Sheriff Chauncey Belden Whitney

Sheriff Chauncey Belden Whitney

Ellsworth County Sheriff's Department, Kansas

End of Watch Monday, August 18, 1873

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Chauncey Belden Whitney

Sheriff Chancey Whitney was accidentally shot and killed.

After breaking up a fight in a local saloon involving another officer, Sheriff Whitney, and two civilians, exited the saloon and were walking down the street when the other officer involved in the fight ran into the street and began firing his gun. As Sheriff Whitney turned to answer the gunfire, one of the civilian's shotguns discharged and struck Sheriff Whitney in the chest. He died three days later.

The officer who started the disturbance was later fired, re-hired, fired again, and killed on October 16, 1877. The civilian suspect was also involved in three other killings and wounding a man; it is unknown if he was either acquitted or never tried. The civilian suspect died on September 6, 1897, of natural causes.

Sheriff Whitney was a United States Army Scout during the Indian Wars and had served with the Ellsworth County Sheriff's Department for three years. He was survived by his wife and daughter.

He is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery, Ellsworth, Kansas.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, August 15, 1873
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Acquitted

crossfire, fight call

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff Whitney,
On today, the 150th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during the American-Indian Wars.


United States Border Patrol

August 18, 2023

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