Patrolman Hugh Clark May

Patrolman Hugh Clark May

Chattanooga Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Saturday, September 15, 1906

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Hugh Clark May

Patrolman Hugh May was killed when the horse-drawn wagon he was transporting prisoners in was struck by a train on Cowart Street in Chattanooga.

The railroad crossing watchman waved him across, and as he was crossing, an engine that was backing up struck him, causing serious injuries. The engineer and watchman then refused to move the train, which was blocking the only route to the hospital. Both were arrested and charged with murder in connection with Patrolman May's death.

Patrolman May had been with the Chattanooga Police Department for 19 years. He was survived by his wife and ten children.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 4

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by train
  • Incident Date Friday, September 14, 1906

train, transport

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Hugh Clark May was my Great Grandfather. I have only heard stories past down from family members.
I understand he joined the department later in life. I also know he had a son, Arthur May who became an officer and was one of the first motorcycle officers. One story I heard was when Hugh was asked what he had to do to make an arrest before firearms were issued, Hugh held up his fist. I also heard he was well respected among his fellow officers since he was older and bigger. His future great grand son, a retired deputy sheriff, is proud to know I had a great, grandfather, respected by his piers as well as the citizens of Chattanooga.
He will always be remembered as a true law enforcement representative.

Deputy Ernie C. May (retired)
Oakland County Sheriff's Office, Pontiac, Michigan

February 10, 2024

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