City Marshal William Wesley Rainbolt

City Marshal William Wesley Rainbolt

Forrest City Police Department, Arkansas

End of Watch Saturday, August 20, 1904

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William Wesley Rainbolt

City Marshal William Rainbolt and Chief Deputy Sheriff William Murphree, of the St. Francis County Sheriff's Office, were shot and killed by a subject who was wanted for brandishing a pistol.

A farmer had told Chief Deputy Murphree that the man had displayed a pistol at the man's farmhands and told them to leave the farm. Chief Deputy Murphree and another deputy went to the farm but were not able to locate the man and returned to Forrest City where they encountered a woman who had just been assaulted by the man. The deputies located the man near the corner of Front Street and South Rosser Street and began to approach him.

The subject suddenly produced a handgun and opened fire, striking Chief Deputy Murphree in the chest. City Marshal Rainbolt heard the shots and rode his horse to the scene. He was told the man had fled toward the Iron Mountain Railroad depot to the northwest. As he closed in on the man the two exchanged shots and were both wounded. Another deputy fatally shot the subject as he lay on the ground.

Marshal Rainbolt was taken to his home where he died approximately two hours later. Chief Deputy Murphree was taken to a local drug store where he died shortly after midnight.

Marshal Rainbolt had served as the elected city marshal for two years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

assault, weapons violation

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“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service (Retired)

November 26, 2022

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