Sheriff Hardin Harvey Vicory

Sheriff Hardin Harvey Vicory

Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Missouri

End of Watch Saturday, March 8, 1879

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Hardin Harvey Vicory

Sheriff Vicory was shot and killed as he attempted to arrest the former Sheriff of Douglas County for a murder he had committed in Arkansas during his term in office. A warrant had been issued for the suspect almost two years earlier, but it could not be enforced while the suspect was still serving as Sheriff. When the suspect was defeated in his bid for re-election by Hardin Vicory in 1878, Arkansas authorities began pushing for the warrant to be carried out.

Accordingly, Sheriff Vicory and a posse of twelve men went to the suspect's home in Ava in March of 1879 to arrest him. Seeing their approach, the suspect barricaded himself in his house and claimed that he would have to be taken by force. Sheriff Vicory, foreseeing that the situation would become violent, urged the suspect's wife to remove herself and her children from the home. The suspect's wife refused, and the suspect opened fire on the Sheriff's posse. The posse returned fire, but stopped when they realized that the house might be too durable for their bullets to penetrate it. Sheriff Vicory decided to approach the house to get a closer look at its construction, and, as he was examining the structure, the suspect suddenly fired at him from inside the home. Sheriff Vicory was struck in the chest and killed instantly.

The Sheriff's posse immediately returned fire, killing the suspect. The suspect's five-year old son was also killed in the exchange.

Sheriff Vicory had served as Sheriff of Douglas County for just over 4 months. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and Killed

Most Recent Reflection

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I asked one of my Facebook groups and was told he is buried on Water Tower Hill.

K. Rhodes
Local resident

March 14, 2021

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