Deputy Sheriff John J. Kohl

Deputy Sheriff John J. Kohl

Marquette County Sheriff's Office, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, March 9, 1885

John J. Kohl

Deputy Sheriff John Kohl was shot and killed while dealing with a drunk and disorderly man in a saloon in Negaunee, Michigan. The suspect had been firing his gun inside the saloon and causing a disturbance.

Deputy Kohl was able to disarm the suspect and convinced him to leave. As the man left Deputy Kohl returned his firearm and began to walk away. The suspect then shot Deputy Kohl in the back of the head. The man was arrested a short time later.

The suspect was convicted of Deputy Kohl's murder and sentenced to life in prison on June 5th, 1885.

Deputy Kohl was a Union Army veteran of the Civil War. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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With the recent murder of two Police Officers in NYC this past week I found myself reflecting on my own history of my great grandfather, John Kohl's, untimely death while serving as Deputy Sheriff. My grandmother, Christabel (Kohl) Zingsheim was 2 years old when she lost her father in 1885.

At the end of the day, his error was kindness. As the story goes, he knew the man and had dealt with him before. The man claimed he'd settle down and go home. He requested his firearm back and he'd leave with no trouble. It proved to be a fatal error. He was shot twice as he turned to leave.

I am humbled and deeply touched that after all these years there are reflections honoring and remembering his service.

Thank you for your service and thank you for never forgetting a fallen officer.

Tom Zingsheim
Great grandson of John Kohl

December 28, 2014

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