Sheriff Clarence H. Phillips

Sheriff Clarence H. Phillips

Beckham County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma

End of Watch Saturday, June 21, 1930

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Clarence H. Phillips

Sheriff Clarence Phillips was shot and killed in his office in retaliation for his efforts to combat illegal liquor in the county.

He told friends a few days before he was killed that bootleggers told him they would pay him $200 a week to let them have their way. When he refused, he said they told him they would kill him.

He was shot four times after answering a knock on his office door in the county courthouse.

Three men, including a former deputy, who fired the four shots, whom Sheriff Phillips had fired, were arrested and charged with his murder. All three were sentenced to life. The former deputy escaped from Granite Prison on August 14, 1932, and surrendered to Beckman County officials on December 14, 1933. Another was paroled on April 7, 1936. The third was given a year's leave of absence in 1945 and paroled in 1946.

Sheriff Phillips had served as Sheriff of Beckham County Sheriff's Office for two years. He was survived by his two brothers and sister.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 1

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

Sheriff Phillips is our family ancestor. My mother remembers when her Grandparent Phillips received a telegram informing of his death. Since they lived in Idaho, long distance travel was difficult to impossible during 1930s. Mom kept his memory alive for the family.

Laynah J Rogers

July 13, 2023

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