Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Smiths in:
 • Abilene Cemetery
 • Abilene
 • Dickinson County
 • Kansas
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Thomas J. "Bear River" Smith
Birth: 1840
Death: Nov. 2, 1870

Western Lawman. A former New York City Policeman, he left the force in 1868 to take a job as a law agent for the Union Pacific Kansas Rail Line and was commissioned a Deputy US Marshal in 1869. In the spring of 1870, Mayor Theodore Henry of Abilene, Kansas, was desperately seeking someone as an effective peace officer to deal with the city's unruly crime rate. On June 4, 1870, Smith was hired as the police chief of Abilene and by himself was the entire police force. He immediately enforced a city ordinance prohibiting anyone from carrying guns in Abilene and then began to banish all the undiseribles from the town. He frequently went out of his jurisdiction to arrest horse thieves and retrieve stolen live stock. On November 2, 1870, Smith was sent to a farm 12 miles outside Abilene, to arrest Andrew McConnell and Moses Miles, who were charged with murdering John Shea, a local farmer. When he arrived at the farm to serve the warrant for the arrest, McConnell shot Smith in the chest. Smith returned fire wounding McConnell before falling to the ground. Lying wounded, Moses Miles then truck Smith with his gun, grabbed an axe and killed him. McConnell and Miles escaped, but were captured in March, 1871, found guilty of murder and sentenced life prison terms. In May, 1904, the citizens of Abilene posted an enduring reminder of gratitude for the service of their martyred marshal after his body was exhumed for re-burial in a more prominent place in Abilene's Cemetery. (bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith) 
 
Burial:
Abilene Cemetery
Abilene
Dickinson County
Kansas, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 13, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 4356
Thomas J. Bear River Smith
Added by: Mr. Ed
 
Thomas J. Bear River Smith
Added by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
 
Thomas J. Bear River Smith
Added by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
 
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Mayflower Pilgrim 332
 Added: Jul. 27, 2014

- bob tarte
 Added: Jan. 14, 2014

- Dalene Worthington
 Added: Sep. 20, 2013
There are 44 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.0 after 32 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service