City Marshal Thomas J. Smith

City Marshal Thomas J. Smith

Abilene Police Department, Kansas

End of Watch Wednesday, November 2, 1870

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Thomas J. Smith

Marshal Thomas Smith was shot and killed, and his body mutilated while he and a deputy attempted to serve a warrant.

During the incident, a shootout ensued, and Marshal Smith was wounded. The deputy then fled the area. The suspect, who remained at the scene, then decapitated Marshal Smith with an axe.

Two suspects were arrested in connection with Marshal Smith's murder; one suspect was sentenced to 12 years in the state penitentiary, the other suspect was sentenced to 16 years in state penitentiary.

Marshal Smith had been with the Abilene Police Department for one year and also held a commission as a United States Marshal; he had previously served with the New York City Police, Kit Carson Police in Colorado, as City Marshall of Bear River, Wyoming, and as a law agent for the Union Pacific Kansas Railroad line. He is buried in Abilene Cemetery, Abilene, Kansas.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Arrested


Most Recent Reflection

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I stopped by Marshall Tom Smith's resting place yesterday. Unfortunately the kiosk was out of order so finding it almost prooved challenging. So if you are looking for it, drive through the main gate. Go up about 2 roads, then turn right. The first dirt road, turn left. His large stone marker is by a water pump and a tree on the left.

Marshall Smith is one of my heros. He preferred less violent methods of maintaining law and order. And it is said, he never cursed. The citizens of Abilene loved him. He re-established peace when he arrived by earning respect of mostly everyone. His spirit is alive and well. And honestly, i give Tom's spirit credit for finding his grave. I literally was on foot searching in the heat of the day (around 100 degrees). I asked, "Tom, where are you resting"?. Then i felt a peaceful communication for me to walk in the other direction. Diagonal from where i was walking. And i walked directly to his stone all the way from the other side of the Cemetery. It was not one bit spooky. But i was in a bit of shock..mostly in a good way.

Tom Smith is a Legend and should always be revered as a Hero.

David Creech
Historian...Truck Driver

July 18, 2022

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