It’s been 140 years since Erath County Sheriff James Mastin was killed in the line of duty, and on Sunday he was honored with a monument at the Erath County Courthouse.

The ceremony included county officials who talked about the importance of law enforcement and the dangers associated with the job. 

Judge Tab Thompson, District Attorney Alan Nash and Sheriff Matt Coates addressed the group prior to the monument’s unveiling. 

Sheriff Mastin’s great-great-grandson was also on hand for the occasion. 

Mastin was killed on June 25, 1877.

An article published in the Empire in 1877 recalled details about Mastin’s murder.

“James Mastin, sheriff of this county, was shot and instantly killed by one Bone Wilson, alias Napoleon Wilson, about three and a half miles from Stephenville upon a charge of horse-stealing,” the article states. 

A party of 10 men, under the command of Sgt. Sparks, went after the horse thief and shot him after pointing his gun at state rangers in what is now Coke County.

Mastin hasn’t had a proper memorial stone for 140 years and it’s no longer known where he is exactly buried, other than in West End Cemetery.

Mastin was survived by his wife and two young children.