John R. Branch
January 1, 1961, to
December 31, 1972
John R. Branch was born in 1912, and grew up in the Sycamore community, north of
Decatur. He married Flora Hatchel and from this marriage came three children.
Branch farmed for several years before running for public office. He followed in
the footsteps of both his father, John Branch and his brother, H. Malcolm Branch.
Branch was elected sheriff on November 8, 1960. He would be re-elected two more
times, serving until January 1, 1973. He served for twelve consecutive years, which is the
longest consecutive term in the history of Wise County.
After departing from the sheriff's department, Branch went to work as a
government guard in Denton County. He held this position for four years.
J.R. Branch still lives in the Sycamore community of Wise County.
The Branch family served the citizens of Wise County, as sheriff for a combined
total of twenty-two years, one month and twenty-seven days.