RESEARCH: 1st known area municipal black police officer killed in line of duty
Published 12:12 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022
BEAUMONT — Research into history of Texas Police Officers killed in the line of duty has led to the discovery of a Beaumont Police Officer named George Frederick that died in the line of duty in 1902, but has never been officially recognized.
The following information is what researchers have been able to verify and is enough to have Officer Frederick added to the Beaumont P.D., State of Texas and National Police Officer Memorials. In an effort to recognize and honor Officer Frederick’s ultimate sacrifice, The Beaumont Police Department is hoping to find a living relative and the location of his burial.
“On May 3, 1902, Officer Frederick was “off-duty” at his house when he heard gunshots, near 5th Street behind the school house. He responded to the source of the shots in his official capacity; thereby putting him in “on-duty” status.
Upon his arrival, he discovered that two sisters were quarrelling. One of the sisters, Ella Morris Dickinson, shot the other sister, Zena “Lizzie” Morris Bayo, through the neck. Dickinson then warned Officer Frederick that if he entered Zena’s house she would shoot him too.
Ella followed Officer Frederick into Zena’s house and shot him. Officer Frederick returned fire, striking Ella. Chief of Police Stewart, and four other officers in the patrol wagon arrived at the scene.
Jefferson County deputy sheriffs Reddick and Holmes responded to the scene as well. Ella succumbed to her injuries on May 4, 1902, and Officer Frederick succumbed to his injuries on May 7, 1902.
The Beaumont city council appropriated money for Officer Frederick’s funeral expenses. Newspaper accounts state that he was spoken of in very complimentary terms and was described as a good and faithful officer. At the time of Officer Frederick’s death, records indicate that he had been employed by the Beaumont Police Department “for some time.”
This discovery also confirms that Officer Frederick was the first known black police officer for the City of Beaumont. Previously, Officer John Freeman (sworn date of April 20, 1917) has always been credited with being the first black Beaumont Police Officer. Officer Frederick was born in about 1860 in Texas and was about forty-two years old when he died.
In 1870, census records indicate he was living with his mother, A. (Aggie) Frederick, and a sibling named Francis “Franny” E. Frederick (b. 1863). In 1880, records indicate that he was living with his step-father, Haywood Demps and mother, Aggie Demps, and had at least five half-sisters: Anna Demps (1875-1965), Lilly Demps, Precilla Demps, Saphronia Demps, and Marod Demps. He was married to Kate Anderson (1848-1924 [Later married a man with the last name of Wilson]). His wife was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery and his mother was buried at the Blanchette Cemetery”
Relative’s burial sites in Beaumont:
- Alex Frederick – Live Oak Cemetery 1971
• Bertha Frederick – Live Oak Memorial Park Cemetery 1976
• Sidney Frederick – Pear Orchard Cemetery 1965
• Angeline Frederick – Anthony Cemetery 1912
• Kate Anderson Frederick Wilson – Evergreen Cemetery 1924
• Eggie “Aggie” Frederick Demps – Blanchette Cemetery
Sources cited confirming above mentioned information:
• Austin American-Stateman, Sunday, May 4 & 8, 1902
• Fort Worth Register, Sunday, May 4, 1902
• Houston Post, Tuesday, May 6, 1902
• Beaumont Enterprise, Saturday May 10, 1902
• Texas, Marriage Index, 1824-2014
• 1870 & 1880 US Federal Census for Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas
• Find-A-Grave website – no records.
Anyone with additional information in reference to Officer George Frederick’s relatives or burial site, please contact Sgt. Bobby Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 409-980-7256.