Special Deputy Cyrus W. Eaton

Special Deputy Cyrus W. Eaton

Stevens County Sheriff's Office, Kansas

End of Watch Wednesday, July 25, 1888

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Cyrus W. Eaton

Special Deputy Cyrus Eaton, Special Deputy Bob Hubbard, Special Deputy Roland Wilcox and Sheriff John Cross were shot and killed in what became known as the "Hay Meadow Massacre", the result of a fight between two towns, Hugoton and Woodsdale, to become the county seat of Stevens County.

The citizens of both towns were holding a meeting in nearby Voorhees when the Hugoton marshal hit the Woodsdale sheriff with the butt of his revolver. A warrant was issued for the marshal. Sheriff Cross and four men he deputized, Cyrus Eaton, Bob Hubbard, Roland Wilcox, and Herbert Tooney went after the marshal but failed to find him. While on their way back to Woodsdale they were ambushed by the marshal and up to 10 men with him. All five officers were lined up and then shot execution style with a Winchester rifle. Deputy Tooney survived the shooting and played dead as the subjects went through his pockets and took his belongings.

Two weeks later the Kansas Militia established martial law in the area. All six suspects were arrested and charged with four counts of murder. In July of 1890 all six were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. On January 26, 1891, the U. S. Supreme Court voided their convictions because the killings took place in "No Mans Land", the present day Oklahoma Panhandle, where no court had jurisdiction. They were never tried again.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 2 days
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Oklahoma
  • Weapon Rifle; Winchester
  • Offender Conviction overturned

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

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

July 25, 2020

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