Patrolman William Smith

Patrolman William Smith

Joplin Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Monday, November 15, 1909

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William Smith

Patrolman William Smith was shot and killed by the husband of a prostitute he had just arrested.

Patrolman Smith and another patrolman raided a house of prostitution at 803 Main Street. As Patrolman Smith and his partner exited the house with the suspects, they were confronted by the suspect’s husband who shot both of them. Patrolman Smith died from his wounds.

The entire police department was trying to make Joplin as presentable as possible for the arrival of the famous evangelist Billy Sunday. The suspect was apprehended in 1913.

Patrolman Smith is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Joplin, Missouri.


  • Age 42
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

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

prisoner custody, prostitution

Most Recent Reflection

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I understand that he was an honorable and dedicated man and is my namesake. I visit his grave and say a prayer for him when I go back to Joplin from Tulsa ( where I live now).

William Arthur Smith
Great-Grandson of Officer Smith

April 16, 2024

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