orders. Fifth Military District, General Canby's Special Orders #49, 01 Mar 1869.

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