Constable Johnny Hughes
John Nathan Hughes was born May 12, 1937 the son of Theron and Thelma Hughes
in Shelby County. He attended Center Schools. His first real job was working at
Jess & Bob’s Café he was fourteen years old and worked Saturdays and after
school. At the age of sixteen he went to work for Johnie Johnson at his Mobil
Station. After he married he went to work with his Dad in the furniture store.
His brother Alton was a big influence on his life. Alton was Deputy under Sheriff Charlie B. Christain (1953-61) when Johnny was growing up and that was when he knew he wanted to go into Law Enforcement.
In 1959 Johnny was working with his Dad at Hughes Furniture when Alton came by and asks if he wanted to go to work at Center Police Department, he did not have to think twice about it. He went to work March 17, 1959 for Chief Gerald Newbill Johnny was twenty- one. It was a two man Police Department. Chief worked days and Johnny worked nights. The City sent him to the Police Academy at Texas A&M for a one hundred hour course in police training.
Alton talked him into running for Constable of Precinct 1. He resigned as policeman and with Alton’s help he was elected Constable over the present Constable Sam Davis and two other opponents. He also served as a Deputy with Alton under Charlie B. Christain while waiting to take Constable’s office on January 1, 1961. Johnny was twenty-two years old and was the youngest Constable in the state of Texas. He was elected a second term and served six and one half years.
He was appointed Chief of Police in May 1967, at the age of thirty. He was authorized to hire four patrolmen. He was Chief for seven years and resigned in 1974 to go to work with Alton at Hughes Security, Inc. (Texaco) in Port Arthur. He had ten patrolmen when he resigned and the Police Department & Sheriff’s Department had moved into the new facilities on Nacogdoches Street.
Raids on Alcohol Spirits before legal