George W. Stevens
Appointed on June
December 3, 1869, to December 2, 1873
February 15, 1876, to November 15, 1878
George W. Stevens was born in Lowns County, Alabama, on July 12, 1831. He came
to Wise County in 1855, with the Jennings Family. In 1852, he married Martha McDonald,
who died six years later. In 1860, he married Nancy Buchanan. Between these two marriages,
there were eleven children.
George Stevens served as a Texas Ranger in Wise County in the early 1870's. He
was active in defending the pioneers from the Indians. The one account that is recorded in
the book "Pioneer History of Wise County," tells about a battle between George
Stevens and a group of Indians that started in Wise County and ended seventy-five miles
Stevens and a local group of men spotted three Indians lurking in the northwest
part of the county. They followed them as they traveled towards the Buffalo Springs area.
Approximately seven miles from Buffalo Springs on the Little Wichita River, one
of the troops became sick and it seemed necessary for the group to return home.
After the decision was made to turn back, Stevens noticed the three Indians
settling on the ridge glaring down at them. The group knew that there were possibly more
beyond the hill, but Stevens gave the orders to attack. The group traveled a short
distance and came upon a large group of Indians. They retreated into the timberline.
Attack after attack transpired, but the group stayed under cover. The one time
Stevens did reveal himself, he was injured in the hand and the hip.
The group had a difficult time getting out of the ravine and two of them had to
carry Stevens the entire trip. The company finally got out and traveled by foot to the
Marlett homestead on the sandy creek, just inside Wise County. A doctor came from Decatur
to take care of Stevens.
George Stevens, along with John Hogg, received fine guns from the state
legislature for their bravery in the fight.
Stevens was appointed sheriff on June 9, 1869, by General J.J. Reynolds Special
Order #136. He was later elected on December 3, 1869, and served until December 2, 1873.
He was elected to a second term on February 15, 1876, and served until November 15, 1878.
George Stevens also assisted the Texas Rangers, along with Denton County
authorities in their pursuit of the infamous Sam Bass.
The last fight of this campaign, which began on April 24 in Denton County and
ended on June 12, occurred on Salt Creek in southern Wise County. The Texas Rangers
reduced Sam Bass' gang to three.
George W. Stevens was "well known as champion of the defenseless."