Deputy Sheriff Robert H. Coffey

Deputy Sheriff Robert H. Coffey

Christian County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, October 26, 1901

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Robert H. Coffey

Deputy Sheriff Robert Coffey was shot and killed while pursuing a group of miners who had just shot at another group of miners at the Empire Coal Company in Christian County.

Union miners were involved in a violent picket while on strike at the mine. The union miners had set up a camp at Nortonville and conducted raids on the nonunion miners. Early in the morning, one of the raiding parties of union miners opened fire on a mine guard, shooting at him over 30 times from an ambush set up in the treeline.

Hearing the shots, Deputy Coffey obtained a horse and gave chase to a buggy that was leaving the area. A short distance away, the buggy stopped, and one of the occupants set up an ambush along the road. As Deputy Coffey approached the buggy, he was shot and killed.

Four men were eventually arrested for his murder. Two of the men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. On December 12, 1906, both were pardoned by Governor Beckham after all the jurors in the case signed a petition asking for their release.

Deputy Coffey had served with the Christian County Sheriff's Office for one year and previously served with the L&N Railroad as a detective. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Pardoned in 1906


Most Recent Reflection

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I am a distant relative of Officer Coffey.
I am from a family of police officers, including my grandmother (a police matron), three uncles, my two sons and now a grandson. My prayers are always with our police wherever they serve, may God bless, protect and be with them.

Sharron Wood
Proud Family Member

January 4, 2023

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