Special Agent Elmer Colby Matthews

Special Agent Elmer Colby Matthews

Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Police, Railroad Police

End of Watch Wednesday, August 18, 1915

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Elmer Colby Matthews

Special Agent Elmer Matthews was shot and killed with his own service revolver while attempting to arrest three hobos on a freight train that was traveling south between Ludlow and Crescent Springs, Kentucky.

It had just crossed a trestle and was slowly traveling up a grade on Erlanger Hill when Agent Matthews encountered the men inside of a gondola car. The men initially complied when he placed them under arrest, but then attacked him when he momentarily turned his back. One of the men disarmed him and fatally shot him with his own service weapon. All three men jumped from the train and fled as the train crew came to Agent Matthews assistance.

Two subjects were arrested in November 1915 and charged with Agent Matthews' murder.

Agent Matthews had served with the Queen and Crescent Railroad Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife, parents, two brothers, and three sisters.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Kentucky
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Arrested

Most Recent Reflection

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Agent Matthews,
On today, the 102nd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice as a Law Enforcement Officer. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 18, 2017

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