Deputy Sheriff Joseph Staples

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Staples

El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch Friday, July 1, 1864

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Joseph Staples

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Staples was shot and killed and a constable was seriously wounded when they attempted to arrest six stagecoach robbers.

The previous day six men wearing Confederate uniforms halted and robbed two stagecoaches near Placerville. The next morning Deputy Staples and a local constable followed the robbers' trail to a hotel in the nearby town of Somerset. Once inside the two were met with a fusillade of bullets. Deputy Staples was killed instantly. The constable, who ran back outside, was shot three times and left for dead.

Seven weeks later all six suspects were apprehended in Santa Clara County. One suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and hanged in Placerville on September 29th, 1865. Another suspect was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years hard labor. The other four suspects were tried and acquitted.


  • Age 38
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1865


Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Deputy Staples
As a retired deputy from your same dept., El Dorado County, or EDSO, I want you to know that you still live on! After joining EDSO, I learned of you and have been to your grave site several times to pay my respects. We were proud that your sacrafice was our only one for over 100 years until our recent loss of Deputy Ishmael in 2019. You have not been forgotten.

Deputy Royce Windham
El Dorado Sheriff

August 26, 2022

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