The Dayton Historical Society met Monday evening, Oct. 28, at Parker Hall.
The meeting was called to order by President Danny Bode and, following the prayer and pledges to the flags, Larry Wadzeck introduced program speaker Sheriff Bobby Rader by saying that Rader was a little late because he was issuing warrants for several missing Society members. Sheriff Rader began his talk by giving an update of new laws passed by the Texas Legislature which went into effect Sept. 1 relating to open firearms carry.
Rader gave a brief history of how sheriffs came into existence, citing a 9th century act in England, making the sheriff the oldest continuing, non-military, law enforcement entity in history. He said the office of sheriff in Texas was created by the 1836 Republic of Texas Constitution and today, each of the 254 counties has a sheriff.
Sheriff Rader went on to tell about four interesting cases that took place in Liberty County involving the hanging of several individuals. In Texas, 747 hangings were documented, the last taking place in 1925. Only one woman was hanged. He also talked about the methods of executions at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. Two Liberty County individuals have been put to death in the electric chair.
Rader talked about several of the sheriffs who have served our county, including the first – William Logan. He included Benjamin Hardin, William B. Duncan, Pat Lowe, Red Rose, and others. Liberty County Sheriffs have included two sets of brothers and a father and son. Rader told a couple of humorous stories about himself, coming into the office of sheriff in 2013 after having served as Justice of the Peace. The audience enjoyed Sheriff Rader’s very informative and engaging program. The next meeting of the Dayton Historical Society will take place Nov. 25 at the Dayton Community Center.