Deputy U.S. Marshal George W. Dillaway

Deputy U.S. Marshal George W. Dillaway

United States Department of Justice - United States Marshals Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Thursday, December 14, 1911

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George W. Dillaway

Deputy Marshal George Dillaway succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained one week earlier when he was mistaken for an armed striker during a railroad labor dispute in Memphis, Tennessee.

Deputy Marshal Dillaway, along with another deputy marshal and a Special Policeman Victor Benner of the Illinois Central Railroad Police, were on a switch engine which was traveling south from the McLemore Yards to the Nonconnah Yards. When the engine reached Horn Lake Road it stopped so the conductor could throw a switch in the track.

Several other railroad guards were near the scene and had been drinking. They saw the three men on the switch engine, and believing they were trespassers, opened fire. Special Policeman Benner was struck in the neck and killed instantly. The two deputy marshals returned fire, wounding two of the guards before Deputy Marshal Dillaway was struck in the chest. He succumbed to his wounds seven days later.

None of the drunk guards were prosecuted for either murder.

Deputy Marshal Dillaway was survived by his wife.


  • Age 53
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Tennessee
  • Incident Date Thursday, December 7, 1911
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Never prosecuted

Most Recent Reflection

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William Dillaway was married to my great Aunt Louise who I knew and visited with as a young boy. I was fascinated by the stories my family told about him. I was given his handcuffs (which were the old style HEAVY kind) and badge. She also gave me an antique cast horse that I still have on my amour; and seeing it every day I still think about him.

Just this year after seeing this official report of his death gave me pause and I was amazed that the drunk officers WERE NOT prosecuted! I totally agree with Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.'s comments above. RIP Uncle!

Vic Villont
Grand nephew of William Dillaway

August 19, 2018

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