Chief Deputy Sheriff William Murphree

Chief Deputy Sheriff William Murphree

St. Francis County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas

End of Watch Sunday, August 21, 1904

Add to My Heroes

William Murphree

Chief Deputy Sheriff William Murphree and City Marshal William Rainbolt, of the Forrest City Police Department, 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.

Chief Deputy Murphree had served with the St. Francis County Sheriff's Office for six years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, August 20, 1904
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

assault, weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Chief Deputy Murphree, thank you for your service to the community and making the ultimate sacrifice.
Rest in Peace. You will never be forgotten.

Captain Allen Jones, Assistant Chief Deputy
St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office
Forrest City, Arkansas

May 10, 2024

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.