John W. Moore
November 6, 1894, to
November 8, 1898
John W. Moore was born in Upshur County, Texas. The Moore family came to Wise
County by way of Red River County. In 1879, he married Maldrine Mackey of Garvin.
Moore's served seven years as deputy constable of Precinct 4 and four years as a
deputy sheriff before being elected. John W. Moore was elected on November 6, 1894. He was
re-elected on November 3, 1896, and served until November 8, 1898.
It was during Moore's tenure as sheriff that the first legal execution of a
criminal and the last public hanging occurred in Wise County.
The history of the crime is as follows. Late November 1896, Ulysses Carter along
with two other men burglarized a store in Pilot Point. The group traveled to Hillsboro
where they made camp. They borrowed a pot from a near by camp. When the owner wanted the
pot back, Carter and his friends refused. The man requested the help of the local law
enforcement, Deputies J.F. Young and Jones of Hillsboro. When the two deputies located the
subjects and the stolen items, they immediately arrested the threesome and took them to
On February 22, 1897, as Jailer Floyd Coberly was feeding the inmates, Carter
hit him in the head with a block of wood, killing him instantly. Carter along with three
other inmates escaped, but was captured shortly after the incident.
The Denton County court granted a change of Venue to Wise County. Carter was
tried, convicted and sentence to death for the murder of Coberly.
On February 18, 1898, George Henry alias Ulysses S. Carter, 18, of Denton County
was executed by public hanging on a plot of land located one half-mile southwest of the
county jail. Approximately 9,000 men, women, and children watched as the young man fell
from the scaffolding to his death.
After Moore's term as sheriff ended, he went to work for the Texas Penitentiary
as an agent. He also worked for the Fort Worth Police Department, and as a deputy Marshall
in the US Marshall's office for three administrations.
He died, at the age of 82, in a Dallas Hospital.