Robert Murphy
Franklin County Sheriff's Department
Thursday, November 11, 1824

Age: 24
Served: 1 week
Badge #:
Military Service:
Not Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, November 3, 1824

Incident to Death Duration:
8 days
Incident Location:

Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Info:
Pardoned in 1825
Burial Location:
Old Bath Springs Cemetery,
Union County

   Constable Robert Murphy died eight days after being stabbed while attempting to serve a warrant in Bath Township.

   The subject of the warrant was a 75-year-old man who was wanted for assaulting a female neighbor. When Constable Murphy first spoke to the man, the subject refused to accompany him and instead said he would appear the next morning.

   Constable Murphy left the cabin but later returned to take the man into custody. He was met on the doorstep by the man who had pulled a butcher knife which he had hidden between logs in the wall. The man thrust the knife into the left side of Constable Murphy, who died from the wound he suffered eight days later.

   The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. On May 27, 1825, as he stood on the gallows, the governor arrived by horseback from Indianapolis to grant him a pardon.

   Constable Murphy had only recently been appointed as a constable by the county. He was survived by his five brothers, three sisters, parents and paternal grandparents.

   Constable Murphy is the first known law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the state of Indiana. Historically, he is the 22nd known line of duty death in the United States.

"My days on earth were few
the longer is my rest.
The Saviour call'd me soon
because he thought it best."

Constable Murphy's epitaph