Sheriff Robert Ingersoll Clay

Sheriff Robert Ingersoll Clay

Tazewell County Sheriff's Office, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, September 4, 1920

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Robert Ingersoll Clay

Sheriff Robert Clay succumbed to a gunshot wound in his knee sustained two days earlier while trying to stop a gang of five subjects from stealing whiskey from a train in a rail yard in Wesley.

As his deputies surprised the group, one of his deputies struck a subject in the head with the butt of his shotgun as the subject attempted to shoot at the sheriff. The impact caused the gun-stock to break and misfire. The blast struck Sheriff Clay in his knee and severed an artery. He was taken to a local hospital where a blood transfusion was given and he succumbed to his wound two days later.

Sheriff Clay served as Sheriff in Tazewell County since 1902 and previously served as a police officer and chief of police in Perkin. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 26 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)
  • Incident Date Thursday, September 2, 1920
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Not available

accidental discharge, larceny

Most Recent Reflection

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Honored to be the second of what I am sure will be many fellow LEO's to say thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

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

June 8, 2020

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