Deputy Sheriff William Cox

Deputy Sheriff William Cox

Dubois County Sheriff's Department, Indiana

End of Watch Monday, May 23, 1887

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William Cox

Deputy William Cox and Deputy John Gardener were shot while attempting to arrest two brothers for robbery. During the arrest the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding Deputy Gardener on the scene. Deputy Cox suffered severe wounds and remained paralyzed until his death two years later. The suspects fled the scene but were arrested six years later in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Deputy Cox had been deputized that day for the arrest. He was survived by his wife and child.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 1 day
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, June 1, 1885
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

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Regarding the ramifications for the families of such victims as Wm. Cox: He was the 2nd husband of my great-great-grandmother, Arilla Hollowell, who was only 17 when they were married. This horrid death changed her life, utterly. I try to imagine caring for a paralyzed man NOW, and how difficult it would be, lifting him, bathing him, helping him dress...much less if I were a teenager also having to take care of a household by myself, plus the man's son, plus keep some sort of income coming in by opening my home to boarders. Just the reality of daily chamber pot duty, of cooking on a wood stove with all the jobs just that would entail, of fetching all's exhausting to even contemplate. Sadly, her next marriage was to a man whose involvement with a criminal boarder landed him in prison as accessory to murder. Her 4th marriage was to a man who, unbeknownst to anyone back then, had inherited Huntington's Disease which often manifests in violent and schizophrenic behavior, as it did with 3 of her 4 children with him who had to be institutionalized.
I wonder what her life might have been like had this horrible event never occurred.

Rebecca Noot

February 2, 2022

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