6. Baldwin Harl Casebolt

This page was last updated 20 January 2011 -- rak.

My grandfather, Baldwin Harl Casebolt was born 2 Nov 1880 in Saline County, Missouri, to Dorothy Nancy (Campbell) and Lewis Fletcher Linn Casebolt.. He was named for a popular local preacher, Baldwin Harl.

He was a part-time a deputy sheriff and was shot and killed 10 September 1926 by fleeing robbers at a gas station in Fall City, Cowley County, Kansas. In the 1990's he was inducted into the Kansas Law Officers Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Topeka at the State House. All of his living grandchildren attended. The senior living grandchild, cousin Marvin Casebolt, had the honor of representing us all on the stage.

I reconstucted the story of granddad's murder on the basis of 6 contemporary newspaper clippings, 5 supplied by my Aunt Grace and 1 by cousin Jean Feaster, 20 August 1977, then updated 22 September 2000:

Arkansas City Sheriff stated that Homer or Howard O'Neal, alias R. Patterson, age 36, and a companion, Roy Anderson, alias A. W. Mansfield, age about 25, were driving a car stolen Sept. 7 in Eureka, KS. Apparently, they had robbed the Rutledge and Jeff Kirby stores in Wauneta, KS seven miles east of Cedar Vale, KS at about 4:30 a.m. the morning of Sept. 10. Informed by telephone by alert citizens, Cedar Vale City Marshall and Chautauqua Deptuty Sheriff B. H. Casebolt, along with Ben Aley and Charles Cable, gave pursuit. They exchanged gun fire (grandpa got off 2 shots) with the suspects in Leddy Hill. No one was hit and the robbers, driving a more powerful car than the lawmen's Ford, got away. Casebolt, Cable and Aley went through Cedar Vale, where Aley got out to call ahead for help in Cowley County and Oklahoma.

Because the robbers had to stop for gas, granddad and Mr. Cable again caught up with them at 6 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 10, this time in Fall City, 20 miles south west of Cedar Vale. The robbers, one of whom had evidently murdered before, opened fire from cover just as granddad looking for them came around his car at the gas pump at Gage's store. He was hit three times: in the left hand, in the stomach and in the temple. Having also wounded Mr. Cable in the knee, the criminals took grandad's gun and fled.

When Mr. Cable went to see if he could help granddad, who, according to Cable, said "I guess they got me." He died within 20 minutes of the shooting or at about 6:30 a.m.

Within a day or so, F.M. Hubbard, granddad's employer and friend, presented the resolution to the Cedar Vale Chamber:

"Whereas one of our esteemed members, Mr. B.H. Casebolt, gave his life in pursuit of his duty as an officer of the law in an effort to protect property from thieves on the morning of September 10; Be it resolved: That the Cedar Vale Chamber of Commerce by a standing vote express our appreciation for his effort and that we tender the family our sympathy in their loss and that a copy of this resolution be signed by the President and Secretary and delivered to the family and that it also be spread on the minutes of this meeting." The resolution was unanimously voted.

The County Sheriff offered a $1,500 reward for the capture of the two fugitives and circulated notice widely. On October 20, four Pueblo, CO police officers, Hench, McDowell, Fouch and Miller, cornered the two fugitives in a rooming house on North Union Avenue in Pueblo. When accosted, the two were "crazed from drinking canned heat" so were more desperate than might otherwise have been the case. Over 25 shots were fired in the ensuing gun battle during which the two were killed and a gun, believed to have been granddad's, was recovered. Also recovered was a watch taken before the Fall City robbery from Clyde Kinimon, a Wauneta, KS merchant. Charles Cable went to Pueblo to identify the bodies. Later the stolen Eureka car was found in Pueblo and returned.

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