CITY DEPARTMENTS 

DEPARTMENT HISTORY
Original Patch

The Muskogee Police Department is continually gathering any information about the history of our department. We would appreciate any help that could be given to obtain this information. If you have any information that would assist us please send it here.

FALLEN OFFICERS
Police Officer Lewis Franklin Harvey
No Photo Age: 45
Years of Service: 1
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Tuesday, March 10, 1908
End of Watch: Tuesday, March 10, 1908
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon Used: Handgun

Information:

Officer Harvey was shot and killed as he was checking doors on local business while he was on night patrol. Officer Harvey was talking with a friend (Jesse G. Cox) while checking the alley door of a drug store when the man pulled out a concealed weapon and shot Officer Harvey once in the face and once in the abdomen. Officer Harvey was found with both hands in his pockets and his gun still holstered. Cox testified at his trial that Officer Harvey had threatened him with harm if he did not run his prostitute girlfriend out of town. The jury acquitted cox.
Officer Harvey had been with the agency for one year and was survived by his wife and three children.


Police Officer Samuel Henry Neal


No Photo Age: 48
Years of Service: 3
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Sunday, December 26, 1915
End of Watch: Sunday, December 26, 1915
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon Used: Handgun

Information:

Officer Neal was shot and killed while confronting a burglary suspect on East Okmulgee. He observed the man carrying a large bag. He approached the man and asked him what was in the bag. The man, who had just burglarized a nearby business, shot Officer Neal in the chest twice. After Officer Neal fell, the man shot him in the abdomen. Willie Williams was later convicted of the murder and died in the Oklahoma electric chair on April 13, 1917.
Officer Neal had served with the Muskogee Police Department for 3 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


Officer Leslie Jennings


Jennings Age: 32
Years of Service: Two Weeks
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Monday, July 14, 1924
End of Watch: Tuesday, July 15, 1924
Cause of Death: Automobile Accident
Weapon Used: Automobile

Information:

Officer Jennings was in training and was riding with S. Pike, Chief of the traffic force. The officers had stopped a motorist at the intersection of Fifth and Broadway, in front of the Muskogee Drug Company. While Officer Jennings was standing next to the stopped car issuing a citation, a car driven by Robert Venus, 19, sideswiped the police car and struck Officer Jennings. Jennings was knocked 20 feet and landed on his head. Officer Jennings died of his injuries the next morning. Robert Venus was charged with manslaughter.
Officer Jennings was survived by his wife.


Captain Charles W. Bowman


No Photo Age: 51
Years of Service: Unknown
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Monday, June 5, 1927
End of Watch: Monday, June 5, 1927
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon Used: Handgun

Information:

Captain Bowman and Chief Clark Compton found a car parked in a service station shortly after midnight at East Side Blvd. and Fredonia. Two men, R. C. Hansel and Grover Stewart, were asleep inside the car. The officers approached with guns drawn and woke the men up. The men began fighting with the officers and Hansel kicked Bowman’s gun hand causing the gun to discharge. The bullet struck Bowman in the right leg severing an artery causing him to bleed to death.
Captain Bowman was survived by his wife and three children.


Police Officer John Edmond Hensley


No Photo Age: 50
Years of Service: 12
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Monday, July 30, 1934
End of Watch: Tuesday, July 31, 1934
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon Used: Handgun

Information:

Officer Hensley and Officer William M. “Billy” Guy stopped a suspicious taxi cab at the corner of 21st Street and Boston Avenue. The officers thought it odd for a taxi to be in Muskogee with McAlester license plates. The officers were unaware that the cab had been hijacked in McAlester by State Prison escapee Charles Martin who made the cab driver change clothes with him. Martin got out of the cab and was talking to Officer Guy while Officer Hensley moved the police car out of traffic. Martin grabbed Officer Guy’s gun and hit him in the head with it. Officer Hensley got out of the police car and started toward his injured partner when Martin started shooting. Officer Guy was shot through the right thigh and Officer Hensley was hit in the foot, the shoulder and in the chest, grazing his heart. Officer Hensley was able to shoot Martin twice before he fell. Martin died the next morning in the hospital. Officer Hensley died shortly after noon the same day
Patrolman Hensley had been with the agency for 12 years and was survived by his wife and two children.


