Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

100 years later, fallen Pasco deputy is recognized at last

Pasco sheriff’s Capt. Mike Schreck and Capt. Mike Ferrantelli scrub the long-neglected headstone of Deputy Sheldon Nicks.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Pasco sheriff’s Capt. Mike Schreck and Capt. Mike Ferrantelli scrub the long-neglected headstone of Deputy Sheldon Nicks.

Pasco sheriff's Capt. Michael Schreck hit the road early Friday after packing a pickup with buckets, bleach, brushes and a crew of fellow honor guard members. Their job: spruce up grave sites of the officers killed in the line of duty.

The final stop, the Brooksville Cemetery, provided a particular challenge to the men, as Sheldon S. Nicks' weathered headstone hadn't received much attention since his family erected it almost 100 years ago to the day. Schreck and his men scrubbed and bleached and when they were done, the marble marker glistened.

Etched on the stone is "Gone but not forgotten,'' and for the first time in ages, that would seem true.

But for the efforts of Jeff Miller, a Gulf High School math teacher and amateur historian, Sheldon Nicks' story would be lost to history. Now, when law enforcement officers gather this week for the annual tribute to those who fell in Pasco, his name will be next to six others in a position of honor — just as they are at similar permanent memorials in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.

Miller, whose Web page www.fivay.org provides a comprehensive history of Pasco through words and pictures, discovered evidence last year that Nicks died at age 23 on May 8, 1909, when he jumped in front of a bullet meant for his father, Henry Robert Nicks, the area's chief law enforcement officer, who had been dispatched to arrest a man in the former sawmill town of Fivay.

Miller found old newspaper clippings that mentioned Nicks was a deputy and drew on the memories of Frances Mallett, H.R. Nicks' granddaughter, who is considered Port Richey's historian. Mrs. Mallett was 8 when her grandfather died in 1928 at age 75.

Mrs. Mallett remains sharp and clear in her recollections, but says she doesn't get out much anymore. But when the Sheriff's Office conducts the memorial at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the historic courthouse in Dade City, she expect to be in the front row.

"I wouldn't miss this,'' she said.

Constable Arthur "Fleece'' Crenshaw, 31, of Trilby and U.S. Treasury Agent John Waters, 46, of Dade City were shot to death Oct. 4, 1922, while investigating illegal liquor stills. Six men, five of them brothers, were charged in the murders.

Deputy William Henry O'Berry, 37, of Elfers was shot and killed near Dade City on June 1, 1926, as he attempted to arrest a man who had reportedly stolen a dog. The suspect was lynched before he could be tried, according to reports.

Deputy John Herbert McCabe, 24, died in a Tampa hospital on June 26, 1948. He was injured in an auto accident on U.S. 41 as he headed to investigate a theft of heaters in an orange grove in Drexel.

Trooper James "Brad'' Crooks, 23, was shot to death on the exit ramp at Interstate 75 and State Road 54 on May 19, 1998. He was one of three law enforcement officers killed that day by Hank Earl Carr, who began his rampage in Tampa and killed himself in Hernando County.

Capt. Charles "Bo'' Harrison, 56, of Dade City was shot and killed June 1, 2003, while sitting in his patrol car near a nightclub in Lacoochee. Harrison was Pasco's first black patrol deputy. Alfredie Steele Jr. was convicted of the murder.

100 years later, fallen Pasco deputy is recognized at last 04/25/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  2. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  3. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  4. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  5. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.