gave up a good paper route to be Sheriff.
his name conjures up images of weekly gunfights, he was actually
given the matinee-sounding sobriquet when his father set him astride
a watermelon and his uncle commented his eyes looked "a little buckshot."
This was a fortuitous slip, for nobody would take "Bloodshot" Lane
seriously, even without the watermelon.
young Buckshot needed a better paying job than his early morning
paper route, even though it was the largest in the county. He ran
for Sheriff on a campaign slogan of "Vote for me, or get your paper
in the mud." While that isn't exactly true, it might have been on
the minds of the voters who elected him by a wide margin.
as Wharton Constable for 8 years and as Sheriff for 12 more. Early
on he gained a reputation for honesty and fair play. Employing a
common sense approach to law enforcement, he would differentiate
between the "accidental" and habitual criminal.
One of the highlights
of his career was burning the Kentleton Bridge on Highway
59 in 1935. The bridge had caused scores of accidents due
to the faulty alignment of the gravel road leading to it. After
3 college students were killed, the bridge mysteriously caught fire,
causing the State to built a new (and safer) one. The District Attorney
said he would buy "the finest suit available" to whoever would confess.
Buckshot learned from none other than J. Edgar himself, that
the statute of limitations on bridge burning was 10 years. Shortly
after the 10th anniversary, Buckshot asked for his suit.
not without his critics. As he put it: "It's hard to get
along with County Commissioners if you count the gravel trucks",
which he did.
He taught himself
fingerprinting, learned to fly, and raised money for an airplane
the county couldn't afford by requesting a dollar from anyone who
wanted to donate. His fund-raising slogan was "A Buck
for Buck". A total of $6,500 was raised and Buckshot had
the name of every donor painted on the aircraft.
you listened to the radio in El
Campo, did that make you a Kulprit?
"America's Most Wanted," KULP Radio in El
Campo gave Buckshot an early morning 15 minute "program" six
days a week, where he would tell individuals with warrants to turn
themselves in. Many did. Talk about a wake-up call. "It's 6 am,
56 degrees and John Johnson, if you're listening, don't make me
come get you!"