Buford Pusser the Lawman
Carl and Helen Pusser received and early Christmas present December 12, 1937 with the birth of son Buford Hayse Pusser. Now the youngest of three a bother John Howard and a sister Gailya Pusser lived on a farm between the towns Finger and Leapwood in McNairy County where they spent their early childhood.

In 1951 when Buford was 14, they moved to Adamsville where he later attended Adamsville High. Buford was very athletic and excelled in football and basketball. At 17 Buford took his first trip to the state line with some friends to get an underage beer. The event that transpired would haunt Buford for years.

Shamrock Motel & Restaurant and the White Iris Club was the hot spot of McNairy County’s most notorious criminal elements. Gambling, drinking, and prostitution were the menu of the day. When a patron would complain about cheating they were often beaten and robbed. Since the “Dixie Mafia” had the police in their pocket, they ruled the day. Who you going to call?

Louise Hathcock managed the café when she waited tables she carried three items in her smock. The traditional note pad, pen, and the non-traditional ball-peen hammer. She used the non-traditional ball-peen hammer on any unsuspecting customer that crossed her. The 17-year-old Buford witnessed Hathcock’s wrath on young sailor when he complained about being cheated in a game of craps.

The calloused sadistic Hathcock pummeled the sailor with a blow to his head; he was only able to crawl a few feet and died. When the deputy sheriff arrived, Louise told him that the sailor must have died of a heart attack. The deputy found the story humorous and laughed as they took the body away. Little did Buford know at the time his path would cross with Hathcock with a far different result.

Buford choose to join the United States Marines after he graduated high school but his tour of duty was short lived due to an asthmatic condition. Even his 6’6” and 250 pounds frame could not defeat asthma but it could do other things. Buford made the decision to attend mortician’s school in Chicago.

Every student needed to earn extra cash so Buford worked in a box factory and started wrestling professionally more as of hobby than career. “Buford The Bull” was his name used in the squared circle. The first step to his legend came at this time when he wrestled a live grizzly bear and won. It was during his time wrestling that he met Pauline Vance.

Pauline a divorced mother of two and Buford married. Diane and Mike his stepchildren soon had a new sister Dwana and a move to Adamsville was in the near future.

School Photo

Wedding Photo

Pauline Vance

Buford the Bull

Graduation Photo