Deputy Sheriff
William Martin Sweem
Parke County Sheriff's Department
Saturday, April 25, 1896

Age: 35
Served: 2 days
Badge #:
Panel 27E, Line 24
Panel L28, Line 11

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Saturday, April 25, 1896
01:00 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
128 West Ohio Street, Rockville
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
Died by suicide
Burial Place:
Rockville Cemetery, Rockville

Share this Memorial

   Deputy Sheriff William Sweem and Sheriff William Mull were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a subject who had just killed the family who lived next door to him.

   The subject killed a 38-year-old female neighbor with an axe, then shot and killed her 8-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter before walking toward the town square.

   Sheriff Mull and Deputy Sweem located the man near the Old National Bank and confronted him. The suspect then shot and killed both officers before fleeing the scene.

   The 21-year-old man later died by suicide when he was surrounded by a posse after he fled to the county fairgrounds north of town.

   Deputy Sheriff Sweem, from Rockville, had been appointed a jail guard by Sheriff Mull only two days before the incident occurred. He was survived by his wife and three children.

Historical Note

• This incident was one of 24 which resulted in the line of duty deaths of two officers.

Historic Place

The Rockville Historic District consists of 214 contributing properties developed between 1826 to 1942 and is roughly bounded by Howard, Jefferson, High and College streets. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 1993 and was listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures on April 14, 1993.

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