Special Deputy Sheriff Jim Daniels

Special Deputy Sheriff Jim Daniels

Harlan County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Tuesday, May 5, 1931

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Jim Daniels

Special Deputy Daniels and Special Deputy Arthur Lee were shot and killed in a gun battle with local miners during a strike at the Black Mountain Coal Company.

From Febuary to June in 1931 numerous confrontations erupted between coal miners, mine guards, and law enforcement at the Black Mountain Coal Company in Evart. On April 17, during one of these confrontations, Special Deputy Jessie J. Pace of the Harlan County Sheriff's Department was shot and killed. On May 5th several deputies were sent to the area to disperse the strikers, who were clashing with non-union workers. No one knows who fired the first shot, but when the smoke cleared Deputy Daniels, Deputy Lee, a miner, and another man lay dead. An undetermined number of miners that were dead and dying were carried off into the mountains. Governor Flem D. Sampson sent 370 national guardsmen to restore order. By mid June the strike had collapsed.

Six men were eventually arrested and charged with Deputy Daniels' and Deputy Lee's murder. All six were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Six sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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This is my Great Grand father. As I build my family tree and learn more stories of the great people in our family I am so grateful to come across this article. Thank you to everyone who shared such kind words and to all the ones who have fallen in the line of duty protecting us! RIP Grandpa Jim!


February 20, 2022

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