Milam County Constable Nathan Busby
Date of Birth: July 10, 1831
End of Watch: April 26, 1894
Burial: Old City Cemetery, Rockdale, Texas
Nathan Busby was elected Constable of Milam County and lived in the Rockdale area.
It is reported by his living family members that while Constable, he worked hard to break
up a gambling house in Rockdale. Afterwards, the people responsible for the illegal
operation, allegedly planted a Mexican man by the name of Yeabel Chrio on the road
somewhere around the present FM 1712 near Rockdale to kill him.
On April 24, 1894, it was related that Constable Busby was sent to the area on a call of
a drunk Mexican. Upon his arrival on horseback, Constable Busby located and apprehended
the Mexican. He loaded him up on the back of his horse and began riding to Rockdale to
place him in jail. The Mexican reportedly used a knife to stab the Constable; killing
Busby’s wife, Mary, reportedly preceded him in death during the birth of twins. A 1908
article in the Cameron Herald reads that Sheriff J.E. Holtzclaw went to Brownwood to get
a Mexican suspected of being the one who killed Constable Busby in 1894. The Mexican was
in jail and was visited by William Barrett and Bright Baldridge, who feel sure he is the
one who committed the murder and escaped.
He is the grandfather of Mrs. Kathleen Stewart of Cameron.
“Constable Butchered” “Horrible Work of a Mexican at Rockdale”
Galveston Daily News, Wed., 25 Apr 1894, p. 2, c. 6
Rockdale, Tex., Apr. 24 – Constable Busby was assaulted by a Mexican and badly cut in the
left lung, kidney, neck and arms, very dangerously. A posse is in pursuit. Sheriff
Bickett and bloodhounds were telegraphed for.
“The Fearful Assault Upon Constable Busby” “In a Precarious Condition”
Galveston Daily News, Thur., 26 Apr 1894, p. 1, c. 6
Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., April 25 – Last night about 7:30 occurred one of the most
brutal crimes in the annals of Milam county, the particulars of which are as follows:
Constable N. Busby of this beat left this city in the afternoon for his home in the
country, about two miles north of this place.
After eating supper he again started to return here and while on his way and right
opposite to a place known as the old York farm, now occupied by a Mrs. Cawthorn, he
arrested a Mexican and was bringing him into town.
After they had proceeded about 50 yards, Mr. Busby walking behind and leading his horse,
the Mexican suddenly turned and struck at Busby with a knife, missing his throat but
striking and cutting a bad wound in his jaw. The scuffle began. Mr. Busby trying to draw
his pistol, which was accidentally discharged twice. The Mexican succeeded in
overpowering him and hugging him up repeatedly stabbed and cut him a number of times.
Mr. Busby’s coat was cut to pieces, while he himself fared no better, having received a
wound two inches long in the neck, two on the head, several on his arms, while one gash
about ten inches long severed one of his ribs, cutting his left lung and causing it to
protrude. Another one was about fifteen inches long, from the small of the back to the
stomach, barely missing the kidney. Busby, however, managed to throw the Mexican off and
reach the residence of Mrs. Cawthorn, about 50 yards distant, where medical aid was
summoned. Word came to this city to that effect, when Deputy Sheriff Ed Snively, City
Marshal Jim Hamilton, a posse and a news reporter mounted and were soon in hot pursuit.
Up to this writing the Mexican has not been captured, though a posse is still on the
trail. Constable Busby was an efficient and popular officer. His recovery is quite
doubtful. Sheriff Bickett has started with bloodhounds.
Sheriff’s Dept – Milam County
Galveston Daily News, Fri., 27 Apr 1894, p. 8, c. 3
Cameron, Tex., April 26 – One hundred dollars reward for the arrest and detention of
Yeabel Chrio, a Mexican, 25 years of age, height 5 feet 10 or 11 inches, weight 180
pounds, heavy built, very dark complexion, small mustache, had on blue pants, has with
him a Colt 45 blue barrel pistol. I hold warrant for this Mexican for assault to murder
Constable Busby at Rockdale on the night of the 24th of this month. Address John H.
Note: Milam County District Court records show that Yeabel Chrio was found not guilty at
trial of the death of Constable Busby, stating that he was never before in Milam County,
Texas. He was convicted the next day in November 1908 of manslaughter for the killing of
a Milam County jail inmate he shared a cell with while awaiting trial. He was sentenced
to two years in the state penitentiary. This does not change the status of Constable
Busby’s death and to our knowledge, the death has gone un-punished.