Sheriff William Fountain Beattie

Sheriff William Fountain Beattie

Crittenden County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas

End of Watch Thursday, April 21, 1881

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William Fountain Beattie

Sheriff W.F. Beattie was shot and killed while attempting to arrest an escaped prisoner who had shot a constable several days earlier.

The subject had been arrested for burglary in Crawfordsville by the constable and was held overnight. Several visitors were permitted to see him and one of them provided him a revolver, which he then concealed. The following day the constable and another man were taking the prisoner to Marion on horseback, when the man suddenly opened fire on them, wounding the constable. He was able to escape.

Sheriff Beattie formed a posse and went to the man's home cabin near Crawfordsville. Sheriff Beattie entered the cabin by himself and was immediately shot in the head and killed. The man then wounded a deputy before fleeing again. He was arrested several days later in Augusta, Arkansas. He was convicted of Sheriff Beattie's murder, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging on June 10th, 1881.

Sheriff Beattie was a Civil War veteran of the Confederate Army. He had served as sheriff for approximately three years and was survived by his parents and two siblings.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Executed in 1881

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Thank you for your service. You're never forgotten. God bless

Special Agent-in-Charge Diane Upchurch
FBI - Little Rock

April 23, 2017

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