Died in the Line of Duty


Unravel Sequence in Everett Death

Lyons - Rice County law officials Thursday unraveled the string of events which led to the death of Bill Everett, 65, Little River.
Everett, Rice county deputy sheriff and night patrolman was killed shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday while investigating report of an early accident on US60 N 3-1/2 miles east of Little River. He was struck by a speeding car and crushed against a bridge approach.

Driver of the vehicle was Robert M. Brown, 53, Hoisington, who received a shattered left elbow. He was taken to Hoffman Memorial hospital, Little River and transferred to St. Elizabeth's hospital, Hutchinson shortly before noon Friday.

Browns car skidded across the 60 foot bridge and piled atop a parked Chrysler belonging to William A. Collopy, Newton, Collopy, his wife and their small child were in the car but escaped unharmed. Mrs. Collopy, however, was treated for shock.
Undersheriff Walter Morganfield said Thursday night that it was Brown's car which started the sequence of events.

Brown has admitted that it was his car which went into the ditch about 100 feet east of the bridge early Wednesday night. The mishap broke one headlight and loosened a fender skirt. Brown said he drove out of the ditch and apparently lost his fender skirt as he drove away.

The skirt was seen by a passing motorist who reported a possible accident to the sheriff's office here. Everett, enroute to Little River from Lyons at the time was instructed to investigate. He was joined by Wayne Crowl, Little River night marshall who also was in the area.

It was while the two were checking the area around the bridge that Brown came from west over the brow of a hill and Everett did not have time to jump clear.

The Collopy car had stopped at the other end of the bridge a few minutes before because they saw the flickering red lights from the patrol cars.

William Henry Everett, was born Nov. 15, 1889 at Williamstown. He had lived in the Little River area since 1909.

Survivors are the widow, Rehea; a daughter, Mrs. Bonnadie King, Hutchinson; one son, K. Kelley Everett, Shawnee, one brother C. O. Everett, Windom; a sister, Mrs. John Donnelly, Little River, and four grandchildren.

Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Little River Methodist church with Rev. Percy Perry officiating. Burial will be in Bean Cemetery. (Hutchinson News-Herald, November 26, 1954, page 1)


Officer Found Fatally Shot in Hospital

Lawrence, Aug. 28 - Lee Freeman, 48, Leavenworth County Deputy Sheriff who was shot January 22 while attempting to arrest a man wanted for car theft, was found dead of a bullet wound in the head in his room at a Lawrence hospital Saturday night.
Deputy Sheriff R. G. Sanders, said Freeman had been shot with a .38 calibre revolver.

Sanders said that about a month ago Freeman asked his wife to bring his revolver to the hospital explaining he wanted to sell it to a highway patrolman. Mrs. Freeman later returned the weapon to the Freeman home in Tonganoxie. About a week ago, Sanders reported she again was asked by her husband to bring him the gun, saying he had another prospective purchaser.
The gun, in a package was placed in a dresser drawer. Saturday evening, Sanders said. Freeman asked the night nurse to hand him the package.

He was found dead about 9:30 p.m. (The Emporia Gazette, August 28, 1944, page 3)


Jail is Scene of A Mutiny

Negro Turnkey Shot and Killed; None of Prisoners Get Away

Wichita, Kan., Aug. 16 - An attempted jail break in the Sedgwick county jail was frustrated at noon today after Frank Hill, 40, negro turnkey, was shot and killed. None of the prisoners in the jail escaped. Three prisoners suspected of having been involved in the attempted delivery were being questioned this afternoon. Two who escaped from their inner confines in the jail after shooting the turnkey and taking his keys were captured after a riot call brought a dozen police to the jail.

Wichita, Kan. Aug. 16 - A mutiny broke out at noon today in the Sedgwick county jail here, Frank Hill, 40, negro jailer, was shot and killed. Fourteen county and federal prisoners, said to include some of the most desperate characters ever held in the jail, were in a state of rebellion early this afternoon. None had escaped. (Hutchinson News, August 16, 1927, page 1)


Confessed Cop Killer Makes Escape Attempt

McAlester, Okla., Oct. 22 - Robert Roe, young Oklahoman who this week told officers he was responsible for the killing of a Kansas policeman, was shot and wounded seriously in an attempt to escape while he was being brought to state's penitentiary here, it was learned today.

Under a 20 year sentence for robbery with firearms, Roe leaped yesterday from the window of a motor car driven by Sheriff H. H. Isham of Noble county about 12 miles north of McAlester, after freeing himself from handcuffs. Sheriff Isham said Art Wentz, his deputy opened fire and that Roe was immediately recaptured. He was brought to the prison hospital here where authorities said he likely would recover.

Although Roe admitted at Perry that he killed Melvin Howe, Lawrence, Kas., policeman, last April. Oklahoma officials held he should first serve his sentence in this state.

