Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Story of Brighton Night Watchmen James D. Ellis...

This Sunday is the 103rd anniversary of Brighton Night Watchman James D. Ellis’ death. Please take a moment to remember James this week. He had only been on the job for two weeks when he was killed. He was 27 years old and left a wife, a three year old child and an 11 month old baby.

March 6th, 1908 Brighton Blade Article (paper was 10 cents)…

Night Marshal Killed

-J.D. Ellis Shot by Burglars Who Were trying to Enter the Post office This Morning ---Heavy Reward for Their Capture-

Night Marshal Dell Ellis was shot and killed by yeggmen who were trying to break into the Brighton post office at 2:30 o’clock this morning. The marshal had gone into the alley back of the Carmichael building on his usual rounds and saw three men a few feet away. One of the men who was standing behind an ash pit commanded him to halt and throw up his hands. The marshal failed to do so and the robber opened fire. Ellis returned the fire but his shots did not hit. It is supposed the first shot fired by the robber took effect. The bullet penetrated the left side, ranging through the body near the skin on the right side.

Ellis bravely stood the fire after he was hit. The thieves turned and ran towards the railroad tracks. Ellis walked to the telephone office, twenty feet away, knocked on the door and asked the night operator, Miss Roberts, to call a doctor. Dr. Moore arrived shortly and found the marshal lying on the door step. Dr. Godfrey also was summoned. An examination showed that the injured man had not bled externally, but it was seen that he was in a dangerous condition. He was taken to the depot and sent to Denver on the 4:24 train, but died before reaching the city.

Several hobos and suspects were rounded up and are now held in the county jail. A reward offer for the capture of the murders is being circulated by Wm. Abbett and $600 has already been subscribed.

Deputy Sheriff George Gilbert at about 2:50 a.m. fired two shots at three men who caught the south bound freight at that hour, and were probably the suspects.

Mr. Ellis was about 25 years of age. He had been acting as a night marshal for only a short time. He was a brave and fearless young fellow and his killing has aroused the indignation of the citizens of our town to the utmost. Mr. Ellis leaves a wife and two children. He was a member of the Woodmen of the World.

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