Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    This striking nickel-silver badge belonged to Sheriff R.E. White of Travis County, Texas and is accompanied by two (2) boudoir card photographs of him wearing the badge, and three notarized affidavits from former Austin Police Captain Lloyd Polk. The badge has a rich silver patina, and is shaped in an unusual eight-point star with the number "30" inside it. The badge is exceptionally well formed, very large and measures 3.1" from tip to tip around. The background is textured and a rope lines the outside. The pin is the swivel type with a large "C" catch. The engraving on the front reads, "Austin, Texas - 30 - Sheriff" which is also unusual, the significance of the number is not known. The badge is in exceptionally fine condition with no dings or scratches.

    The cabinet cards measure 8.25" by 6.25" each, mounted on identical floral design impressed cards. The first image is the Sheriff and four other men on horseback. The man next to the Sheriff on the right is identified by Polk as noted Austin, Texas lawman John H. Mallory, while the others remain unidentified. The badge's distinctive profile is clearly visible as White is closest to the camera on the far right, and the other men wear circle-star badges. Lloyd Polk has identified the location of the image when taken as, "The stables at 4th and Guadalupe" in Austin. This image shows good contrast and tone.

    The other image is 13 Austin, Texas lawmen standing in a line, White is wearing the badge again as he stands on the far left side. Austin City Marshal A.J. Thorp stands to the far right wearing a large suspension badge. Someone has written on the reverse in pen, "Austin Police Dept. 1899 - A.J. Thorp - Rt. End - City Marshal". This image has a light tone when compared to the horseback image.

    The affidavits from Lloyd Polk contain some interesting information; there is one for the badge, and both photographs, along with some family history on R.E. White. The badge affidavit states, "I later obtained a S.A. French Police Supplies Catalog dated 1887: on page 13, the exact blank is shown (eight-point star)."

    Robert "Emmitt" White served as the Sheriff of Travis County 1888-1900, the Mayor of Austin 1901-1905, and a Travis County Judge 1909-1913. Of his six children, four became lawmen. Tom, Dudley and James "Doc" White all became Texas Rangers. (Dudley) was killed in 1918 by two Army deserters, Tom was also an FBI agent and later the Warden of Leavenworth Prison where he was badly wounded during a riot, and "Doc" served as a Texas Ranger and FBI Agent, eventually being in the shootout with "Machine Gun" Kelly and "Ma" Barker's gang. The fourth brother Coley White served as an Austin policeman and Travis County Deputy Sheriff.
    This is a rare, historic and important identified Texas lawman's badge. From The George Jackson Collection.

    Tise, Sammy. Texas County Sheriff's, Albuquerque, N. M. Oakwood Printing, 1989.

    Special Thanks to Lloyd Polk for his years of research into the badge and photographs.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2007
    11th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,408

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 November 2 Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 June 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,097,506