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 Preston B. Anslyn

Preston B. Anslyn

Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 16 Oct 1920 (aged 38)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Plot Section Number 24, Grave Plot Number 0148
Memorial ID 29674992 · View Source
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Officer Anslyn and Officer William Moller were shot and killed on Juniata in the 3Rd District while following two burglary suspects. They had followed the men to what they believed to be the headquarters of the gang.

As the Officers approached the two suspects, they opened fire fatally wounding both officers. Officer Anslyn died of massive hemorrhaging to the chest as a result of the gunshot wound, while enroute to the hospital.

Both officers were members of the Secret Service Bureau.

Officer Anslyn was a Spanish-American War veteran and had been with the agency for ten years.

Officer Anslyn was only 38 years of age.

He is survived by his wife Minnie of the home, at 2526 W. University.

Burial was held at Calvary Cemetery on 10/20/1920.

He was the son of William and Catherine (nee Kelly) Anslyn.

Two St. Louis Policemen Assassinated in October 1920.

During a foggy St. Louis night on October 16, 1920, two St. Louis police officers were shot to death in an ambush. They were shot by two burglars, who they had been trailing. Their murderers were never captured. The full circumstances of the case have never been revealed.

This article below is from the Monday, October 18, 1920 edition of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

According to In the Line of Duty: St. Louis Police Officer Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice by Barb Miksicek, et. al., Secret Service Officers William A. Moller and Preston B. Anslyn were overheard talking about a big case. They also told their Sergeant that they were trailing a couple of burglars "in the bottoms". Unfortunately, no one knew who they were trailing. If they had this 93 year old mystery could have been solved.

They followed the suspects to the 3800 block of Juniata. Unbeknownst to the detectives, the men had already burglarized a house at 3912 Arsenal Street. At some point, the burglars realized that they were being tailed.

Anslyn and Moller thought they saw the burglars enter 3868-70 Juniata Street. The officers started to enter the front yard of the residence, when they were both shot. Both Anslyn and Moller died from a single gun shot wound to the chest.

Robert Riordan, an 18 year old who lived in the neighborhood, witnessed all four men and the shooting. Riordan observed the burglars, now murderers, flee through Wyoming Avenue on foot. Riordan said that one of the burglars had a funny walk like Charles Chaplin or Buster Keaton.

Two other witnesses saw a man with a peculiar walk exit McDonald Avenue and move at a rapid pace towards the busy South City intersection of Grand and Gravois. The man lit a cigarette and moved at a more leisurely pace, once he reached the intersection. The witnesses did not follow the man any farther.

Preston Anslyn was 38 years old and was born on March 7, 1882. He left a widow named Minnie. He was a Spanish-American War veteran.

William Moller was 46 years old. He was born on December 1, 1873. His parents were German immigrants but he was adopted out of an orphanage in New York, when he was 11. He was brought to St. Louis by his adopted parents. Moller left a widow named Margaret and a daughter.

1920 was a hard year for the St. Louis Police Department, when more officers lost their lives than any other year.





  • Maintained by: Timothy Tumbrink
  • Originally Created by: Gracie's Grammy
  • Added: 8 Sep 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 29674992
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Preston B. Anslyn (7 Mar 1882–16 Oct 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 29674992, citing Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Timothy Tumbrink (contributor 46772461) .