The Story of Herman Youngst, Badge No. 5, Houston Police Dept
By Denny Hair, Houston Police Dept. (Ret)
   
 
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By Denny Hair
Houston Police Dept. (Ret)


Badge Number 5

I saw the badge posted and I knew I knew something about the badge that needed to be told. Badge number 5 was worn by Herman Youngst. He wore it with honor until his end of shift as he was tragically Killed in the line of duty in 1901. Here is his story. He started his career a long long time ago.

 

February 7, 1874

Minuets of Houston City Aldermen, (City Council) Police Committee

 

a motion resolved that the mayor and city marshal be authorized to appoint two special policeman outside the regular force, at a compensation not to exceed that of regular policemen.

 

The following officers appointed by his honor, the mayor, were on motion unanimously confirmed: 

 

*Herman Youngst, Henry Weiner, N.H. Thompson.

 

(*Herman Youngst served continuously from February 7, 1875 until he was killed in the line of duty, December 12, 1901; a total of 26 years, 10 months and 5 days.) 63

 

63.  Houston City Council Minutes, February 1874 through 1875, Book A, Microfilm, HPD Museum Archives Accession #84.9.

 

The incident was separated in the Police Museum due to each being honored but it was all one incident. Two officers were killed in the line of duty. I found the newspaper records while I was Director of the Houston Police Museum. They wwre previously unkown to HPD as Killed in the Linev of duty before the articles were found.

 

Herman Youngst

December 12, 1901

 

Houston Police Officers J.C. James and Herman Youngst were slain on December 11, 1901 at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon in front of Yaden's Saloon.  The murder occurred on the northwest corner of San Jacinto and Congress streets after an exchange of gunfire with Sid Preacher, who was killed by the return fire of the officers before they expired.

 

An eyewitness, Sam Stone, gave the following account of what happened that fateful afternoon:

 

"I was coming down San Jacinto from the Herald office and saw a gang of men on Yaden's corner who seemed to be excited.  I saw a buggy start to drive off.  I saw Sid Preacher grab a double barreled shotgun out of the buggy.  By this time, I was at Yaden's corner.  I saw an officer behind a telegraph pole with a six-shooter in his hand.  The crows scattered.  Sid said, "Come on you bastard."   The officer behind the post walked out towards him, Sid being in the street with his shotgun.  The officer had a pistol in his hand.  Sid shot once and the man fell.  Herman, the other officer, ran out and Sid emptied the other barrel of his gun.  Herman stood and reached for his pistol.  Sid then advanced and hit Herman over the head with his gun.  Herman then shot Sid and fell down.  Sid fell on top of him.  James then raised up one arm and shot Sid also.  I then left."

 

Chief of Police Blackburn was in the neighborhood and, after hearing the gunfire, rushed to the scene only to have Officer James die in his arms.

 

The ensuing investigation revealed that Preacher was a well known gambling promoter in Houston and only the day before had been arrested by Officer B.W. Whittington.  Whittington stated after Preacher's arrest, he overheard Preacher's attorney, Mr. J.E. Brockman tell Preacher, "It's getting to be a damn pretty come-off that men are getting arrested every day and thrown into jail down there without a warrant.  You arm yourself with a six-shooter and the next damn policeman who attempts to arrest you without a warrant, shoot his belly off!"

 

Chief Blackburn was outraged at Brockman's remarks and on December 14, 1901, Judge Hill issued a warrant for Brockman's arrest.  Chief Blackburn, Deputy Chief Thompson, and Detective Smith found Brockman at his office at 1107 1/2 Congress, where he was arrested, placed in the city jail and charged with the murder of Officers James and Youngst.

 

Officer Herman Youngst had been the senior officer on the department having been a 28 year veteran.  Youngst had served in DeBray's Regiment of the 26th Texas Calvary during the Civil War.

 

John C. James

December 12, 1901

 

Houston Police Officers J.C. James and Herman Youngst were slain on December 11, 1901 at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon in front of Yaden's Saloon.  The murder occurred on the northwest corner of San Jacinto and Congress streets after an exchange of gunfire with Sid Preacher, who was killed by the return fire of the officers before they expired.

 

An eyewitness, Sam Stone, gave the following account of what happened that fateful afternoon:

 

"I was coming down San Jacinto from the Herald office and saw a gang of men on Yaden's corner who seemed to be excited.  I saw a buggy start to drive off.  I saw Sid Preacher grab a double barreled shotgun out of the buggy.  By this time, I was at Yaden's corner.  I saw an officer behind a telegraph pole with a six-shooter in his hand.  The crows scattered.  Sid said, "Come on you bastard."   The officer behind the post walked out towards him, Sid being in the street with his shotgun.  The officer had a pistol in his hand.  Sid shot once and the man fell.  Herman, the other officer, ran out and Sid emptied the other barrel of his gun.  Herman stood and reached for his pistol.  Sid then advanced and hit Herman over the head with his gun.  Herman then shot Sid and fell down.  Sid fell on top of him.  James then raised up one arm and shot Sid also.  I then left."

 

Chief of Police Blackburn was in the neighborhood and, after hearing the gunfire, rushed to the scene only to have Officer James die in his arms.

 

The ensuing investigation revealed that Preacher was a well known gambling promoter in Houston and only the day before had been arrested by Officer B.W. Whittington.  Whittington stated after Preacher's arrest, he overheard Preacher's attorney, Mr. J.E. Brockman tell Preacher, "It's getting to be a damn pretty come-off that men are getting arrested every day and thrown into jail down there without a warrant.  You arm yourself with a six-shooter and the next damn policeman who attempts to arrest you without a warrant, shoot his belly off!"

 

Chief Blackburn was outraged at Brockman's remarks and on December 14, 1901, Judge Hill issued a warrant for Brockman's arrest.  Chief Blackburn, Deputy Chief Thompson, and Detective Smith found Brockman at his office at 1107 1/2 Congress, where he was arrested, placed in the city jail and charged with the murder of Officers James and Youngst.

 

Officer John James had been a police officer for only a year and was 35 years of age.  He was survived by his widow and three small children.

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