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Garvin County

County Seat - Pauls Valley

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Thomas Isaac Abney
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(JULY 27, 1905 - DECEMBER 23, 1974)

 THOMAS ISAAC ABNEY was born July 27, 1905 in Franklin County, Arkansas.  Tom finished the 8th grade in school, which was typical for young people of his era.  He was an amateur wrestler in his younger days.  He loved to play checkers and could best almost anyone at the game.  As an adult, he was a cattle trader and a butcher.  He became Deputy Sheriff under Garvin County Sheriff, Claud Sweeney.  He served five years as a deputy and then ran for sheriff and was elected.  He served as Garvin County Sheriff for 18 years.  During his tenure as sheriff, he received the True Detective Service Award in November 1963, for apprehending an armed fugitive, without injury to anyone.  After leaving the Sheriff's Office, he ran for Garvin County Commissioner and was elected.  He served in that capacity for two terms.  During his time in office, he worked to build a bridge across the Washita River to provide easier access to Pauls Valley to a number of citizens.  He never saw it completed, but after his death, the bridge was completed.  In recognition of his service to Garvin County, the bridge was named the "Tom Abney Bridge".  It is located southeast of  Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.  After leaving the Commissioner's office, he worked as a tree surgeon and was very active in that occupation until he suffered a heart attack.  He was recovering from that when he suffered a stroke that took his life.  His services were  held in the Stufflebean Funeral Home Chapel of Pauls Valley, with his old friend and his pastor, Earl Storie, officiating.  Tom was a faithful member of the Pauls Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.  He is buried in the Abney Cemetery







 by Jesse Spurlock, Abney Cemetery Record Keeper

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