Clarence A. Shockley

Clarence ShockleyNiles City Police Department

  • End of Watch: August 15, 1907

Patrolman Clarence Shockley, making his nightly rounds, was fatally wounded when bullets were fired upon him at the Carmi Smith Lumberyard at 10:20PM on August 14, 1907. Witnesses reported seeing two men enter the lumberyard and hearing four shots fired in quick succession soon afterwards. The men believed that the revolver shots were from a quarrel and didn’t want to involve themselves any further. However, an hour passed before another passerby, Glenn Kugler, heard the groans of the wounded patrolman and sought help. Shockley was given medical attention but he passed away on August 15, 1907.

A bullet extracted from the officer’s body showed it was fired from a Luger semi-automatic pistol, at the time thought to have been carried by hit men and military personnel. Chief George Francis of the Niles City Police Department believed that the shooting’s motive was revenge. The killer was never found, even with a reward of $1,000 offered.

Patrolman Clarence A. Shockley was born on December 6, 1872 and was married to Emma Shockley since 1897. He was laid to rest in Silverbrook Cemetery, Niles, Michigan.

- Chriss Lyon

Niles Daily Star, Saturday, August 17, 1907, page 3, col. 2, microfilm Niles District Library

The funeral of the late Nightwatchman Clarence Shockley will take place from the home at 1:30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon.  The last sad rites will be performed by Rev. F. Rahn, pastor of the Evangelical church. The members of the Modern Woodmen of America will attend in a body, and members of the sheriff’s force from about the county will attend as well as members of the South Bend police force, the local police, and members of the common council. Burial will take place at Silver Brook cemetery.

Niles Daily Star, Monday, August 19, 1907, page 1, col. 2-3, microfilm Niles District Library

One of the largest funerals ever held in Niles was that of the late Policeman Clarence Shockley, which occurred from the house, corner of Sycamore and 11th streets Sunday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock.

Long before the appointed hour friends began to assemble and within a short time a multitude was in evidence.  The streets for half a block distant were crowded.  The Modern Woodmen of America, of which deceased was a member, were in charge of the arrangements. The Woodmen left their hall 150 strong at 1:15 o’clock, followed by the Niles police force, members of the South Bend police department, Niles’ city officials, board of public works, business men and citizens in general.

Halting at the Shockley home the remains, reposing in a handsome oak casket, were viewed for the last time.  Mounds of beautiful roses and flowers of every description were in evidence.

The Modern Woodmen of America, city of Niles, Garden City Fan company and the South Bend police furnished floral pieces, while friends piled flowers all about the casket, making one solid floral bank. In fact, the casket was fairly covered with the most beautiful designs ever wrought.

The music rendered was such as to soften all hearts and moisten all eyes, and was furnished by a quartette consisting of Messrs. John Hamilton and L.S. Chase, Mesdames Mary Porter and John Hamilton.

Rev. F. Rahn of St. John’s Evangelical church, conducted the services and paid a beautiful tribute to the memory of the deceased.

At the close of the services the long procession followed the funeral car to Silver Brook cemetery. At the open grave "farewell" was said by the officiating clergyman and the Modern Woodmen of America. The vaulted tomb was decorated with white muslin and evergreens.

Rev. Mr. Rahn, at the graveside, reminded the mourners that Clarence Shockley is not dead; he is only asleep--resting after a well spent life; that he could not, and would not if he could, ever return to us; but we can, if we will go to him; when the summons comes may we say as did he, "All is well;" and the last words to a faithful wife, "I have done my duty."

There were, no doubt, 1,000 or more in attendance.  Those from the South Bend police force, in full uniform, were: Inspector Alex. Bodkin, Sergeant Guy L. Bunker, Patrolmen Wm. Lisenberger, Lemuel Essix, Fred Strong, Edward Lour, George Baer, Geo. Pinter, Stephen Urbanski, Nicholas Lakouski, Edward Defrees and Swan Strom.  Detectives Chas. Keller, Guy Clark and Thos. Butler in citizen clothes, from South Bend, also attended.  Also Fred W. Eldredge, city marshal of Buchanan, and Deputy Sheriff Frank Stryker of Buchanan. Woodmen from South Bend and Buchanan, and members of the Royal Neighbors of Niles, attended, In the line of march the Foresters carried axes, leading the way. Surrounding the funeral car was an escort of policemen.  The pallbearers were: H.B. Laberteaux, Geo. Henkel, Thos. Walsh, Geo. Champion, Carl Fox and Wm. Schulte.Clarence Shockley Death Cert

Clarence Shockley Grave