Sunday, July 20, 2014

Death of Deputy Tucker Headrick of Tennessee

Deputy Sheriff William Henry “Tucker” Headrick was shot and killed during the line of duty in Polk County, Tennessee, on January 23, 1921. His parents were James and Elizabeth (Dunn) Headrick of Cisco, Murray County, Georgia. Marcelle White of Whitfield-Murray Historical Society, Dalton, Georgia, had originally researched this individual. During my own research of Murray County Headricks, I’ve turned up various sources of documentation. Of course, as genealogical research goes, the documentation has several discrepancies. Researchers in the direct line are urged to consult other sources, including family history and stories.

Source #1: Death Record of William Henry “Tucker” Headrick, of Cisco, Murray County, Georgia; died of homicide in Polk County, Tennessee. Indexed as Tinker Hendrick on Family Search, though the handwriting is highly compressed and looks as much like “Tucker Headrick” as “Tinker Hendrick.”

Citation: “Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955”, “Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 May 2014), Tinker Hendrick, 23 Jan 1921; citing Cemetery, Conosauga, Polk, Tennessee, v 41 cn 294, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 1299735. His parents are indexed as James Hendrick (should be Headrick) and Elizabeth Dunn, formerly of Blount County, Tennessee.

Other sources have Tucker Headrick. His parents are known to be James Headrick and Elizabeth Dunn of Cisco, Murray County, Georgia.

Source #2: Memorial article for Deputy Tucker Headrick, who was shot and killed in Polk County, Tennessee, on , while in the line of duty. The suspected killers, bootleggers, were arrested, but later acquitted.

Read more:

Source #3: “Reports of cases decided in the Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia” (October Term 1920, no. 11951: Whittemore vs. State of Georgia): W.H. Headrick, a policeman who was not in uniform at the time of the incident, was shot by Whittemore, whom he describes as an old friend. Whittemore, supported by the testimony of his sister, Mrs. Hill, claims that he was assisting his sister in chasing a man who had insulted her. They both stated that Headrick grabbed Mrs. Hill’s arm as she ran by. Her brother then shot Headrick. Headrick claims that he did not in any way touch Mrs. Hill; that Whittemore, an old friend, was drunk at the time of the chase and shot at him. (In any case, it appears that perhaps Whittemore mistook Headrick for the man who was being pursued, who had insulted his sister.)

[p.273 of original publication; from Google Books digitized image]:

Source #4: A Google search on the subject of Tucker Headrick’s death brought up a reference to an Atlanta Journal/Constitution article of 31 January 1921. However, this requires a premium membership and I was unable to view the article. The citation is: [Newspaper]: The Atlanta Constitution › 1921 › January › 31 January 1921 › Page 5. URI:

Source #5: 1920 Census, Polk County, Tennessee: He is listed as W.H. Headrick, head of household, aged 45, with spouse, Lucy, and children, Cliffie and Lena, and granddaughter, Jessie. (Polk County, District 1, Sheet no. 4B, household #57, line number 95).

Source #6: 1880 Census, Murray County, Georgia: He is listed as Henry, aged 5, in the household of his parents, James and Elizabeth (Dunn) Headrick.


Previously published on my Tumblr blog.

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