Sheriff Jacob S. Wigers

Sheriff Jacob S. Wigers

Rock Island County Sheriff's Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, December 30, 1918

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Jacob S. Wigers

Sheriff Jake Wigers was shot and killed in a shootout with four robbery suspects on Coaltown Road at 9:30 pm.

Sheriff Jake Wigers and another officer witnessed four subjects robbing the passengers of a taxicab. They attempted to stop the subjects, and a shootout ensued. Sheriff Wigers was transported to Moline City Hospital and succumbed to his wounds at 4 am.

One suspect, the 21-year-old who fired the fatal shot, which was later discovered, was arrested. Two others were apprehended a week later in Burlington, Iowa. They escaped from the Mercer County Jail on April 6, 1919, stole a car and were never seen again. The fourth suspect, who had remained at large for more than 22 years, surrendered to parole officers in Springfield on April 24, 1942.

Sheriff Wigers' killer was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He was paroled on December 23, 1940. He was returned to prison in 1942 for violating his parole. He was paroled again on December 23, 1943. He testified at the fourth suspect's trial, stating he participated in the robbery but took no part in the shooting. He was acquitted of murder but sentenced to three years for violating his parole.

Sheriff Wigers had served with the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department for 11 years, 29 days as the Sheriff, and previously served with the Moline Police Department for 14 years. He was survived by his wife, three sons, and a daughter.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, December 29, 1918
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

parolee, robbery

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We never met. Your story has been passed to me through your daughter Norma. I am an old man now. Those that serve are long remembered.

Michael F Webster

December 25, 2019

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