Detective George W. Powers

Detective George W. Powers

Grand Rapids Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Thursday, August 22, 1895

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George W. Powers

Detective George Powers was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two suspected train robbers.

Detective Powers and two other detectives had gone to the Union Train Depot on Bridge Street to find two suspected train robbers. Detective Powers located the men in a train preparing to leave. When Detective Powers went to pull the bell cord on the train to alert the other Detective that he had located the suspects, one of them drew a concealed gun and shot Detective Powers, killing him.

The next day police shot and killed one of the suspects in McBain. One of the detectives who was with Detective Powers identified the suspect as being the one who killed Detective Powers.

Detective Powers was a U.S Army veteran of the Civil war and served with the Grand Rapids Police Department for 18 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.

During the Civil war, he was taken prisoner following the Battle of the wilderness and sent to Andersonville Prison. During a prisoner transfer, he and another soldier managed to escape and make it back to Union Army Lines.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .44 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, robbery attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 10 Reflections

Dear Great Great Grandpa Powers,
You must have been an amazing human being. How you served your country and community. As a brave soldier for the Union Army and were captured but escaped. After the Civil War you started farming in Sparta. You married sweet grandma Emily but she died young leaving you with 4 children under the age of eight. That was when you married Isadora and started working for the Grand Rapids Police Department. I can’t imagine what life was like for you. It must have been challenging. Serving your community for 18 years, helping to keep them safe. There are so many questions I have for you. I would love to sit down and have a chat with you. Some day. I want to thank you for your service. I’d also like to wish you happy birthday. You were born on April 9, 1843 and your life was taken on August 22, 1895. We love you, Grandpa.

Linda Evans - great great granddaughter
Retired Spouse Michigan State Police

April 8, 2022

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