Night Watchman Reuben J. Chappell

Night Watchman Reuben J. Chappell

Pierce City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Monday, December 3, 1900

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Reuben J. Chappell

Watchman Chappell succumbed to a gunshot wound received almost two weeks earlier when he attempted to arrest a man who had fired a shot in public.

It was suspected that members of a black gang murdered Watchman Chappell. In the days that followed hard feelings between the towns 300 black citizens and 3000 whites would develop. The tention exploded on August 18, 1901, when a 23-year-old white woman was murdered by an unknown subject. A riot resulted which ended with three blacks lynched, one killed, and the expulsion from town of the entire black population.

Watchman Chappell was survived by his wife, four sons, and three daughters. He was a Confederate Civil War Veteran who served as a corporal with the 1st Tennessee Infantry, Company G. He was captured and held for a few days just before the war ended.

Bio

  • Age 58
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, November 24, 1900
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender At large

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Reuben J. Chappell was a Pierce City night watchman who died Dec. 3, 1900 after being shot through the eye while investigating possible bandits roaming through the rail yards. He was shot while confronting three men. Chappell, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War, joined the Pierce City department as marshal in 1886. Shortly after coming into office, he arrested Ed Clum for the murder of a friend and business partner and the woman both men had fallen in love with. Clum was subsequently hanged after trial in Cassville. Chappell became nightwatchman in 1891 and held the post until he died.

MAJ R.A. Layton USA (Retired)
Relative of his wife & family genealogist

April 9, 2014

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