Deputy Sheriff Robert G. Sproat

Deputy Sheriff Robert G. Sproat

Cedar County Sheriff's Office, Iowa

End of Watch Friday, August 8, 1930

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Robert G. Sproat

Deputy Sheriff Bob Sproat was shot and killed when he and two other officers set up a roadblock on Primary Road 74 (modern-day Highway 130), two miles east of Tipton, to stop three robbery suspects who were fleeing Davenport.

When the officers stopped the vehicle, one of the men opened fire with a machine gun, striking Deputy Sproat in the chest.

One suspect was apprehended at his home in Ohio several days later. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled on August 13th, 1952.

The other two suspects, who were brothers, remained at large until 1936, when one, identified as the shooter, was apprehended in California. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and executed in January 1938. A few weeks after his execution, the FBI discovered that his brother had committed suicide in Reading, California, on April 20th, 1934.

Deputy Sproat was a United States Army Spanish War veteran. He was survived by his two brothers, four sisters, four nephews, and two nieces.

He is buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Tipton, Cedar County, Iowa.


  • Age 56
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Machine gun
  • Offender Executed in 1938

roadblock, robbery

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To learn more about Robert Sproat, please visit the following link:

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Stephen Folker
Giraffe Photography

June 27, 2023

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