Patrolman Rufus Chalmers Parkinson

Patrolman Rufus Chalmers Parkinson

Memphis Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, November 2, 1894

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Rufus Chalmers Parkinson

Patrolman Rufus Parkinson was shot and killed as he attempted to arrest a suspect wanted for robbing a woman in Osceola, Arkansas. Patrolman Parkinson was walking his beat, the southern levee from Front Street to the Mississippi River when a female stopped him and pointed out the suspect, who had robbed her of $15 and a watch.

When the suspect saw Patrolman Parkinson approaching he fled south on Beale street. Patrolman Parkinson gave chase and at Beale Street and Clinton Street (Present day Wagner Place) a pedestrian was able to restrain the suspect. When Patrolman Parkinson approached, the suspect broke free from the pedestrian, drew a gun, shot Patrolman Parkinson in the left side and fled.

Despite his wound, Patrolman Parkinson continued to pursue the suspect, firing several shot at him. Patrolman Parkinson attempted to mount a civilians horse at Beale Street and Front Street to continue the pursuit, but was unable to because of his wound. The suspect escaped.

Patrolman Parkinson was taken to his home where he died a few hours later from his wound.

The suspect was captured in Arkansas four days later. He was convicted of Patrolman Parkinson's murder and sentenced to life in prison on January 22, 1895.

Patrolman Parkinson had served with the Memphis Police Department for only 10 months and was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 10 months
  • Badge 137

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, November 1, 1894
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Sentenced to life

foot pursuit, fugitive

Most Recent Reflection

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Loved you great Grandad, Also loved your son, L. B. Parkinson my Mother's Dad who was only 8 yrs. old when you were shot and killed in the line of duty. Bonnie Parkinson McCullough, my Mom was honored several yrs. on Police appreciation day at downtown Memphis. L. B. lived to be 94 yrs old. Rufus is buried at Salem Church in Atoka, Tn. L. B. is buried at Rosemark cemetary in Rosemark, Tn. Paul Mc.

Paul Chalmers McCullough
Great Granson

May 5, 2015

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