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Deputy Sheriff Oscar Harp | Sawyer County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin Sawyer County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin

Deputy Sheriff

Oscar Harp

Sawyer County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin

End of Watch: Saturday, October 8, 1910

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 35

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Pardoned in 1921

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Deputy Harp was shot and killed as he was taking up a position behind a cabin containing a barricaded suspect. After exchanging gunfire with officers for several hours the suspect surrendered. Several other officers were also wounded during the stand off.

The suspect was John Deitz, known as "The Defender of Cameron Dam". The Sheriff was attempting to seize his cabin and other property in order to satisfy a $22,000 judgement awarded to a lumber company. Deitz had opened the flood gates to a dam located on his property causing the lumber companie's logs to be scattered and lost. Deitz said the lumber company used his dam to transport their logs and refused to compensate him for it.

John Deitz was convicted of Deputy Harp's murder and sentenced to life in prison on May 13, 1911. His story gained national attention. People from everywhere contributed thousands of dollars to a fund aimed at having him released. Hollywood produced a movie about his story in 1913 called "Dietz Battle at Cameron Dam". Deitz was pardoned by Wisconsin Governor Blaine on May 13, 1921. John Deitz died on May 8, 1924.

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Rest in peace and Olav Hashalom Deputy Sheriff Karp. Thanks for your courage.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis
October 8, 2014

 

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