Back in February local Mason Kenneth Leatherwood addressed the Erath County commissioners about erecting a monument in honor of Erath County Sheriff James Mastin who was killed in the line of duty on June 25, 1877.

Now the dedication ceremony is right around the corner.

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 25, on the east side of the Erath County Courthouse.

An article published in the Empire in 1877, along with some other publications, had details about Mastin’s murder.

“James Mastin, sheriff of this county, was shot and instantly killed by one Bone Wilson, alias Napoleon Wilson, about three and a half miles from Stephenville upon a charge of horse-stealing,” the Empire article states. 

A party of 10 men, under the command of Sgt. Sparks, went after the horse thief and shot him after pointing his gun at state rangers in what is now Coke County.

Mastin hasn’t had a proper memorial stone for 140 years and it’s no longer known where he is exactly buried, other than in West End Cemetery.

Mastin was survived by his wife and two young children.

At the February commissioners court meeting, Leatherwood addressed the financial portion of the monument.

“We have raised all the funds needed to create and place the monument so no county funds are being requested,” he said.

The funds were donated by the Stephenville Masonic Lodge, the Major George B. Erath United Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of the Confederate Veterans and other private donors.

The dedication ceremony will begin with an introduction by Brent Graves followed by a prayer by Morgan Mill Baptist’s Rev. Joe Rogers; the story of Mastin by Erath County Judge Tab Thompson; along with speeches by current Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates, Texas Ranger Danny Briley and District Attorney Alan Nash.

The memorial stone will be unveiled by Leatherwood and his daughter, Sara.