Sheriffs of Milam County, TX
Researched and written by
John Hamilton Bickett
#25 - Sheriff John Hamilton Bickett was elected on November 4, 1890; re-elected November
8, 1892, November 6, 1894 and served until November 3, 1896.
Sheriff Bickett has the distinction of having been elected president of the Sheriff’s
Association of Texas in two consecutive years - 1894 and 1895. Available records show
only three Texas sheriffs have served consecutive years and only four have served more
than one year.
Sheriff Bickett was born on March 19, 1861 in South Carolina.
He was known by the voters to be a popular and efficient Sheriff.
In 1879, then a young man and tiring of his native state, he went to a friend and
borrowed $25, added to it $13 of his own, being all he had, and put the whole into a
railroad ticket, boarded the car and came to Texas. His ticket reached to Hearne in
From that point, he continued his way west afoot, crossing the Brazos and striking into
Milam County. He began inquiring for work and found his first job in Maysfield where he
took $12.50 a month on a farm. He made his home here for four years and engaged mainly
in farm labor.
In 1883, he came to Cameron and clerked for a year and a half in a store for B. Vogel,
and then about the same length of time for R.F. Pool.
On January 1, 1887, he became a deputy sheriff under then Sheriff A. J. Lewis and held
this position until 1890 when Lewis retired. At that time, a “free for all race” for
Sheriff ensued with six candidates in the field.
Bickett was elected Sheriff of Milam County by a vote of 2,257 out of a total of 4,440
votes cast. He gave such satisfaction that he was made the Democratic nominee for the
office in August 1892 by acclamation, and in November following, was elected by a vote
of 2,907 out of a total vote of 4,837 cast.
It was the generally expressed opinions among the people of Milam County that John
Bickett was one of the best Sheriffs they ever had. His courage, industry and executive
skill made him a model officer in a position like that of Sheriff, which requires the
constant exercise of those qualities.
Sheriff Bickett married in Brenham, Texas on September 10, 1891 to Miss Minnie Muse,
daughter of Dr. J. S. Muse and sister of Judge E.B. Muse, former County Judge of Milam
In April of 1894, Sheriff Bickett investigated the death of Rockdale Constable Nathan
Busby who was killed in the line of duty.