Night Watchman Samuel H. Ferguson

Night Watchman Samuel H. Ferguson

Pittsburgh Night Watch, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, April 21, 1853

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Samuel H. Ferguson

Night Watchman Samuel Ferguson was stabbed to death in Butler County, Pennsylvania, while he and another officer attempted to serve a warrant on a subject wanted for stealing gas by tapping into a gas line.

The officers went to the man's home in Clearfield Township (present-day Jefferson Township) on Freeport Road to serve the warrant but were told by his wife that he was not home. Upon searching the home they located the subject and told him he was under arrest. He initially refused to be taken but then agreed and asked if he could change his shirt. The officers followed him into another room where he suddenly grabbed a bowie knife and a revolver and attacked the officers, stabbing them both several times.

Night Watchman Ferguson collapsed and died as the officers retreated to safety. The subject fled the scene but was later arrested in Buffalo, New York, and charged with murder. His wife was also arrested and charged with assisting her husband. In November 1853, the subject was found guilty of murder and his wife was acquitted during the trial.

Shortly after the trial the subject managed to escape the Butler County Jail by sawing away at the bars of a window that led to an old jail yard. The subject along with his wife who disappeared shortly afterward were never seen again.

Night Watchman Ferguson had served with the Pittsburgh Night Watch for two and a half years and was survived by his wife and 14 children.


  • Age 70
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Never captured

arrest attempt, theft, warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

April 21, 2021

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