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Ford County Historical Society
Dodge City, Kansas

Dodge City Policeman LeRoy Davis
Sacrifices His Life May 18, 1929

Davis Sacrifices His Life
Shortly After Joining Police Force

By Anne Zohner Maxwell
Dodge City Daily Globe

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final installment in a series of profiles of the four Ford County/Dodge City peace officers killed in the line of duty.

LeRoy Davis had just been on the Dodge City police force a few weeks before he was asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Davis, a twin of Sheriff Levi Davis, was killed in the line of duty May 18, 1929.

Davis and a fellow policeman were in the process of arresting Roy Redding and a companion, Andy Martin, both of Garden City, in the alley at the rear of the O'Neal Hotel.

The two were being arrested following reports that they had been seen "attempting to start several cars in that part of town," according to a report in the May 23, 1929, Dodge City Journal.

The Journal story stated that as the officers approached the two men, Redding began to run but was caught by Davis. Redding then shot Davis at close range with a .38 revolver.

Redding fled the scene of the crime and left Dodge City in a stolen car. He drove to a farm near Holcomb, where he was apprehended by Dodge City officers early the next day.

Justice was swift for Redding, who was just shy of his 21st birthday. On May 20, he was brought to Dodge City for arraignment, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor in the state penitentiary by Judge Karl Miller, according to a newspaper account.

While the court system took care of Redding, the rest of Dodge City was left to mourn the loss of a young officer who had left behind a wife and three daughters, ages 8, 6 and 3.

According to a newspaper report from May 21, 1929, "A large array of floral tributes arrived in an almost constant stream at the Hulpieu Mortuary Tuesday morning and the bier was heaped high with flowers at the church.

"Virtually the entire membership of St. Bernard's Lodge No. 222 A.F. & A.M. attended the services at the church and participated in the last rites of the order administered at the grave in Maple Grove Cemetery."

Because Davis was a temporary member of the police department, he was not insured by the blanket policy carried by the city on members of the department. Thus, the community began a benefit fund for Davis' family.

Davis had been previously employed by the Santa Fe Railroad and had served as a peace officer before and on numerous occasions as deputy sheriff, according to the Dodge City Journal from May 23, 1929.

Copyright 2004, Dodge City Daily Globe. All rights reserved. This document may be distributed electronically, provided it is distributed in its entirety and includes this notice. However, it cannot be reprinted without the express written permission of the Dodge City Daily Globe.
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