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Walter Moses Burton

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Black History Month at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is a period of time devoted to understanding, open dialogue, and celebrating the contributions of the African American culture. As Black History Month comes to a close, the importance of highlighting the achievements of African American trailblazers does not end with the month of February. Instead, we recognize those African American who have blazed the trail and paved the way for individuals like myself. Today, we recognize Walter Moses Burton.
Born a slave in North Carolina, Mr. Burton was brought to Texas in 1860. At the end of the Civil War, he purchased land from his former owner, Thomas B. Burton, from whom he had also learned to read and write. Among many things, Walter Burton became a successful farmer and in 1869 was elected sheriff of Fort Bend County, Texas, earning him the distinction of being the first African American elected sheriff in the United States. He was also elected to the Texas Senate in 1873, where he served four terms. Retiring from the Senate in 1882, Burton returned to farming and remained active in local politics until his death in 1913.
Today we pause in our normal operations to pay homage to Sheriff Walter Moses Burton.

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Lafayette Woods, Jr.