Sheriff William Austin Goodman

Sheriff William Austin Goodman

Harney County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

End of Watch Wednesday, August 27, 1924

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William Austin Goodman

Sheriff W. Austin Goodman was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man for writing bad checks in the Folly Farm area.

He met with the man on the border of Harney County and Malheur County and informed him he was under arrest. The subject pretended to comply with the arrest and said he had to get his coat. He walked to his horse but suddenly grabbed his rifle and shot Sheriff Goodman several times.

The man fled but was later apprehended by a posse lead by Sheriff Goodman's son. He was convicted of Sheriff Goodman's murder, sentenced to death, and hanged on April 16th, 1926.

Sheriff Goodman had served as sheriff for 10 years. He was survived by his wife and children.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30-.30
  • Offender Executed in 1926

arrest, fraud

Most Recent Reflection

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Well my name is Roy Crafts and I have worked for the City of Burns for over 20 years now. So from time to time as a public works employee we work up at the cemetary . And over the years one head stone aways intrigued me. The name on it said William Austin Goodman. So one day I sat down and started doing research on him. I knew he was the Sheriff of Harney County from what I read on his head stone. I just wanted to know more about him. So after doing some research I found out in 2015 my wife and I bought some property just out side of town and on the deed it said in 6/6/1899 William Austin Goodman. I just thought that is was really cool how that Head Stone always interest's me.. To this day I do go to the cemetary and say HI to him... Rest in piece William Austin Goodman...

Roy Crafts

March 30, 2021

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