Harold Terry

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Harold Monroe Terry

Sheriff of Caddo Parish, Louisiana
In office
Preceded by James M. Goslin
Succeeded by Donald E. Hathaway

Born September 10, 1925
Shreveport, Louisiana
Died February 5, 2016
Shreveport, Louisiana
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Missing

(2) Jane Willis Terry (married 1961-2009, her death)

Children David Bryan Terry (deceased)

Shannon Terry Wiley
Sharon Jenkinson Reed
Dr. Stephen George Jenkinson

Religion Roman Catholic

Harold Monroe Terry (September 10, 1925 – February 5, 2016)[1] was a one-term sheriff of Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana, whose tenure of office extended from 1976 to 1980. A Shreveport native and a Democrat, Terry was the sheriff during the second administration of Governor Edwin Edwards.

Anyone who knew Harold Terry as sheriff will attest that guns were his great passion - Caddo Parish Sheriff's Department website.



Terry was one of three sons of Edwin Bryant Terry and the former Lola DeSpain, later Lola Serex,[1] who were married in 1916 in Union County in south Arkansas,[2] and divorced c. 1928, when Harold was two years of age. Living with his mother in Shreveport, he worked at odd jobs during boyhood and hunted squirrel and rabbit for food. He was injured when a car struck his bicycle while he was working as a delivery boy. He was rushed to emergency surgery at Highland Hospital, at which doctors saved his damaged arm. He attended Clifton Ellis Byrd High School in Shreveport but dropped out before graduation to enroll in welding school. He worked briefly as a welder at a plant near Karnack in east Texas, but at seventeen, his mother signed in 1943 for him to enter the United States Marine Corps.[3][4] boot camp in San Diego, California. Assigned as a private first class rifleman to Company C, First Division, 22nd Marines,[1] Terry was dispatched to Guadalcanal after the famous battle had been fought and then to the second battle of Guam, at which he participated in the recapture of that island. He recalled how the Allied forces overpowered the small island. He then carried a Browning automatic rifle into the Battle of Okinawa. In forty days of what he remembered as "ferocious" fighting, Terry was the sole survivor of his platoon.[3] 

In an oral history interview with the R. W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, he  recalled that the Japanese soldiers "were willing to die, and we [Allies] wanted to live." With shell shock, which he called "combat fatigue," Terry was sent to recover in Norman, Oklahoma, and then discharged in New Orleans on November 30, 1945.[5]  


  At the age of twenty, Terry returned to Shreveport, where less than a year later he obtained his high school diploma through the Hope Street High School for returning veterans but is listed in his obituary as a 1945 Byrd graduate. He worked part-time for the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Department and was made a regular deputy in December 1947, under then Sheriff J. Howell Flournoy. He was a deputy for thirty-four years.[1] Having attended various law-enforcement training schools, Terry rose to the rank of captain and then lieutenant. From March 2, 1961, until her death, he was married to the former Jane Willis (1926-2009), the daughter of Thomas Morris Willis and the former Pinkie Langlow (1902-1993).[6] It was the second marriage for each. Like her husband, Jane was an expert marksman and certified rifle instructor.[7] Terry had one child from each marriage, the late David Bryan Terry and Shannon Terry Wiley and her husband, Kenneth, of The Woodlands, Texas.[1]

Terry won competitions in pistols and shoulder-fired weapons. Under Sheriff Flournoy,  with the subsequent assistance of his wife Jane, Terry supervised the popular Junior Rifle Program to teach marksmanship to the young. He was the departmental firearms training officer in charge of the sheriff's pistol team.[8] He also taught marksmanship to the Boy Scouts.[1] In 1961, Terry was invited to display his marksmanship at the former Arkla Village, a re-creation of a 19th-century frontier town located near Emmet, Arkansas, off U.S. Highway 67. The park operated from the late 1950s until the late 1960s.[9]The Hope Star newspaper, in an article announcing his appearance at the roundup, called Terry "one of the Southwest's outstanding shooting experts with pistol, rifle, and shotgun."[10]

After service as the chief deputy under Flournoy's successor, Sheriff James M. Goslin, Terry was himself elected sheriff in the fall of 1975 in the first ever nonpartisan blanket primary election held in Louisiana. Nine days after taking office as the sheriff, Terry had to inform the family in Shreveport of the assassination in Baton Rouge of public relations consultant Jim Leslie in the evening of July 9, 1976. Josiah Lee "J. L." Wilson, III (1940-2015),[11] then a reporter for The Shreveport Times, reported that deputies told him that Sheriff Terry's eyes were red from weeping as he left his office to meet with Mrs. Carolyn S. Leslie (born April 30, 1934) and the couple's two sons, D. Scott Leslie (born November 11, 1968) and Mickey Leslie. Terry never commented on how the Leslies handled the tragedy to protect their privacy.[12]

