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Marshal Edward Luton | Hamilton Marshal's Office, Washington Hamilton Marshal's Office, Washington

Marshal

Edward Luton

Hamilton Marshal's Office, Washington

End of Watch: Sunday, December 15, 1929

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 51

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Assault

Weapon: Blunt object

Offender: Never solved

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Marshal Edward Luton was murdered after breaking up a party during prohibition. Many over the party-goers got upset with Marshal Luton after he poured all of the alcohol down a sink drain. As he was leaving he was attacked and struck on the head with a blunt object.

His body was placed in the road leading to town and many of the party-goers then ran over him. One of the party-goers was the daughter of a politician and the case created a large political controversy. The house the party was held at burned down the following day and no evidence was ever collected. The case was never closed and no suspects were ever charged.

Marshal Luton was survived by his expectant wife and three children. His wife took over his position as Marshal after his death, becoming the first female law enforcement officer in that part of the country.

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My compilings of the Home Town sherrif, Edward Luton
author unknown
In April of 1916, Ed Luton was appointed marshal to replace Charles Richardson who had resigned. Luton's pay was to start at $30 per month but the little town of Hamilton was having a pretty tough time and they had no town meeting from May until the October meeting when they had collected enough money to pay the past three month's bills. Things got better and they went back to monthly meetings. His pay was the $10.00. In the fall of 1919, everybody came up for election again and Ed was appointed marshal again by Mayor Dave Russell. In 1921, he was ordered to enforce the meat peddling ordinance. Evidently, some one was butchering and selling the halves and quarters of beef on the street. The next problem that showed up was cows loose with bells on and were declared a public nuisance so Ed had to notify the owners to remove such from sundown to sunup. Then he was again to notify Louis Castrilli of the malfunction of his septic tank at his cheese factory. I guess it was running over and the whey was running into a ditch, and in the summer time was sour. Later the factory was closed because of sour whey.
Ed continued as marshal at $10 per month until in September 1924 when he was raised to $12. In September of 1926, a complaint was filed against Ed Luton by Mrs. William Baldridge, asking him to remove a building that obstructed her view. But the council allowed it to stay. In January 1927, with the results of the new election, Luton was replaced by Ed Smith: but by the end of 1927, Ed Luton was reappointed for the year of 1928 and at the January 1930 meeting, June Moore was appointed marshal, as Ed Luton had been killed December 15, 1929. The city gave Mrs. Bessie Luton the job as pound keeper, but June Moore didn't exercise his option to qualify himself as marshal until late in February, and Bessie was marshal until he took the oath of office in March.
I find that on April 10, 1933, Bessie was given permission to extend her fences 20 feet into Elm Street and to use it for pasture until further notice. I see where several people fenced off alleys and parts of streets for use and this helped the city in the mowing, cutting and controlling of thistles.
Bessie was really lucky, as the State Industrial Insurance had just gone on the books about a year before and she qualified for insurance to raise her family. But, you know how the state operates and after a couple of years they stopped her pay. She appealed and it took over two years before she was reinstated, until her children reached the age of eighteen years. I imagine this really helped her during the depression.
Bessie continued to live in Hamilton and raised her children and then some grandchildren made their home with her, also. She passed away in 1970. The marker says Ed Luton -- Born 1877 and Died December 15, 1929. Bessie's says -- Born 1866 and Passed away 1970 -- Age 84.
The old home was considered being placed on the Historic List but some one set it afire and later the fire department had to finish burning it, as it was unsafe.
"It may be in the coming years,
Perhaps within the better land,
We'll know the meaning of our tears,
And then, ah, then, we'll understand."
Source: Hamilton 100 Years page 160
Compiled by Carol B. Bates and James A. Bates.
Proof reading has been done by Carol Bates and Jean Wagner.
Setting to print has been done by Jumbo Jack's Inc., Audubon, Iowa.
Binding into hard backs has been done by Classic Book Binding, Des Moines, Iowa. The above poem was first read at the funeral of Edward Luton and has become a family tradition by being read at the funerals of Ed's wife and children. (Source: Don Kelly)
____________________________________________________________________________________
local newspaper article on the death of
Edward Luton
after December 15, 1929
Edward Luton, town marshal of Hamilton, was found dead on the main street of Hamilton, near the school house, about 8 o"clock Sunday morning, and although Prosecutor Gilbert and Sherrif Conn have been working constantly on the case since that time, it has not been decided whether he had been accidently killed by an automobile or was a victom of foul play. The officers are not convinced that he was not murdered and are continuing their investigations.
An inquest was held in Mt. Vernon Monday, and evidence given at the inquest indicates that Luton had attended a party held at the home of Mrs. Perry Harding in Hamilton following the dance Saturday night; and that shortly afterwards Harold Knox, Sedro-Woolley, orchestra leader, Ted Bear of Sedro-Woolley and Miss Gertrude Russell of Hamilton left the party in the car and drove to a service station some blocks east; and on their return this party found Luton's body lying in the street. Luton was rushed to the Sedro-Woolley hospital by Knox and Bear, and there it was found that he was already dead. There was much conflicting evidence at the inquest, but Knox, Bear and Miss Russell all deny that their car struck Luton. There were fifteen present at the party, and when questioned in regard to drinking the evidence ranged from statements that there was no liquor there to statements, that there was plenty of liquor, and that all had been drinking. No verdict was rendered by the coroner's jusry; the inquest being ajourned until a further investigation was made by the officers.
Sunday morning Knox, Bear, Mrs. Harding, and Donald Anderson and Ernest Vanderhoof of this city, were taken into custody and held for questioning. Folowing the inquest Monday all were released, but Knox is under bond on a charge of driving while drunk.
An Autopsy, conducted Tuesday by Drs. Boynton and Lloyd of Mt. Vernon, showed that Luton's death had been caused by a fractured skull, his head being badly chrushed over the left eye. The doctors say that the injury indicates that death was instantaneous.
Funeral services for Mr. Luton will be held in Hamilton this afternoon at the Methodist church, the service will be conducted under the auspices of the Sedro- Woolley Aerie of Eagles. He was 51 years old and was a carpenter by trade, but had served as marshal of Hamilton for the past two years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Source: Hamilton 100 Years page 361
Compiled by Carol B. Bates and James A. Bates.
Proof reading has been done by Carol Bates and Jean Wagner.
Setting to print has been done by Jumbo Jack's Inc., Audubon, Iowa.
Binding into hard backs has been done by Classic Book Binding, Des Moines, Iowa.

Civilian - Don Kelly
Grandson
April 28, 2016

 

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