Sheriff Benjamin Franklin Orcutt

Sheriff Benjamin Franklin Orcutt

Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, Michigan

End of Watch Thursday, December 12, 1867

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Benjamin Franklin Orcutt

Sheriff Benjamin Orcutt was shot and mortally wounded by two men who were attempting to free prisoners from the county jail.

Sheriff Orcutt, whose home was beside the jail, awoke to a loud noise and went out and discovered two men attempting to make a jail window into an exit for his prisoners. As he pursued the two men into an alley, one or both opened fire striking the sheriff in the chest.

Sheriff Orcutt was able to return to his home. Physicians were sent for but his wound was fatal. He died at his home nine days later.

The two suspects were never positively identified. It was believed that they were accomplices of three prisoners who burglarized the Kalamazoo County Treasurer's Office the month before. Several suspects were questioned but none were charged. The case was never solved.

Sheriff Orcutt had served with the agency for 15 years. He was a Lieutenant Colonel for the Union Army with the 25th Michigan Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He was survived by his wife and three young sons.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, December 3, 1867
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Never tried

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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My faithful servant.
You were called upon to serve others.
You were asked to see, what no man should ever have to see.
To go through, what no man should ever have to go through.
But you did so with pride, honor, and integrity.

My faithful servant.
You were called upon to defend those, who could not defend themselves.
To provide justice to those, who did not respect it.
To lay down your life, if the time called for it.
Again, you did not question what was asked of you.
You did it with love, compassion, and loyalty.

My faithful servant.
In times of adversity, you prayed for strength.
In times of triumph, you praised your Lord.
You served your Country, State, and city proud.
Your service will forever be remembered by the many lives you’ve touched.

My faithful servant.
When your service on this earth is finally complete.
I will welcome you home with open arms.
I will embrace you and proclaim,
“Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

Sergeant Barton
Garden City PD

December 9, 2013

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