Sheriff Jesse Sunday

Sheriff Jesse Sunday

Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, Tribal Police

End of Watch Tuesday, September 21, 1897

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Jesse Sunday

Sheriff Jesse Sunday succumbed to gunshot wounds received the previous day in the town of Rose, Oklahoma, while attempting to question a man wanted for the murder of a store owner and the Sheriff-elect.

The suspect was taken into custody and convicted of Sheriff Sunday's murder.

The man was originally sentenced to death but the sentence was later commuted to 10 years in prison. He escaped from prison three months later and joined the Army. All charges against him were dropped after he joined the Army.

Sheriff Sunday was sheriff of the Saline District of Cherokee Nation Indian Territory. He was survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 44
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Oklahoma
  • Incident Date Monday, September 20, 1897
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentence commuted

Most Recent Reflection

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Jess was my gggrandfather. When he died, his wife Alice moved in with their son Andy (my ggrandfather) and his wife to help raise my grandmother Mary. Mary married my granddad O.L. Morgan who spent a lot of time with Andy and wrote an account of these events in the Spring 1955 edition of the Chronicles of Oklahoma.
Alice is buried a few miles north of Jess in an unmarked grave on private property. It is difficult to find, but the spot is visible from the road.

On a side note, I intentionally left the "e" from Jess's name in honor of my dad who claimed that was the way Jess spelled it although the old records I've seen include the "e". Several years ago, I bought a commemorative brick for "Jesse Sunday" that was placed in the sidewalk in front of the old Cherokee courthouse. That's when my dad told me that the family said he didn't use the "e". Oh well.

John Morgan

John Morgan
great great grandson

January 1, 2020

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