Terry and George W. D'Artois, with whom Leslie had quarreled regarding payment of D'Artois' 1974 campaign bills in the public safety commissioner's race that year, had been deputies together prior to 1962 under then Sheriff Flournoy.[13] In a book on the Leslie murder, Badge of Dishonor: A True Story of Police Racism, Brutality, and Murder in a Deep South City, the author Jere Turner Joiner (born  1936), a former Shreveport city police officer residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, pictures Harold Terry, then chief deputy in 1963 with a Thompson submachine gun during what Joiner calls "a planned but uneventful racial disturbance in Shreveport." In the photograph, Commissioner D'Artois is standing beside Terry.[14]

Under Terry, the sheriff's department faced severe budget constraints, with spending reductions in operations for both  narcotics and criminal intelligence. About half of the deputies, then numbering 150, left their jobs either through retirements or resignations. To enhance the economic stability of the department, Terry instituted a bid system for making purchases.[8] As the department purchasing agent, Terry named Clifton G. "Windy" Vaughan (1918-2008), a native of Memphis, Tennessee. Earlier, Vaughan had worked in special services and helped to create and train a bomb disposal unit that received national attention.[15]

In 1980, Terry retired from the sheriff's department and opened a firearms training institute and self-defense school,[1] which he sold ten years later.[5] He was thereafter the weapons advisor in two films by the Shreveport native Andy Sidaris: Day of the Warrior (1996) and L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998).[16]  


Harold Terry died in Shreveport at the age of ninety. Services were held at the Roman Catholic St. John Berchmans Cathedral. Harold and Jane Terry are interred at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport.[1]

Jane Terry had two children from a previous marriage to Steve Jenkinson. Sharon Jenkinson Reed (born 1945) and husband, Thomas Richard Reed (born July 1941), of Shreveport, and Dr. Stephen George Jenkinson (1947-2021)[17] and his widow, the former educator Carolyn Suzanne "Suzy" Blanton (born 1950), of San Antonio, Texas.[1][7] Dr. Jenkinson was a member of the first graduating class at the LSU Health Sciences Center in his native Shreveport and thereafter a faculty member and researcher of pulmonary diseases at the medical school[18] before he relocated to San Antonio, where he is an internist and pulmonologist. The Jenkinsons had one child, Stephanie Suzanne Jenkinson (1980-2010), Sheriff Terry's step-granddaughter, a medical doctor who died at the age of twenty-nine and is interred at Mission Burial Park North in San Antonio.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Harold Terry. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on February 7, 2016.
  2. Union County, Arkansas, Marriages: "T". usgwarchives.net. Retrieved on September 19, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Former Caddo Parish sheriff Harold Terry has died. KTBS-TV (February 5, 2016). Retrieved on February 8, 2016.
  4. Zach Beaird (February 6, 2016). Former Caddo sheriff, WWII veteran dies. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on February 9, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harold M. Terry. oralhistory.ws. Retrieved on February 11, 2016.
  6. Pinkie Langlow Willis. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on February 8, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jane Willis Terry (1926-2009). Findagrave.com. Retrieved on September 19, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Eric Brock. Growth and Expansion of the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office. caddohistory.com. Retrieved on September 19, 2014.
  9. Arkla Village. arkansasacer.tripod.com. Retrieved on September 26, 2014.
  10. "Arkla Village Roundup to Feature Crack Shot Capt. Harold M. Terry". The Hope Star. Retrieved on September 26, 2014.
  11. Josiah Lee "J. L." Wilson, III. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on December 23, 2015.
  12. Bill Keith (2009). The Commissioner: A True Story of Deceit, Dishonor, and Death. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 28. ISBN 978-1-58980-655-9. Retrieved on February 11, 2016. 
  13. Alisa Stingley (February 28, 2009). "Fateful arrest here changed course of two lives," The Shreveport Times, Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  14. Jere Joiner, Badge of Dishonor: A True Story of Police Racism, Brutality, and Murder in a Deep South City (Morris Publishing, 2013),  ISBN=978-0989278300. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  15. "Clifton G. "Windy" Vaughan (October 19, 1918 – October 6, 2008), The Shreveport Times, October 10, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  16. Harold M. Terry (Miscellaneous Crew). Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved on February 8, 2016.
  17. Dr.Stephen Jenkinson obituary. The Shreveport Times (April 24, 2021). Retrieved on April 28, 2021.
  18. Beth Smith (June 9, 1981). Jenkinson: A Doctor by Profession and Still a Shreveporter by Choice. Shreveport Journal. Retrieved on February 11, 2016; no longer on-line.
  19. Dr. Stephanie Suzanne Jenkinson. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on February 11, 2016.