Lot 51 View Catalog
A Colt Model 1917 Army Revolver belonging to famed Dallas County Sheriff Bill Decker. This World War One military revolver, Colt serial number 164262, Army serial number 16,830, cal. 45 A.C.P. has had its barrel professional shortened to 4 inches and the front sight remounted. The butt swivel has been removed and the hole plugged. The metal retains most of a good looking reblue with plum patina on the backstrap, the Colt pony is light on the sideplate, otherwise all factory and military markings are in fine condition. The mother-of-pearl grips have beautiful color and are in fine condition. The mechanism functions well and the bore is in very good condition. A notarized statement from Deputy McCurly’s son dated October 1, 1976 that is included states that this revolver was owned and carried by Dallas County Sheriff Bill Decker. After his death, his wife gave the gun to Deputy Sheriff A.D. McCurly, who later gave it to his son Johnny Ray McCurly, a Detective in the Carrollton Police Department in Dallas County, Texas. This Colt was later transferred to Billy Ray Smelson. James Eric (Bill) Decker was a legendary Texas lawman who in 1933 became the Chief Deputy to Dallas County Sheriff Richard A. Schmid. He served in this position through 1946, and then was elected to Dallas County Sheriff in 1948, a position he held until 1970. He was involved in the pursuit of Bonnie and Clyde and was instrumental in setting up their ambush. In 1935 he captured Raymond Hamilton, a former member of the Barrow gang who Clyde broke out of jail in 1934. This escape and the killing of a prison guard enraged the Texas Prison Commissioner, and was the reason Frank Hamer was hired to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. On November 22, 1963, Sheriff Decker was in the lead car in the J.F.K. Presidential motorcade when shots rang out in Dallas. While his car led the way to Parkland Hospital, Sheriff Decker issued orders that all available men in his office were to move to the railroad yard. He held Lee Harvey Oswald in his jail and was unfortunately in charge when Jack Ruby assassinated him. In addition to the notarized statement from J. R. McCurly, there is a 16-page biography of Sheriff Decker, numerous photocopies of newspaper stories, several photocopies of Bonnie and Clyde after the ambush, and several photocopies of Ray Hamilton and his brother Floyd Hamilton, who at different times were named “Public Enemy Number One” by the FBI. This transfers as a modern firearm. Provenance: U.S. Army Sheriff Bill Decker Mrs. Bill Decker Dallas County Deputy Sheriff A.D. McCurly Detective Johnny Ray McCurly of the Carrollton, Texas Police Department Billy Ray Smelson
|Estimate||$5,000 – $7,000|
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