Special Agent J. A. McClure

Special Agent J. A. McClure

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Wednesday, January 25, 1911

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J. A. McClure

Special Agent J.A. McClure was shot and killed while attempting to arrest several men for stealing corn from a train near Abo, New Mexico.

He and his partner had boarded the train at Belen in an attempt to stop any theft from occurring in Abo Pass. His partner had gotten off the train at a flag stop and Agent McClure continued on. When Agent McClure failed to return to the station a search was undertaken. His body was found three days later in a well suffering four bullet wounds.

An investigation revealed that he had followed a trail of corn to a campsite where several suspects, a father, Frank Howe, and his two sons, Guy and Robert, had taken stolen corn. The men opened fire on him as he approached, killing him. They then dumped his body in the well on the property of one of the men. The suspects attempted to flee to Mexico but were stopped at the border crossing in Ft. Hancock, Texas, where they shot and killed United States Customs Inspector Thomas L. O'Connor and wounded Justice of the Peace M.R. Hemly. Hemly was wounded in the shootout but managed to wound Robert Howe. The suspects continued to flee and were pursued by Texas Rangers and New Mexico lawmen. On January 31st, 1911, the officers caught up with them and shot and killed the father and one son.

Agent McClure had served with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Police Department for 10 years. He was survived by his child and sister, and predeceased by his wife. He is buried at Fairview Memorial Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Bio

  • Age 48
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location New Mexico
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Not available

larceny

Most Recent Reflection

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Frank Howe was my great-grandfather and his sons were my grandmother's brothers. She was a sweet Hispanic woman. Frank himself was a veteran of the Union Army from Indiana who had moved to New Mexico after the Civil War. He married Josefa GarcĂ­a and had four children. His youngest son Guy, who was 15 at the time, shot Officer McClure, as a trespasser on their remote ranch. A bad choice. It was not because of a dispute over corn. I am writing this because I have Agent McClure's handcuffs which were found on the Howe ranch sometime after the murder. I would be happy to give them to a descendent of the officer if any can be found.

Frank Wimberly

October 1, 2019

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