Custody Officer
George A. Chamberlain
Indiana Department of Correction
Monday, May 11, 1874

Age: 25
Served: 10 months
Badge #:
Not Included
Not Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Monday, May 11, 1874
04:00 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
1410 South Clark Boulevard, Clarksville
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
• Died while in custody
• Died in prison
• Pardoned in 1904
Burial Place:
Danville South Cemetery, Danville

Share this Memorial

   Custody Officer George Chamberlain was shot and killed by inmates during an escape attempt from the Indiana Prison South in Clarksville.

   Four male inmates using knives and revolvers made their way to the gate at the main entrance saying they had been sent for to see the clerk. As Custody Officer Chamberlain opened the gate, the inmates pushed him down and rushed out.

   After Custody Officer Chamberlain recovered and gave chase, one of the inmates turned and shot him through the head. He died from his wound about 20 minutes later.

   During the escape attempt, one inmate was shot and killed by the warden. The three other inmates were captured and charged with first-degree murder, of which one inmate turned state's evidence.

   A third inmate, who was serving an eight-year term for assault and battery with intent to commit murder, was found guilty and sentenced to death. Upon appeal and retrial, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

   In his third trial, he was convicted of first-degree murder, sentenced to life in prison and later granted parole by Governor Claude Matthews. In 1904, he was granted a pardon by Governor Winfield T. Durbin.

   The fourth, a 32-year-old inmate serving time for grand larceny, was found guilty and sentenced to death. In his second trial, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years at hard labor. On his deathbed in 1879, he confessed to being the shooter.

   Custody Officer Chamberlain, from Jeffersonville, was single and survived by his parents.

Military Service

United States Army
Civil War (Union)

Historic Place

The Indiana State Prison South/Indiana Reformatory/Colgate-Palmolive Historic District consists of 18 contributing buildings dating to 1847 and is roughly bounded by Clark Boulevard, Montgomery Avenue, Missouri Avenue and the CSX railroad tracks. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 2019 and listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures on January 16, 2019.
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This officer, discovered in 2008, has not been submitted for consideration as an eligible line of duty death to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by the Indiana Department of Correction.

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