Special Officer Frank L. Cornelius

Special Officer Frank L. Cornelius

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Thursday, January 20, 1921

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Frank L. Cornelius

Special Officer Frank Cornelius was shot and killed in Oklahoma City by two men who attempted to rob him at gunpoint. He drew his weapon and a shootout ensued in which he was fatally wounded. Officer Cornelius was taken to University Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds two days later.

Two boys, 18 and 19, were apprehended in Sulpher two months later and charged with murder. On March 30, 1921, they were convicted of Officer Cornelius' murder and sentenced to life. Both were paroled on May 4, 1923.

Officer Cornelius had served in WWI and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre. He had previously served as a policeman in Norman, Oklahoma, and is buried in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Officer Cornelius was survived by two brothers and one sister.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Oklahoma
  • Incident Date Tuesday, January 18, 1921
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Paroled in 1923


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Cornelius,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but also when you served with the U.S. Army in Europe fighting the Germans during WW I. The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded for Extraordinary Heroism and is the second highest award for Bravery in the U.S. Armed Forces after the Medal of Honor.


United States Border Patrol

January 20, 2021

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