In 34 years I've never seen my community as overwrought as it is over the shooting death of Ogden Officer Jared Francom in January.
One symptom of how strongly people feel is a movement to name Ogden's amphitheater after Francom. Supporters feel his death is so tragic, his life so worth remembering, that he deserves permanent commemoration.
That's a laudable idea, but what about the other officers who died in the service of their Top of Utah communities?
Looking through the very excellent book, "End of Watch" by Salt Lake journalist and former cop Robert Kirby, I count seven. The Marshall White Center was named for one, but the other six don't have their names anywhere I know of.
Their deaths were every bit as tragic, their lives every bit as valuable. Several probably still have family around.
Who are they?
- Ogden Police Capt. William A. Brown, was killed April 30, 1899, after joining a posse of officers near the Hot Springs Hotel, just north of where Smith & Edwards is today. The posse was chasing two men who had held up a Brigham City resident for $1.90 and some shoes the night before.
There was a running gun battle up the hillside. One of the thieves was killed, the other shot Brown.
- Weber County Sheriff's Deputy Seymore L. Clark was shot by an apparent railroad transient Nov. 27, 1908, while investigating a trespasser near Uintah. Despite one possible confession, his killer was never found.
- Ogden Police Patrolman Charles Manzel was shot in the back of the head May 8, 1921, by a suspect he had detained while investigating a burglary on Ogden's 25th Street.
It was Manzel's first night back walking the beat after three years off to work at a local saddle shop. A jury failed to convict the suspect for murder. He served three years for burglary.
- Ogden Police Officer Joseph H. Quigley was killed July 12, 1935, while trying to stop three men who were siphoning gasoline. They shot him when he jumped into their fleeing car.
The suspects claimed they thought the officer was trying to rob them because he had a beard and was dressed in cowboy clothing for Pioneer Days, not a uniform. They were acquitted on grounds of self-defense, but found guilty of stealing a car later that day.
- Ogden Police Officer Hoyt L. Gates was killed Feb. 11, 1941, after he happened upon a gunman holding up a Safeway Store at the corner of 24th Street and Grant Avenue.
Gates was shot twice by Robert Walter Avery before Gates could get his gun out. Gates stood his ground and fired six times as the robber fled.
Gates died in the arms of a passerby who told the dying officer, "God bless you, you did the best you could."
Avery was executed by firing squad two years later.
- Ogden Police Detective Marshall "Doc" White was killed Oct. 18, 1963, while searching for two young men who escaped from the Ogden Industrial School and broke into a house. Michael Patrick Jones, 15, was convicted of White's murder in adult court.
- Davis County Sheriff's Deputy Donald Perry Jensen was killed May 15, 1971, by suspects in a South Ogden gas station robbery after stopping to help one, who claimed to be a stranded motorist.
Shot six times, he died at the scene. Two suspects were convicted of his murder.
The Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. He can be reached at 801-625-4232, or firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at www.standard.net.