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Davis Murder

Gravestone

Abilene -  April 24, 1949

Sheriff Elmer F. "Bill" Davis and his deputy and brother, Milton L. Davis were shot and killed and their bodies burned beyond recognition as they attempted to apprehend a crazed farmer who had shot and wounded three other persons and set fire to his house in a pre-dawn tragedy a mile southeast of the Brown Memorial Home southeast of Abilene.

 

A large granite memorial stands in the Abilene cemetery in honor of the Davis Brothers, paid for by friends throughout the county.  The inscription reads:


"Erected in 1950 in grateful memory of the brothers Bill and Milt Davis, Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff of Dickinson County, Kansas, who together lost their lives in the line of duty on Sunday, April 24, 1949. They had been summoned to quell a pre-dawn disturbance at a farmhouse near Abilene and were shot from ambush. Their devotion to the community in which they lived and served is recorded in history as a challenge to all future generations. This memorial, together with a bronze tablet at the courthouse, was the gift of volunteer donors from all parts of Dickinson County."

     

Charred Badge

1947 Chevy

Sheriff's Gun

Charred badge worn by Sheriff Davis the day of the shootout.

 

1947 Chevy 2-door patrol car
used by Sheriff Davis. Car restored in 1995 by Robert Meadows.

The Sheriff's S&W .38 Special
fired in defense at the gun battle.


These and other Davis memorabilia are on display at the Dickinson County Historical Society.