Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial
Memorial Location

The memorial is located on the north end of Trinity Park along West 7th Street. It occupies approximately five acres of park. » Get Directions

Hours of Operation
5:00am - 11:30pm
The displays and paths are always illuminated.

Contact Information

By Mail
3801 Hulen Suite 101
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

By Phone

A promise of remembrance.

Thaddeaus James Stevenson


Length of Service:
28 Years

Date of Injury:
August 30, 1951

Date of Death:
October 25, 1961

Location of Incident:
1800 Cooper

Emerald Hills Cemetery

On August 30, 1951, at approximately 2200 hrs, Fort Worth Police Officer Thaddeaus James Stevenson, 61-years-old, was on routine patrol in the 1800 block of Cooper Street with his partner, Officer H.L. Stephenson when they were ambushed by a man with a .410 gauge shotgun. Officer Stevenson was shot twice and was struck in the right side of his face, neck, and right arm with pellets. At least one of the pellets struck Officer Stevenson in the Jugular vein. Officer Stevenson was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in “serious” condition.

Officer Stevenson returned to work on “light duty” on November 6, 1951. Upon returning to work, Officer Stevenson began having increasing difficulty in using his right arm. Officer Stevenson was suffering from PTSD and the symptoms of the PTSD were becoming severe. Officer Stevenson consulted his personal physician who noted that as Officer Stevenson’s PTSD symptoms worsened, his blood pressure began to become elevated. Officer Stevenson developed hypertension.

Due to the worsening condition of his arm, Officer Stevenson became unable to work after May 28, 1952. Four days later on June 2, 1952, Officer Stevenson suffered a serious stroke which paralyzed the entire right side of his body and left him bedridden and unable to speak. After this date, Officer Stevenson’s physical and mental condition continued to worsen and he was forced to use all of his accumulated personal leave time. After October 4, 1952, other Fort Worth police officers began contributing time by working on their days off so that Officer Stevenson would continue to receive a pay check from the City of Fort Worth. It was a common practice for Fort Worth Police Officers to donate their free time in such a manner for officers injured in the line of duty in the 1950s. Fort Worth Police Officers continued donating time to Officer Stevenson until August of 1955.

In February of 1955, Dr. Morton Goldberg of Fort Worth examined Officer Stevenson and declared him permanently disabled. Dr. Goldberg noted that Officer Stevenson’s hypertension resulting from his gunshot wounds and PTSD was the likely cause of Officer Stevenson’s stroke. Dr. Goldberg did not render an opinion regarding whether the vascular damage in Officer Stevenson’s neck contributed to the stroke as well. Dr Goldberg also did not discuss whether the continued weakening of Officer Stevenson’s arm was symptomatic or an indicator of circulatory problems that could have been related to the stroke.

In June of 1955, Chief of Police Cato Hightower in a letter to the Fort Worth City Manager, cited Section 26 of Article 1269-M of the Revised Civil Statutes of the State of Texas. Under the provisions of that statute, Police Officers were eligible for injury leaves of absence with full pay for periods of time commensurate with the nature of injuries received while in the line of duty for at least one year. Chief Hightower related that Officer Stevenson was eligible for the granting of the leave as the cause of his debilitation was a result of his line of duty injuries. On August 3, 1955, The Fort Worth City Council met and considered the request from Chief Hightower. The City Council concurred with the medical opinions given and granted Chief Hightower’s request on behalf of Officer Stevenson. Officer Stevenson was granted one-year of injury leave at the end of which the City of Fort Worth retired him from the Police Department.

On October 25, 1961, Officer Stevenson died at home. The causes of death listed on his death certificate included heart disease and cerebral vascular disease which had been brought on due to his original gunshot wounds and his PTSD.

It is notable that prior to the gunshot wounds which caused Officer Stevenson’s vascular injuries, there was no record or indication of any heart disease or cerebral vascular disease in Officer Stevenson’s medical history. The onset of Officer Stevenson’s vascular disease and hypertension directly correlates to his injuries and worsening physical condition that was directly related to his gunshot wounds.

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