Police Officer Romie H. Hinson


Romie H. Hinson Age: 50
Years of Service: 6
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Monday, December 3, 1934
End of Watch: Sunday, December 9, 1934
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon Used: Handgun

Information:

Officer Hinson responded to a traffic accident in downtown Muskogee. The accident involved a taxi driver (James Vernon) who was intoxicated and a local citizen. When Officer Hinson and Officer William M “Billy” Guy attempted to arrest Vernon for driving under the influence, he produced a .32 caliver revolver and shot Officer Hinson in the chest. Officer Hinson was transported to a local hospital where he remained until his death, six days later.
Officer Hinson had served with the Muskogee Police Department for six years and was survived by his wife.


Chief of Detectives Ben L. Bolton


Bolton Age: 55
Years of Service: 13
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Monday, December 3, 1935
End of Watch: Sunday, December 5, 1935
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon Used: Shotgun

Information:

Chief Bolton died of a gunshot wound he received while attempting to stop a group of inmates (5 members of the O'Malley Gang) from escaping from the jail. As Chief Bolton reached for his weapon, he was shot in the face by John Blackburn. Chief Bolton died later from his wounds.
Three of the fugitives were captured and three were killed while resisting arrest. John Blackburn was killed during the escape in a gun fight with officers.
Chief Bolton had served with the Muskogee Police Department for 13 years, and was survived by his wife and three children.


Captain Charles Owen Purdin


Charles Owen Purdin Age: 52
Years of Service: 20
Badge Number: Not Available
Incident Date: Wednesday, July 31, 1957
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 17, 1957
Cause of Death: Motorcycle Accident
Weapon Used: Not Available

Information:

Captain Purdin died of injuries he received when he was involved in a motorcycle accident. Captain Purdin was escorting a funeral procession when his department motorcycle was stuck from behind by an automobile. Captain Purdin suffered a broken leg and a fractured thigh. Captain Purdin's leg did not heal and it had to be amputated. While he was recovering at a hospital a blood clot moved from his inured leg to his heart, killing him.
Captain Purdin had served with the Muskogee Police Department for 20 years and was survived by his wife and four children.


CITY MARSHALS

1903 - 1904 - William Herring
1905 - 1906 - Hans Carter
1907 - Not Known
1908 - 1909 - Charles Kimsey
1910 - J.F. "Bud" Ledbetter
1911 - Harry Blake
1912 - 1913 - Joe Depew

CHIEFS OF POLICE

1914 - 1917 - Joe Depew
1918 - B.G. Hughes
1919 - R.L. McAfee
1920 - E.A. Maloney
1921 - Not Known
1922 - Earl Chadwell
1923 - Not Known
1924 - Not Known
1925 - Earl Chadwell
1926 - Not Known
1927 - 1928 - Clarke W. Compton
1929 - Not Known
1930 - Thomas W. Graves
1931 - Not Known
1932 - Earl Chadwell
1933 - Not Known
1934 - B.L. Bolton
1935 - Not Known
1936 - Marshall Corgan
1937 - Not Known
1938 - Edward Corbin
1939 - 1941 - Not Known
1942 - A. Cain Burnett
1943 - 1945 - Not Known
1946 - Ben A. Hayes
1947 - Not Known
1948 - Reubon E. Davis
1949 - Not Known
1950 - Reubon E. Davis
1951 - Not Known
1952 - 1953 - Felix G. Duncan
1954 - Not Known
1955 - 1956 - R.M. Pickens
1957 - Paul Hinson
1958 - Not Known
1959 - 1963 - Ernst Wehba
1964 - Not Known
1965 - 1966 - George D. Newton
1967 - Not Known
1968 - George D. Spencer
1969 - 1970 - Chester W. Simons
1971 - 1972 - George R. Kennedy
1973 - W.L. Smith
1974 - 1984 - Henry Sharp
1985 - 1988 - Jim Webb
1988 - 1992 - Gary Sturm
1992 - Rex Eskridge (acting 12-21-1992)
1993 - Present - Rex Eskridge

We would like to thank the Muskogee Public Library Grant Foreman Collection for the above list of past City Marshals and Chiefs of Police.




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CONTACT US
Phone Numbers:
Police Chief
918-680-3106
Police Department
918-683-8000
Fax: 918-680-3197

Addresses:
Muskogee Police Department
112 South Third
Muskogee, OK 74401

E-mail Addresses:

 
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