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Austin Tx Sheriff

By ERIC HANSON, Houston Chronicle
SEALY TX (March 21, 2000) -- Funeral services will be held today for veteran Texas lawman Truman Albert Maddox, who was sheriff of Austin County for more than three decades.

Maddox, 82, died Sunday at his home after battling heart disease.  "He was a lawman's lawman type of sheriff. He was fair and firm when he needed to be," said Austin County Sheriff R. DeWayne Burger.

Maddox joined the department as a $150-a-month deputy in 1948 and was elected to the county's top law enforcement post in 1953. He served until his retirement in 1987.  A Madison County native, Maddox served in the 36th Division of the U.S. Army in World War II. He saw combat in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany, winning a Bronze Star.

According to a 1987 Chronicle article, Maddox began his career in law enforcement in 1948 when the newly elected sheriff and a deputy stopped to eat at a Sealy grocery / meat market he owned.  They asked him to consider becoming a law officer, and he decided to attend a school for sheriff's deputies given by the Department of Public Safety.

He eventually became one of only two full-time paid law enforcement officers in Austin County. When he was elected sheriff, he earned $3,600 a year and ran a department that had a budget of only $19,000.  Maddox led hundreds of manhunts over the years, including the search for the man wanted in the 1976 slaying of DPS Trooper Mark A. Frederick.  Billy George Hughes Jr. was found hiding under a mesquite tree after a three-day search. Convicted of capital murder, he was executed earlier this year.

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He was born 09/30/1917 in Madison County, Texas.  He is the son James Lawson Maddox.

Submitted by B. G. Maddox (a second cousin), Assistant Chief, Bryan TX Police Department, retiring in 2000 after 34 years of law enforcement service.  Photos from Texas Monthly, 1984
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