Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Sheriff Robert Jones died from gunshot wounds he suffered two days earlier while attempting to arrest an escapee from the Grant County Jail.
The convicted horse thief had been charged with grand larceny in July 1888 and was sentenced to two years in prison. As he was waiting to be transferred to the Indiana State Prison North, he escaped on September 20 from the jail. The convict later returned to the county to court a young lady while staying with his father.
Her family, who disapproved of their relationship, informed Sheriff Jones that the man would be visiting the home of her half sister that evening in Jerome, in Howard County. Arriving at the residence, a deputy remained at the front door as Sheriff Jones proceeded to the rear door and entered the premises.
After both females denied the suspect was at the home, Sheriff Jones opened a door leading to a bedroom and found him hiding there. The suspect fired two shots from a revolver, seriously wounding Sheriff Jones in the left arm and abdomen.
Sheriff Jones, who was unarmed, began striking the man with his billy club until the deputy gained entry through the front door, which had been barricaded with a bed and took him into custody. Sheriff Jones survived two days before he died from his wounds.
The 22-year-old suspect was taken to the Indiana State Prison North in Michigan City to avoid being lynched by enraged citizens. He was later sentenced to life in prison but escaped from confinement in April 1907.
Sheriff Jones had served in office for less than four weeks of his two-year term. He was survived by his wife and two sons.