Sheriff Isham said Roe unlocked his handcuffs with an improvised key he had secreted in his mouth. The sheriff declared Roe had made several unsuccessful attempts to escape jail at Perry, once manufacturing an imitation automatic pistol and another item fashioning keys to his cell. (Iola Daily Register, October 22, 1931, page 1)


Trooper Dies on Mercy Run

El Dorado, Kan. - Trooper Jim Jacobs of the Kansas Highway Patrol was killed Tuesday on his second run with blood plasma for a woman who needed it desperately.

His patrol cruiser sideswiped a grain truck on U.S. 54 about seven miles east of El Dorado just after he had overtaken a big tractor-trailer truck.

Mrs. Dale Haney, about 30, was in critical condition at a hospital in Eureka after childbirth.

He was bringing blood to us that was critically needed, said her physician.

The plasma was recovered from the demolished cruiser and shuttled the remaining 25 miles to Eureka.

Co. Harvey Schmedemann superintendent of the patrol said at Topeka he understood it was instrumental in saving the life of the patient.

The plasma shipments came from Wichita and Jacobs picked them up at the El Dorado interchange of the Kansas Turnpike.
Jacobs was born at Liberal, Kans., where his parents live. He had been a patrolman about five years and formerly was stationed at Wellington, Kan.

Herschel Buxton an El Dorado mail carrier was driving the grain truck. He was not hurt. (Ottawa Herald, October 7, 1959, page 7)


Stevens County Sheriff Dies

Hugoton - Earl Kerns, 61, sheriff of Stevens County, died at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at his home about two hours after returning to his home following a call to pick up a drunk.

The sheriff, a veteran peace officer, reportedly had a struggle with the prisoner but took care of his man and returned to bed where he was stricken.

Sheriff Kerns took office last January. He had previously served two terms as sheriff here and was a long time resident of Stevens county. The widow survives. (Hutchinson News-Herald, December 14, 1949, page 9)


A Mexican Ran Wild and Killed

Knifed Captain of Guards at the Leavenworth Federal Prison

Knifed 4 Other Guards

Martinez, Convicted in France of Murder, was Serving Twenty-Five Years

Leavenworth, Kan. Nov. 14 - In a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to escape from the federal penitentiary here shortly before noon today, Joe Martinez serving a sentence for murder fatally stabbed A. B. Leonard, captain of the guards and killed four other guards, two dangerously.

Martinez was shot by one of the guards and later taken to a hospital after he was found hiding in a coal bunker. The extent of his wounds has not been determined.

Stabbed from Behind

Captain Leonard was standing near the power house when Martinez came from behind and stabbed him through the heart with a knife which he had secretly obtained. The four other guards whom he stabbed were Martin Longyed, George Logan, Will Doldge and Joseph Durkin. Doldge and Logan were the most severely wounded. All five guards lived in Leavenworth.

Martinez a Mexican served as a soldier in the 125th infantry during the war. He was convicted in France on a charge of first degree murder and sentenced to serve twenty-five years. He was received at the Leavenworth penitentiary in December 1918.

Then Slashed Guard

After slaying Leonard, Martinez reached a point in the yard where Guard Longyed was on duty. The guard did not know of the attack on Leonard. The convict again branished his eight inch knife and before the guard could move to defend himself he had been slashed several times.

Guards Opened Fire

Martinez next encountered Logan, Doldge and Durkin. Wielding the knife viciously he wounded the officers and escaped in the direction of the power house. Other guards, attracted by the disturbance, opened fire from their stations along the prison walls. The prisoner was wounded but continued until he reached the protection of the building. He took refuge in a coal bunker.

Finally Captured.

Efforts to induce the convict to surrender failed. He still was armed with the knife and warned guards against entering the bunkers to bring him out. A call was sent to Fort Leavenworth for tear gas bombs. Before they arrived, however, guards reached the prisoner and disarmed him. He is being treated at the prison hospital.

Convicts Sought Cover

Great confusion existed in the prison yard after Leonard was slain. Convicts sought cover in prison buildings as guards opened fire on the slayer. None attempted to aid Martinez, however, and none took advantage of the situation to make a break for liberty. Prison authorities believe Martinez may have became crazed suddenly.

Leonard was one of the oldest employees in the prison in point of service. He entered the ? services as a guard, shortly after the prison was established. In the mutiny of 1901 when one guard was killed and several wounded, Leonard fell from the prison wall and was injured severely. While he was helpless on the ground, an armed prisoner approached to kill him, but was persuaded not to by another convict.

Leonard was a veteran of the Spanish American War. He is survived by his widow and two children. (Hutchinson News, November 14, 1922, page 1)

Back to Index Page

Copyright © to Kansas Genealogy Trails' host & all Contributors
  All rights reserved