W.J. "Bill" Mann
4, 1884, to November 6, 1888
W.J. "Bill" Mann was born in Tarrant County in 1850, while his parents
were completing their plans to re-locate to Wise County. The Mann family settled in Wise
County near Cottondale. Growing up, he served as a guide to many settlers coming west from
Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
In 1870, at the age of 20, he was elected as Justice of the Peace for the
Cottondale area. He was elected sheriff on November 4, 1884, and served until November 6,
1888. He also served two terms as county commissioner.
"W.J. Mann believed that two terms was all any man should serve in public
"He was also one of the twenty men who pledged money to revitalize the
College as Decatur Baptist Junior College."
The first recorded murder trail occurred during W.J. Mann's administration. The
man on trial was named J.A. Boone. According to the records in the District Attorney's
office, he was charged with two counts of murder. One charge was dismissed and on the
other, he was granted bail.