Heritage, 2008, Volume 2 Page: 10
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Michaux Nash Jr. spent years writing letters, calling in favors, and placing phone calls as he sought to collect every one of the 254 Texas county
sheriff's badges. Many of those are at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Museum in Waco.
waiting for the dissenting sheriff to die before
hitting up the next sheriff for a chance
at his star.
"Those men and women didn't know me,"
he said, "so I dropped names of law enforcement
friends. During my forays throughout
the state, I would often stop at banks
in county seats and speak with business
friends. In the early days, bankers and
sheriffs had a special relationshipthe
sheriff protected the bank, and the
banker was helpful in getting the sheriff
"As a follow-up to my letters, coaxing
from friends in law enforcement, and
help from fellow bankers, my last resort
was a pleading phone call. You'd
be surprised at the kind of response I
got-from polite and mildly amused to
"One sheriff threatened me with a letter
from the district attorney-said what I was
suggesting was illegal, that I might use his
badge to impersonate him. I mean, what did
he think I was going to do-rob a bank?"
Nash leaned back in his chair and remembered
yet another story.
"I called the sheriff in Limestone County,
in the town of Mexia. 'You get my letter?' I
asked the unamused sheriff. 'I did, and I'm not
gonna send you my badge,' the sheriff replied.
"Your dad was sheriff before you," Nash
reminded the younger man.
Nash heard the grunt of affirmation on
the other end of the line.
"Your dad was a good friend of my uncle,
Robert Nash, U.S. Marshall," Nash said.
"When you get 253 badges, I'll give you
mine," the man responded, and hung up.
Nash beamed, "I just wrote down his
name and started another letter."
GOOD DEEDS PAY OFF
"Frank Tolbert wrote for The Dallas
Morning News," Nash continued.
"There was a chili cook-off down in the
Big Bend, at Terlingua, and Frank's daughter
asked if I'd help judge the contest. I
"Upon arriving, I noticed there was a sizeable
contingent of peace officers in towntoo
many for a community of that size. It
turned out that lawmen in the three surrounding
counties had heard rumors that
some motorcycle gangs had threatened to
show up and disrupt the cook-off, which
they never did.
"At the time, Terlingua had a population
of about 50. I already had badges from Presidio
and Pecos counties, but I didn't have
one from Brewster. I contacted the Brewster
County sheriff, and he said, 'No.'
"Looking around the day of the cook-off, I
made eye contact with this tall chief deputy.
'Is Sheriff So-and-So here?' I asked. 'What
do you want with him?' the deputy replied.
I explained who I was, that I had started
a collection of sheriff's badges, and that I
didn't have one from Brewster County. 'I'll
see you outside,' the deputy drawled.
"I was worried that I'd said the wrong
thing to the wrong man. The deputy met
HERITA GE i Volume 2 2008
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2008, Volume 2, periodical, 2008; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45358/m1/10/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.