Deputy Sheriff George Washington Rockwell

Deputy Sheriff George Washington Rockwell

Logan County Sheriff's Office, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, May 1, 1878

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George Washington Rockwell

Deputy Sheriff George Rockwell was shot and killed from ambush as he assisted the sheriff with serving a levy at a farm in Zane Township, approximately one to two miles south of Middleburg.

The sheriff spoke to the subject named on the levy and attempted to have him post a bond. The man refused, so the sheriff enforced the levy by seizing several horses from the man's farm. As they led the horses from the farm, the subject obtained a rifle and shot Deputy Rockwell in the back from a range of approximately 60 yards.

A doctor was summoned to the location and tended to Deputy Rockwell, who was moved into the man's home. His condition worsened, and he passed away the following night.

The man who shot him was arrested and charged with murder. He escaped from jail but was recaptured. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was pardoned by the Ohio governor in December 1891 with the condition that he move to California and not return to Ohio.

Deputy Rockwell was a Union Civil War veteran and had previously served with the Bellefontaine Police Department. He was survived by his wife and four children.


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

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, April 30, 1878
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Pardoned in 1891

civil papers, ambush

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Deputy Sheriff George Washington Rockwell of the Logan County Sheriff's Office, Ohio and the additional 68 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

May 1, 2023

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