Hays County was created on March 1, 1848 from the southern part of Travis County.
It is named for legendary Texas Ranger Captain John "Jack" Coffee Hays. Captain Hays was known
for his battles with the Mexican Army and his victories over the Comanche Indians, who called him
"Bravo Too Much." Hays County was organized on August 7, 1848, with San Marcos as the county seat.
The first sheriff took office on this date.
Since the sheriff was the sole face of the law in the county, the Commissioners Court provided assistance in the
form of groups of citizens known as patrollers. Normally, these adjunct bodies consisted of a captain and
six privates who were appointed for one three-month term. Therefore the sheriff and the constable were
normally the sole forms of law enforcement in the county. The sheriff was responsible enforcing the laws,
and normally protecting the city (namely San Marcos), and maintaining the jail. The constable was responsible
for rounding up fugitives and bringing them before the courts. As the county grew, the sheriff was allotted
full time paid assistants, or deputies. From the 1890s until the 1960s, there were normally two or three
full time deputies and one or two part-time deputies.
The duties of the deputies were to enforce the laws, maintain the peace, and maintain the jail.
The sheriff and his family normally lived in an attached apartment to the jail. On occasions, when the
sheriff's family was too large for the apartment or grew too large, a deputy would move into the apartment to
maintain watch of the inmates. The sheriff and his deputies maintained law and order throughout the county and
in its cities, as San Marcos, Kyle, and Buda did not establish full time law enforcement agencies until after the 1950s.
Today, the Hays County Sheriff's Office consists of three bureaus: Law Enforcement, Corrections, and
Support Services. Deputies take pride in serving the people of Hays County.