Heritage, 2008, Volume 2 Page: 9
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ichaux Nash Jr. is a third-generation banker.
A fan of history, he prefers the Lone Star
brand; his hero is Teddy Roosevelt. If you
spend any time with him, you'll learn he's a
treasure trove of Texas relics and history.
Nash is chairman, chief executive officer,
and president of Dallas National Bank.
A big-game hunter and fly-fisherman, he has collected
all but two-the walrus and the polar bear-of the North
American 31. That is the number of species of big-game animals
that can be hunted [editor's note: the jaguar and walrus were
removed from the list, so now hunters are only allowed to take
the North American 29.] He loves and collects fine Western art,
preferring bronzes and original paintings, and anything associated
with Teddy Roosevelt.
With roots in Kaufman County, Nash is the nephew of former
U.S. Marshall Robert Nash, Northern District of Texas, October
1961-1966. Fascinated with tales of Texas law enforcement,
especially the Texas Rangers, Michaux Nash Jr. served as president
(1982-1984) and chairman of the board (1984-1986) for the
Greater Dallas Crime Commission.
His home and office are full of drawers, shelves, and boxes of
collectibles-arrowheads, early Texas books, stamps, game warden
patches, and Indian pottery.
However, Nash's crowning achievement is his collection of
Texas sheriff's badges, one from each of the 254 Texas
counties. No other collector or collection can
boast such an assemblage. The stories of
how the badges were collected are every
bit as entertaining as the collection is
"In the mid-1970s," Nash began,
"Governor Dolph Briscoe
Jr. appointed a statewide steering
committee to plan celebrations
for the 150th anniversary
of the Texas Rangers. The governor
and I were friends, and
he appointed me to that committee
because he knew of my
keen interest in the work of the
"The group met regularly in'Waco
at the Texas Rangers' Regional Headquarters.
Enroute to each of those meetings,
I carpooled with another invitee-Captain
M.T. 'Lone Wolf' Gonzaullas, a legendary retired Texas
Ranger who also lived in Dallas.
"After I picked him up, Lone Wolf would share war stories
with me all the way to Waco; he wouldn't be finished until we
returned to Dallas and were within a few blocks of his home.
One day, at the Texas Rangers' central headquarters, Company
F, I noticed a small collection of deputy sheriff's badges; seeing
that collection gave me the idea to start my own.
"I remember telling the Texas Rangers' captain in Waco, 'I will
collect every one of the 254 Texas county sheriff's badges."'
"You'll never do it," he insisted. "You won't even get the shoulder
Nash just grinned.
Never tell Michaux Nash Jr., he can't do something.
Nash returned to Dallas and wrote the first of many letters to
Texas county sheriffs. In the beginning, those replying to Nash's
letter sent deputy sheriff's badges. He gave those to the new
Ranger museum in Waco; Nash was after the sheriff's badges
themselves, which he has studied at length. "Texas badges come
in various sizes and shapes," he explained. "Most are five-sided
stars, some are surrounded by a border. Generally, each has the
name of the bearer and the county inscribed on it. Sheriff's badges
from counties along the Mexican border resemble the badge
worn by the Texas Rangers-silver or gold Mexican pesos. The
gold peso is called the 50 peso."
Since the very beginning of his badge quest, Nash spent countless
hours penning letters to each of the 254 sheriffs throughout
Texas, placing phone calls, twisting arms, calling in favors,
and writing checks-in nominal amounts ranging from $50
to $100-to purchase the actual badges worn by Texas lawmen.
On occasion, he has secured badges posthumously from
Every badge represents a state treasure;
some hold great sentimental value-like
A_~lll~ ththe one from Archer County.
"The original badge wasn't flashy
enough for Hollywood," Nash
During the filming of The
Last Picture Show with Cybill
Shepherd, the film's producers
decided that the borrowed
Archer County sheriff's badge
O t m ratt sub , wasn't shiny enough for the
camera. The movie people got
a new badge made, and the real
Archer County sheriff-a woman-got
her original star back.
"She was nice and decided to give
me that one," said Nash.
Collecting the badges has been no easy
task. Responses to Nash's letters, which often
had to be written numerous times to the same sheriff, ran
the gamut from a simple "yes" to an absolute "hell, no!" Not
easily deterred, Nash doggedly pursued his quest to acquire all
254 badges for more than 30 years -harkening back to his hero
Teddy Roosevelt's admonition: "Never give in!"
On the more recalcitrant subjects, Nash had to bide his time,
HERI TAGE / Volume 2 2008
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2008, Volume 2, periodical, 2008; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45358/m1/9/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.