Special Agent Elmer Robbins

Special Agent Elmer Robbins

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Thursday, April 17, 1919

Elmer Robbins

Special Agent Elmer Robbins was shot and killed near Greensburg, Indiana, while searching a train coming from Ohio after having received a tip that two men were transporting a large load of illegal whiskey on it.

A man claiming to be a federal revenue officer had called Agent Robbins at home in the middle of the night to make the report. Agent Robbins assembled a posse with the assistance of the Greensburg Police Department and Decatur County Sheriff's Office. They stopped the train as it approached Greensburg and Agent Robbins began searching it.

When he entered the coal car he was fatally shot. The two suspects then jumped from the train and hid nearby. It is believed they re-boarded the train when it started moving again. Both were arrested in Indianapolis the following day. The man who confessed to shooting Agent Robbins escaped from jail but was found dead in a local river.

An investigation later revealed that the man who had alerted Agent Robbins to the illegal whiskey was impersonating a federal officer. He had hired the two men on the train to deliver the whiskey to him but believed they were stealing it. He was arrested by federal authorities and charged in connection with impersonating a federal officer.

Agent Robbins was survived by his wife and son. He is buried in South Park Cemetery, Greensburg, Indiana.


  • Age 52
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Indiana
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Deceased

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in Peace Special Agent Elmer Robbins. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice protecting America's steel roadways.

I Pray that the hounds of hell forever gnaw at the carcass' of those responsible for your murder.


Senior Special Agent B.L. Sherwood (Ret)
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, Texas

April 18, 2016

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