Sheriff John Hall Powers

Sheriff John Hall Powers

Johnson County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas

End of Watch Wednesday, February 5, 1902

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John Hall Powers

Sheriff Powers was shot and killed while confronting a gang of five men who were attempting to rob a bank. Sheriff Powers, who was in his apartment, heard the noise of two explosions, which were the result of the robbers' attempts to use nitroglycerin to blow open the bank's safe. As the sheriff rushed towards the bank he was fired upon by a lookout hiding in an alley between the bank and his apartment.

Sheriff Powers returned fire as he continued to confront the suspect. During the ensuing shootout he was struck twice and fatally wounded. Several citizens took him to this apartment where he succumbed to his wounds 30 minutes later.

All five suspects were eventually apprehended. Two of them were sentenced to death and executed in June of 1903. Two more were sentenced to life in prison, however, one of the men later escaped and was never recaptured. The fifth suspect was captured 28 years after Sheriff Powers' murder.

Sheriff Powers had served as sheriff for 14 years. He had previously served as the town marshal of Clarksville and as a constable for Spadra Township.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1903

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Rip Sheriff Powers, you will never be forgotten

James Morris Vistor to pay respects to fallen officers.

February 5, 2017

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