J. L. Moulden, Former Sheriff of Collin County, Has Seen Forty Men Hanged- 19 Tried by Courts, 21 Court-martialed
Daily Courier Gazette, November 21, 1928
J. L. Moulden, former sheriff of Collin county and his good wife are quietly spending their evening of life in their home at Murphy, five miles east of Plano. They moved from their farm to the little town of Murphy several years ago. They are surrounded by friends and enjoy the comforts of life, made possible by their labors of many years. Mr. Moulden, the subject of this sketch, is nearing his 86th milepost of life. He was born on a farm within two miles of Fayettville, Washington county, Arkansas.
His widowed mother moved from that state to Collin county when Mr. Moulden was only 13 years of age. The family settled in the Murphy neighborhood, where he has resided ever since with the exception of our years when he resided in McKinney with his family when he served as High Sheriff of Collin county. He served ass deputy sheriff under Capt. Bill Bush and has served as deputy under numerous other sheriffs of the county. He was appointed deputy under Capt. Bill Bush on the morning preceding the hanging of Stephen Ballew, the first white man every legally hanged in Collin county. Ballew was hanged for the murder of a young man by the name of Colden, who accompanied Ballet to Texas from Illinois. Golden's body was found partly covered with brush and cover, in a woodland a few miles southeast of McKinney. after the killing of young Golden, Ballew returned to Illinois, married a sister of Golden's telling Golden's relatives that he (Golden) had preceded to Louisiana. Ballew was married in Golden's boots which he had stolen following the murder.
J. L. Moulden was elected Sheriff of Collin county in 1892 and served four years. He also served through the war between the states having fought for the cause of the Southland, a cause which he deemed was right and just.
He has been identified with farming and livestock raising all of his life.
During his life as a farmer, a soldier and as a peace officer, Mr. Moulden's experiences have been many.
He tells us that he has seen forty men hanged, Nineteen were tried and sentenced by the courts and twenty-one were court-martialed and hanged.
His father was a deputy sheriff and constable in Washington county, Arkansas. When Mr. Moulden was 10 or 11 years old he rode behind father on horse back to Fayetteville where two Negroes were hanged. Those were the first hangings Mr. Moulden ever witnessed. Another hanging which he witnessed was that of "Old Negro Shack," a number of years ago, a few miles north of McKinney. Shack paid with his life for killing a white farmer north of the Collin county capital. Shack was hanged during Sheriff Bill Warden's administration.
Mr. Moulden served as a member of Company B: 16 Texas Cavalry during the Civil War co. B. was organized in McKinney, February 1862.. First Captain of Co., B was John M. McKinney, resigned in 1862. Second Captain was R. C. Coffey, who was killed in Dallas county in 1865.
The Sixteenth Texas Calvary was enlisted in the latter part of the winter and early spring of 1862, and rendezvoused near Clarksville, Texas in March 1862 where it remained until the first of May, when it broke camp and marched to Little Rock, Arkansas. The regiment was then put under command of Brigadier General Rust and ordered to the White River region where after marching and counter marching and fighting the Battel of Cotton Plant n the 7th of July, the regiment was ordered to Little rock where it was dismounted and the horses sent back home. The regiment served as infantry to the close of the war and was disbanded at Hempstead, Texas, May 21, 1865.
Other officers of C. B. were:
1st Lieut, Geo. Fitzhugh.
2nd Lieut, J. M. Tucker.
3rd Lieut. J. A. Poindexter
1st Sgt. William Roberts
1st Sgt. William Mooney,
1st Sgt. Samuel Bryan
1st Sgt. J. C. Collins
2nd Sgt. R. R. Harper
2nd Sgt. A. H. Snider
3rd Sgt. Elijah Southwood
3rd Sgt. D. B. Davis
5th Sgt. Robert Brown
1st Corp. N. D Willet
2nd Corp. John R. Fisher
2nd Corp. John Huff
3rd Corp T. J. Reagan
4th Corp A. S. Tucker
Sergeant Mooney died in service in 1863; Sergeant Bryan was killed at the battle of Mansfield in 1864; Corporals Fisher and Reagan were killed at Milliken in 1863.
The following members of Co. B. were taken prisoners at Pleasant Hill, kept 11 days and exchanged at Grand Ecord, La., N D. Willet, G. W. Simmons, W. d. Kerby, J. S. Murphy, F. D. Stayton and D. B. Davis.
When the company was disbanded at Hempstead, most of the soldiers walked back to their homes in Collin county, here to begin life anew and build a new South.
Mr. and Mrs. Moulden had six sons. They are: Tom and Leonard, Murphy; J. Pat, of Austin; Sam of Houston, R. L. (Bob) of McKinney and Ben of California
Clayton Moulden Passes Away
Clayton Moulden, aged 19 years, died at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. (Tom) Moulden, at Murphy Saturday after a few days' illness. He was an honest, sober, upright young man, and leaves a number of relatives and friends to mourn his death.The interment was made at Murphy Sunday afternoon Rev. Reynolds and Rev. J. B. Snider conducted the funeral services. The editors of this paper extend condolence to the bereaved ones.