Sheriff Aaron Hazel Hancock

Sheriff Hancock held the office of Cochran County Sheriff for 20 consecutive years, to date no sheriff before or after him has held the office as long.

Entered office: May 07, 1948 (appointed) | Left office: December 31, 1948
Entered office: January 01, 1953 | Left office: December 31, 1972
Date of birth: July 29, 1911 in Hancock, Dawson County, Texas
Date of death: January 10, 1999 in Morton, Cochran County, Texas
Place of burial: Morton Memorial Cemetery, Morton, Cochran County, Texas

Sheriff Aaron Hazel Hancock was born on July 29, 1911 in Hancock, Dawson County, Texas and went by his middle name, Hazel. He was the son of Cochran County Sheriff Mac Wesley Hancock.
Hazel Hancock and his wife, Eunice, and their children moved to Cochran County from Dawson County in January 1946. On May 03, 1948, Hancock's father, Sheriff Mac W. Hancock was killed in an automobile accident while returning to Morton after transporting a prisoner to Huntsville, Texas. Hazel was appointed Sheriff Tax Assessor-Collector to finish his father's unexpired term. After finishing his father's term as sheriff, Hancock served as a constable and a city policeman for Morton. Hazel also served on the Morton City Council as mayor pro-tem and was a member of the Morton Volunteer Fire Department. Hazel Hancock was elected Cochran County Sheriff in 1952. His deputies were as follows:
in Morton: Chester Miller; in Whiteface: Son McKay; in Bledsoe: Slick Nichols. Son McKay retired and Joe Hodge was hired as the deputy in Whiteface. County funds were low and the county cut the Bledsoe deputy position, leaving Hancock, Miller, and Hodge to cover the entire county. Since the Sheriff’s Office and Tax Assessor-Collector Office were combined, the tax office workers manned both the radio and the telephones; but in 1957 the Sheriff's office and Tax Assessor-Collector office were separated and Hancock's wife, Eunice, filled in as dispatcher due to the lack of county funds to hire someone for the position. Eunice helped out in this role for many years, without pay, as families of elected officials could not be paid for services. Sheriff Hancock retired from office on December 31, 1972 and was named Morton Man of the Year in 1985.
Sheriff Hancock passed away January 10, 1999 at his home in Morton at the age of 87.

Sheriff Hancock's campaign card (date unknown)

Source: Texas Sesquicentennial Texas' Last Frontier Cochran County 1836-1986 Volume 1. Copyright Cochran County Historical Commission; written by Eunice Hancock circa 1985. Adapted by Mary Helen McKnight 2016
Images courtesy Texas' Last Frontier Historical Museum

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