Sheriff Mac Wesley Hancock

Date of birth: January 08, 1888 in Erath County, Texas
Date of death: May 03, 1948 in Hockley County, Texas
Place of burial: Hancock Cemetery, Hancock, Dawson County, Texas

Sheriff Mac Wesley Hancock was born January 08, 1888 in Erath County, Texas. Among his various occupations he was a cowboy on the Slaughter Ranch and a ranch hand in Lubbock County well before there was city of Lubbock. He was instrumental in the organization of Dawson County, Texas and was involved in law enforcement there.
He Married Mallie Eliza Best on October 31, 1909 and to this union ten children were born.
In 1940 Hancock, his wife, and the four youngest children moved to Cochran County where he bought several sections of land near Bledsoe.
He was encouraged to run for Cochran County Sheriff in 1942, but lost the election by six votes to "Prof" Angley. The following election in 1944 he entered the race again, this time winning the election. Sheriff Hancock entered the Cochran County Sheriff's office on January 01, 1945.
Rather than putting a drunk offense on a young man's record, Sheriff Hancock would take them to a trailer house behind his property to allow them to "sleep it off".
Sheriff Hancock was considered to be one of the most outstanding peace officers in the state of Texas and was widely known in West Texas law enforcement circles, having served as a peace officer for over 30 years. Sheriff Hancock was in his second term as Cochran County Sheriff when he was offered a job with the Texas Rangers, to which Sheriff Hancock responded: "I owe it to the people who elected me to finish out my term". Sheriff Hancock would not get to finish out that term.
On May 03, 1948 Sheriff Hancock was returning to Cochran County after transporting two prisoners to the penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas when approximately 6 miles west of Levelland his automobile struck the rear of a road maintainer. Sheriff Mac Wesley Hancock was killed instantly. Six uniformed state highway patrolmen served as pallbearers at his funeral.
Sheriff Hancock's son, Hazel, was appointed by the Cochran County Commissioners to finish out his father's unexpired term.

Sheriff Mac W. Hancock's campaign pencil (date unknown)

Source: Texas Sesquicentennial Texas' Last Frontier Cochran County 1836-1986 Volume 1. Copyright Cochran County Historical Commission; written by Nancy Hancock Pruitt circa 1985; Lubbock Evening Journal May 04, 1948 and Lubbock Morning Avalanche May 05, 1948. Adapted by Mary Helen McKnight 2016.
Images: Portrait of Sheriff Hancock: Texas' Last Frontier Historical Museum
Photo of campaign pencil: Mary Helen McKnight 2016

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