City Marshal John Donald McElrath

City Marshal John Donald McElrath

Greenfield Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Monday, June 20, 1881

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John Donald McElrath

City Marshal Donald McElrath was shot and killed near Arcola by the leader of a gang of horse thieves he attempted to arrest. The suspect was captured six weeks later in Jasper County, Missouri.

The suspect, leader of a gang of outlaws, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to be hanged, but appealed and was granted a new trial. On May 30, 1882, he pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 99 years in the Missouri Penitentiary. On December 25, 1896, he was pardoned by Governor William J. Stone with the condition that he leave Missouri and never return.


  • Age 26
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Pardoned in 1896

Most Recent Reflection

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Marshal McElrath,
On today, the 140th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Greenfield.


United States Border Patrol

June 20, 2021

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