HELM, JACK (?–1873). Jack Helm, captain of the State Police under Edmund J. Davis, is said to have worked for Abel Head (Shanghai) Pierceqv as a cowboy shortly after the Civil War. In June 1869 he was appointed a special officer to assist Capt. C. S. Bell in attacking the "Taylor Party" in the Sutton-Taylor Feud. Helm went to Austin and became the leading figure in the band of special officers spoken of by nonmembers as "regulators." Through July and August 1869 they carried on a reign of terror in Bee, San Patricio, Wilson, DeWitt, and Goliad counties. The Galveston News reported that they killed twenty-one persons in two months and turned over only ten to the civil authorities. On August 23, Bell and Helm arranged a second attack on Taylor's ranch, in which Hays Taylor was killed and Doboy Taylor was wounded. After the founding of the State Police on July 1, 1870, Helm was appointed one of the four captains. On August 26, 1870, his detachment arrested Henry and Will Kelly of the Taylor faction on a trivial charge and shot them. Women of the Kelly family were witnesses, and their story caused such a public outcry that Governor Davis could not ignore the outrage. Helm was suspended in October and dismissed in December. He continued to be a menace for some time because he was serving as sheriff of DeWitt County during and after his incumbency as captain of State Police. When the police force was abolished in April 1873, Helm moved to Albuquerque, Texas, where he worked to perfect a cotton-worm destroyer that he had invented. In July 1873 he was shot and killed by Jim Taylor and John Wesley Hardin.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, C. L. Sonnichsen, "Helm, Jack," accessed August 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhe11.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.