Served: 33 years
1913 To January 17, 1939
William Simpson and Myrtle Wigsong lived all their lives in and around Coke Otto (incorporated as the Village of New Miami in 1929) and married by the end of the 19th Century. Besides working as a carpenter at the coke plant, William served as a Constable in St. Clair Township, as a Deputy Marshal in New Miami, and even as its Mayor. During these years, William and Myrtle had eight children – seven girls and one boy. They lost the boy, Louis in 1924. Myrtle died of Cancer in 1938. By 1939, William was serving as the village’s Deputy Marshal.
About 5 a.m. on the morning of January 13, 1939, John Frazee (19), Arthur Meyers (19) of Hamilton, Hiram York (18) of Hamilton, and a 16-year-old New Miami boy, with purpose to loot a slot machine, broke into the Spradling Café on U.S. Route 127. Marshal Simpson and Deputy Marshal Andrew Cain (45) found the burglary in progress. Marshal Simpson entered the front door and Deputy Marshal Cain went toward the rear. As soon as Frazee saw the Marshal, he pulled a handgun, fired, and struck Marshal Simpson twice, including once in the chest. Marshal Simpson returned four shots that missed. The burglars fled out the back door and Deputy Marshal Cain shot at them and also missed.
Marshal Simpson was transported to Mercy Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio. He died four days later at 6 a.m. on January 17, 1939.
He was survived by seven daughters, three sisters, two brothers, and ten grandchildren. On January 19, 1939, Marshal Simpson was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.
The four burglars were found and arrested on January 18, 1939. Police identified Frazee as the triggerman and all four were charged with 1st Degree Murder. The three adults were convicted of 1st Degree Murder and each given a life sentence. The juvenile served five years at the Ohio Boy’s Industrial School. Meyers and York were paroled after 15 years during 1954. Frazee was paroled after 21 years on April 21, 1960.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Direcotr@police-museum.org.
This narrative was researched and revised January 11, 2013 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer, Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, with heavy reliance on research conducted by historian Jim Blount. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.