By LANORA JOSLIN
Special to the Herald
Recently, Ken Joslin of Jacksboro and his brother, Monroe Joslin of Lake Buchanan, visited the school named for their father, Sgt. Jerry Joslin, formerly of the Austin Police Department.
Sgt. Joslin was known throughout the Austin Independent School District in the 1950's as the "kids' cop." He presented safety programs and started the School Safety Patrol in each of the Austin schools.
He was a motorcycle policeman who always had a smile for each child he met. His oldest son, Monroe, was one of his first Safety Patrol Crossing Guards.
On Friday evening March 13, 1953, Sgt. Joslin and another beloved Austin policeman, Capt. Blackwell, along with another gentleman were traveling south of San Antonio to a fishing week-end. They planned to catch fish for their Oddfellows' annual fish-fry.
It was dusk and a time before seat-belts were installed in vehicles. The driver did not see the black angus bull standing in the middle of their lane, and hit it at full speed.
Sgt. Joslin was in the front seat, and thrown from the vehicle. He died instantly. Capt. Blackwell died a few hours later, and the driver, fortunately, did not receive any life-threatening wounds. All of Austin mourned the loss of the two policemen.
Following the death of Sgt. Joslin, the Austin ISD decided to name their new elementary school, at 4500 Manchaca Rd. in south Austin, after Officer Joslin.
In 1954, the new school opened, and has operated under the name of Jerry Joslin School ever since. It was first an elementary school, then in the seventies, it was a sixth grade center, and is now an elementary again.
Several years back, the Austin ISD talked of closing the school, but the neighborhood lobbied to keep the school and the district chose to add-on and remodeled the almost 60-year-old building. It is now, according to Principal Jennifer Pace, one of the most sought-after schools by teachers to work in. They offer not only regular elementary classes, but also classes for hearing impaired and autistic children.
The office has a large photo and a portrait, both of Sgt. Joslin, as well as a scrapbook of his days in the Austin schools, his funeral, and the dedication of the school.
After Ken's grandchildren, daughter Latisha and wife Lanora visited the school in May when they were in Austin for the Boys' 3-A State Golf Tournament, the school contacted the brothers to see if they had anything to add to their collection of memorabilia of Sgt. Joslin.
Monroe donated one of his dad's uniform shirts and the brothers had a record of their father reciting poetry which they had put on a CD and Ken fixed a picture collage of father and sons, all in uniform.
Monroe, who was 14 at the time of his father's death, was a member of the Capitol Police which later became a division of the Texas Highway Patrol, and Ken, who was only 6 at the time of his father's death, also had a career in law enforcement. He first retired after 20 years with the City of Jacksboro where he was also a sergeant, and moved on to Parks and Wildlife, where he retired after 13 more years at Mineral Wells State Park.
In October, the brothers met at Monroe's home near Austin and traveled to the school where they had an assembly. The children all knew who they were and remembered the earlier visit by Sgt. Joslin's great-grandchildren.
They played the recording for the children, presented the memorabilia, and shared memories of their father and growing up in Austin. Ken received a lovely thank-you card from the principal and an invitation to bring everyone back in 2014 for the celebration of 60 years as Jerry Joslin School.