Dispensary Constable J. Rollin Cooler

Dispensary Constable J. Rollin Cooler

South Carolina State Dispensary Commission, South Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, March 30, 1913

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J. Rollin Cooler

Dispensary Constable Rollin Cooler was shot from ambush and fatally wounded while raiding five blind tigers on St. Helena Island in Beaufort County.

Constable Cooler and his deputy were walking towards a local gathering spot when a shotgun blast of buckshot struck him in the face. Earlier, Constable Cooler had a confrontation with a local store owner who threatened to kill him. Constable Cooler's brother, a Beaufort County Deputy Sheriff, and a posse of citizens arrested the store owner and four other men. Constable Cooler died the next day as he was being loaded on a boat to be taken to a hospital in Savannah.

The store owner and one of the other four men were convicted of first-degree murder. In the state's first double execution, both men died in the electric chair on September 4th, 1913.

Constable Cooler was survived by his wife and two children. His brother's son and grandson became law enforcement officers, and now his great-grandson is a law enforcement officer in South Carolina.

He is buried at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Bluffton, South Carolina.


  • Age 37
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, March 29, 1913
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Executed in 1913

ambush, Raid

Most Recent Reflection

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Constable Cooler,
On today, the 110th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of South Carolina. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

March 30, 2023

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