Deputy Sheriff
John E. Gardner
Dubois County Sheriff's Department
Tuesday, June 2, 1885

Age: 42
Served: 1 day
Badge #:
Not Included
Not Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Monday, June 1, 1885
05:00 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
1 day
Incident Location:
2nd Avenue east of Jasper
Incident County:
Dubois
Incident Township:
Bainbridge
Weapon Used:
Officer's handgun
Suspect Disposition:
• Shot and killed
• Sentenced to 2 to 21 years
Burial Place:
Jasper City Cemetery, Jasper

   Deputy John Gardner and Deputy William Cox were shot while attempting to arrest two brothers on larceny warrants from Martin County, two miles east of Jasper.

   During the arrest, the younger brother gained control of Deputy Gardner's pistol while the older brother shot Deputy Cox in the hand, disarming him. Both deputies were then shot with their own weapons before the brothers fled on the deputy's horses.

   Deputy Gardner died the following day and Deputy Cox suffered severe wounds and remained paralyzed until his death nearly two years later.

   The 30- and 35-year-old suspects were found 16 years later as inmates at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort. They escaped to avoid extradition to Indiana one day before their sentences were served for bank robbery and setting on fire the city of Cadiz.

   They were captured in Mount Vernon, Illinois and while being transferred from the Indiana Reformatory to the Dubois County Jail to stand trial, the younger brother was shot and killed as they again attempted to escape.

   The older brother was charged with murder, convicted by a jury of manslaughter of both deputies and sentenced to 2 to 21 years in prison.

   Deputy Gardner was survived by his wife. He had been deputized that day for the arrest.

Military Service


United States Army
Civil War (Union)

Historical Notes

• Deputy Gardner is one of four known officers killed in the line of duty in Indiana who served only one day.
• This incident was one of 23 which resulted in the line of duty deaths of two officers.

~ ~ ~

This officer has been denied inclusion on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.


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Deputy Sheriff John E. Gardner - Dubois County Sheriff's Department - INLEM.org