City Marshal Thomas Johnson Nevitt

City Marshal Thomas Johnson Nevitt

El Reno Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Saturday, September 20, 1890

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Thomas Johnson Nevitt

City Marshal Thomas Nevitt was shot and killed while attempting to arrest an intoxicated subject on the streets of El Reno, in the Indian Territory.

As Marshal Nevitt confronted the cowboy, who had been trying to take the town on his horse after visiting a local saloon, the subject took offense to his intervention. As both men raised their revolvers at the same time at about 6:00 pm, Marshal Nevitt was struck in the abdomen and succumbed to his wound the following morning.

The 20-year-old suspect attempted to escape, but citizens who witnessed the murder fired a volley of shots, with one shot breaking the suspect's left arm before he was taken into custody and arrested.

Marshal Nevitt was survived by his wife, son, daughter, brother and parents. He was buried in the Poheta Cemetery in Saline County, Kansas.


  • Age 27
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, September 19, 1890
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Arrested

Most Recent Reflection

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Yesterday I attended the burial of a friend at Poheeta Cemetery near my farm and home in southeast Saline County Kansas. I had seen Deputy Nevitt's grave marker before and had wondered about what happened now 119 years ago. He is listed as Deputy U.S. Marshall and the inscription reads "... he gave a gunman a break at El Reno, OK Territory, 1890.
I don't know if there are any of his family remaining around here, but as one who has lost an officer friend in the line of duty I can assure you that regardless of what agency he served in, those of us in this little community will keep the memory of Deputy Nevitt alive.

Robert D. Winter, Civilian
No relationship

June 8, 2019

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