Sheriff Donald Purvis Davis

Sheriff Donald Purvis Davis

Mineral County Sheriff's Office, West Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, June 27, 1917

Add to My Heroes

Donald Purvis Davis

Sheriff Donald Davis was killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a saloon owner from Westernport, Maryland. Sheriff Davis had gone to Piedmont that day to meet with a prohibition officer about another matter.

After the meeting, Sheriff David was standing on Main Street when he saw the saloon keeper drive by. He jumped on the running board of the subject's car and attempted to place the driver under arrest. The subject immediately sped up and fled toward the bridge from Piedmont, West Virginia, to Westernport, Maryland. Sheriff Davis tried to shut the car off but the subject sped up even faster. The man lost control of his vehicle and it hit the right side curb of the bridge just over the state line in Maryland. It then skidded into the left side, striking the bridge structure. Sheriff Davis was caught between the wrecked car and the bridge structure, crushing his legs and hips. He was taken to a nearby doctor's office where he remained conscious until several minutes before he died. Prior to passing away, he gave the warrant to the prohibition officer, saying "there are the papers, get Pete."

The subject's car was demolished, however the man suffered only minor injuries. He fled across the bridge into Maryland, leaving his two children, one of whom was badly injured, behind. The subject, who had previously made threats against Sheriff Davis, was arrested some time later and taken to the jail in Cumberland, Maryland.

Sheriff Davis had been elected the previous fall, and was in his first year as sheriff. He was survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 8 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Location Maryland
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Arrested

Most Recent Reflection

View all 4 Reflections

No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice, and rest in peace always knowing that you will always be remembered.

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

June 27, 2020

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.