Special Officer Edward H. "Elijah" Wishart

Special Officer Edward H. "Elijah" Wishart

Des Moines Police Department, Iowa

End of Watch Wednesday, July 1, 1891

Edward H. "Elijah" Wishart

Special Officer Wishart was shot and killed by a man who was attempting to illegally dump rubbish in a graveyard on West 9th Street. Officer Wishart had been appointed to guard the graveyard to prevent illegal dumping by several individuals.

One of the men came to the scene with his workers and informed Officer Wishart he was going to dump the rubbish in the crematory. When Officer Wishart informed him he would not be permitted to do so, the man produced two .38 caliber revolvers and opened fire. Despite being fatally wounded, Officer Wishart was able to return fire but did not strike the suspect.

Officer Wishart was taken to the city hall where he died from his wounds the following day.

The suspect was a notorious former lawman known for his ruthlessness. He was arrested after shooting Officer Wishart and taken to the local jail. An angry mob was prevented from lynching him by the local militia. The suspect was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to 4 years in prison, but was pardoned by the governor after serving only 2 years.

Officer Wishart was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, June 30, 1891
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 6 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Wishart,
On today, the 125th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Des Moines. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 1, 2016

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