HENRY ANDREW “HECK” THOMAS

(1/6/1850 – 8/15/1912)

In 1862 Thomas became a messenger in his father’s unit of the Thirty-fifth Regiment, Georgia Volunteers (CS). He delivered dispatches at the Second Battle of Bull Run. After the war, his father became city marshal of Atlanta, Georgia, and Thomas gained an appointment as a policeman. In 1886, Thomas received a commission as deputy from U.S. Deputy Marshal Thomas Boles to police Indian Territory under the jurisdiction of the federal district court at Fort Smith. As a recognized law enforcement professional, the rest of Thomas’s career was in Oklahoma Territory. He received a commission from the U.S. Marshal at Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory. Between the spring of 1894 and the summer of 1896, Thomas, Chris Madsen, and William M. “Bill” Tilghman—known as the “Three Guardsmen”—concentrated on successfully exterminating the Bill Doolin Gang. In 1901, the U.S. Marshal Service dispatched Thomas to Lawton to assist with the land opening there. The next year, voters elected him the first chief of police of that town, a position he held for seven years. He retained his marshal’s commission, and his family resided in Lawton until his death.      Taken from Encyclopedia of Arkansas.net

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For additional information on Heck Thomas, considered to be “one of the wild west’s most effective lawmen, apprehending dozens of notorious outlaws including members of the Doolin, Dalton, and Sam Bass Gangs”, see LegendsofAmerica.com.