Town Marshal James Joshua Payne

Town Marshal James Joshua Payne

Fairmount Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Thursday, November 26, 1903

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James Joshua Payne

Marshal James Payne was shot and killed after he arrested an ex-convict for the burglary of a local store the previous evening.

Marshal Payne took the suspect into custody, and as they proceeded to walk toward the jail at about 1:00 pm, the suspect pulled a revolver at the corner of Fifth and Main streets, fatally wounding the marshal. The suspect held back a gathering crowd, firing at three citizens who came to assist Marshal Payne as he lay dying in the street. The suspect fled from the town but was shot and wounded during his escape.

The suspect, who had been released from prison six months earlier after serving a two-year sentence for burglary, was captured three days later by police in Tiffin, Ohio. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He died in prison on August 28, 1941.

He was a Civil War Veteran, having served with the 140th Indiana Infantry, Company C. The men he served with played a big part in having the suspect's parole denied many times.

Marshal Payne was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 56
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest attempt, larceny, parolee

Most Recent Reflection

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Town Marshal Payne,
On today, the 120th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the Union Army during the Civil War.


United States Border Patrol

November 26, 2023

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