Special Deputy Sheriff Jessie J. Pace

Special Deputy Sheriff Jessie J. Pace

Harlan County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Friday, April 17, 1931

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Jessie J. Pace

Special Deputy Jessie Pace was shot and killed as he and a group of 12 other deputies attempted to serve warrants at the Black Mountain Coal Company that had been the scene of a strike for two months.

The deputies had arrested one person when they observed a group of approximately 30 people standing near by. One of the men in the group started to walk towards a coal car and Deputy Pace followed him. As the man walked around the coal car, he suddenly opened fire on Deputy Pace, striking him in the abdomen. Other deputies returned fire and wounded the suspect. The suspect, along with 12 other miners, were charged with murder. The man charged with shooting Deputy Pace was acquitted at trial.

Three weeks later, Special Deputies Jim Daniels and Arthur Lee of the Harlan County Sheriff's Department were shot and killed during a confrontation over the same strike at the same mine. National Guardsman were then sent in to restore order which caused the strike to collapse a month later.

Special Deputy Pace was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 54
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember reading about the Coal mine strikes and the National Guard being brought in.

Colleen Nolan Ralston
a distant cousin

June 30, 2013

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