William Floyd Martz

William Floyd MartzMichigan State Police Paw Paw Post

  • End of Watch: March 12, 1925

On March 10, 1925, 23-year old Trooper William Floyd Martz and his partner, Trooper G. A. Stockhill had been assigned to guard five suspects of the Millburg State Bank robbery, who were being held at the Berrien County jail. At 8 AM, sitting in the first floor lobby, Stockhill took his revolver out to inspect it when a bullet accidentally discharged, striking Martz.  He was taken to the St. Joseph Sanitarium where he gradually improved over the next day but just as his mother and brother arrived from his hometown of Detroit, he passed away; 8:50  a.m. on March 12, 1925. Only five minutes earlier, a nurse asked him how he was feeling and he replied, "Fine."

Berrien County Undersheriff Frank A. Paget announced on March 13, 1925 that no inquest would be held in the shooting and it was declared accidental, clearing Stockhill of any wrongdoing. Martz's death certificate showed cause of death as, "bullet wound through abdomen, accidental."

Trooper William Floyd Martz was born March 3, 1902 and served in the U.S. Marines before becoming a Michigan State Trooper. His body was taken back to Detroit for burial.

- Chriss Lyon