Contributed by Captain John Houston
This day in history, 120 years ago;
On May 5, 1892, the citizens of Corpus Christi were celebrating Cinco De Mayo with a parade down Leopard Street in the area of where the courthouse is today to the uptown bluff. Elias Mussett Jr. had just been reelected as the City Marshall and would start his second term that day. Mussett rode at the front of the parade and was soon joined by his daughter Lillian on horseback.
The celebration lasted all evening and prior to going to his home he made one last patrol of the city on horseback. City Marshall Elias T Mussett Jr. had run against a subject named John Parker. Parker was a local trouble maker who the city council hired as a city police officer just three days before the murder even though many citizens told the council not to hire him.
Parker had made numerous threats to kill Mussett during the election. At approx 1:00 am on May 6th, Mussett stopped to speak with a local standing outside the Pancho Grande bar which was located near what is now Waco and Leopard St. As Mussett spoke with the individual about the nights activities, Parker rode up in the dark and came to Mussett’s right side. Without as much as a word Parker fired one shot from his pistol killing Mussett immediately. Parker fled the area and went downtown to the police station located on what is now Mesquite St north of IH 37 and turned himself in for Mussett’s murder. Parker was charged with Murder and his trial began within one day. After days of testimony, Parker was found guilty of Murder and sentenced to life in prison with hard labor. He was sent to the Huntsville, Texas Walls Unit to serve his sentence. The entire city closed for Mussett’s funeral. Mussett was buried in Rose Hill Cemetary on land that belonged to his father, an original founder of Corpus Christi.
Mussett is the first documented In the Line of Duty Death of a Cprpus Christi Police Officer. Please remember City Marshall Elias Mussett Jr. and his family in your thoughts and prayers this day. Mussett’s grandaughter, Harriet Nelson of Corpus Christi and family have attended our memorial service the last four years.