The Auction at Graceland•January 8, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/8/2019

Elvis had a strong fascination with law enforcement and was always prodding the local Sheriff for a higher rank badge. Elvis was made a Special Deputy of Shelby County by Sheriff Roy Nixon in 1970. Sheriff Nixon, who would later become the mayor of Memphis, also deputized a number of Elvis’ entourage members, including Elvis’ father Vernon, to enable them to carry firearms. Offered are the official Shelby County Sheriff Department’s “Special Deputy” files for Elvis and Vernon Presley that were maintained in the Sheriff’s office until after the death of Vernon Presley. The personnel files, including more than 40 documents and other pieces, for these two very Special Deputies contained a plethora of personal information and documentation relating to their commitment to uphold and honor the official capacity with which they were being entrusted. Included in this collection are the following:

Contained in the Elvis Presley file folder:

  • Special Deputy Application for the Shelby County Sherriff’s Department for Elvis Aron Presley, dated 11/20/1974 listing personal details for Elvis and a current commissions with the Denver Police Department issued in 1974 and Shelby Co, Sheriff’s Dept Chief Dpty. issued in 11/24/70;
  • Elvis signature appearing on second page dated 11/20/74;
  • Official Bond and Oath number 7785 signed by Vernon Presley attesting a $5,000 bond and appointment to the office of Deputy Sheriff in Shelby County on September 1, 1970 through September 1, 1972;
  • A similar Official Bond and Oath signed by Elvis Presley amended to reflect the same dates as Vernon’s and signed October 8, 1970;
  • A signed affidavit by Elvis Presley agreeing to the regulations to which he is bound in his duties as Special Deputy; and
  • Permit to carry a weapon issued by Roy Nixon, Sheriff of Shelby County to Elvis Presley and signed by Elvis and dated 11/20/74.

Contained in the Vernon Presley file folder:

  • Signed second page of application dated November 18, 1974 with attached color picture of Vernon;
  • Signed release waiver by Vernon Presley and dated September 19, 1978;
  • Signed “Directive Authorizing the Carrying of a Weapon” by Vernon Presley, dated November 18, 1974 and listing the weapon authorized as “Make: S&W Model: Special - Caliber: .38 - Color: Nickel Serial No.: J-231007”;
  • Signed second page of Application by Vernon Presley;
  • A two-page signed affidavit by Vernon agreeing to the regulations to which he is bound in his duties as Special Deputy, dated November 18, 1974;
  • Signed “Affidavit of Agreement Special Deputy Commission” by Vernon Presley as Special Deputy; and 
  • Letter dated September 13, 1978 to Sheriff Gene Barksdale, signed by Vernon Presley, stating, “I would like to request that the commission for the following employees of the Elvis Presley Estate...Vernon E. Presley, Richard Grob, Alfred Strada, Thomas E, Henley, William E. Pritchett.”

Also included:

  • Special Deputy Information sheet for Elvis Presley listing application date 11/25/74, background information “waived,” date of commission 9/1/74, training-liability 4/7/76 and more;
  • Two (2) Similar Special Deputy Information sheets for Vernon Presley;
  • Similar Special Deputy Information sheet for Billy Wayne Smith;
  • Three (3) Special Deputy Identification Photo Cards for William Earl Pritchett, Jr., Charles F. Hodge (not laminated), and Alfred D’Costa Strada;
  • Special Deputy File Card for Billy Wayne Smith with attached black-and-white photo;
  • Special Deputy file Card for Vernon Presley with stapled Special Deputy Identification Photo Card (not laminated); and
  • Special Deputy file Card for Billy Wayne Smith with stapled Special Deputy Identification Photo Card (not laminated).

This treasure trove of official file documents for Elvis and Vernon’s Special Deputy Sheriff P.R. files from the Shelby Country Sheriff’s Department comes with a letter, notarized on March 15, 2017, from Tom Morgan on Shelby County Sheriff’s Department letterhead that states, “The above files contain the following: 1. Application for Special Deputy 2. Two index cards, 4 x 6 containing personnel information 3. PROCESS SHEETS 4. Rules & Regulations 5. Firearm Training procedure 6. Badge information 7. Affidavit of Agreement 8. Surety Bond & Oath 9. Directive Authorizing The Carrying of a Weapon. The above files are written in long hand by both Elvis & Vernon Presley. As Administrator of the Special Deputy, it was an honor for me to be involved in Elvis getting his commission. After Mr. Vernon died, I asked Sheriff Barksdale what he wanted to do with the files? After a moment he replied, you can have the files! I swear & affirm these files are original & authentic, having been given to me by Sheriff Barksdale. They have been in my sole possession since then until today.”

This collection of official documentation recounts the 1970s process by which Elvis and Vernon were awarded the honor of Special Deputy. The majority of the file documents are on standard size 11 by 8 1/2 inch (27.94 x 21.59 cm) paper, and the grouping is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.



The documents present with expected wear from file storage, with creases, edge wear and various minor distresses. Excellent condition overall.
Shelby County Sheriff’s Department “Special Deputy” Files For Elvis Presley and Vernon Presley, with Four Elvis Signatures – Plus IDs for Vernon, Billy Smith (2) and Al Strada
Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $9,375.00
Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
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