Served: 6¾ years
October 6, 1886 to January 10, 1893
About 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 5, 1893, two men made a call on a woman known to them as Kittie Moore at 87 Longworth Street (just west of Elm Street); a house of ill-repute. Mrs. Charles Hawkins, the house owner’s wife, advised the men that Miss Moore was not there. The men threatened to shoot everybody in the house. She sought the assistance of Patrolman Fisher who responded, but the men left before he arrived.
After Officer Fisher was gone, the men came back. One was drunk and pulled out a .41 caliber Colt revolver. He said he was going to have a good time. Mrs. Hawkins ran into the street screaming “Murder!” and found Patrolman Scott. Patrolman Scott, a resident of 144 Cutter, was walking to the Bremen Street Station where he was assigned.
Patrolman Scott, wearing street clothes, immediately went to the house and tried to pacify the disorderly man, as did the man’s friend. Patrolman Scott identified himself and showed his badge. Then, the disorderly man pulled a badge from his pocket and identified himself as Hamilton Patrolman James Garver. Garver then agreed to leave and Patrolman Scott escorted him out the side door.
Outside, in the alley next to the house, Garver again produced the revolver. Patrolman Scott attempted to prevent him from shooting, but the revolver discharged, and Patrolman Scott yelled, “You’ve shot me!” A death struggle ensued with Patrolman Scott finally getting possession of the revolver and knocking Garver to the ground. Patrol 1 responded to take Garver into custody. Patrolman Scott insisted on going with the patrol wagon in order to fill out the paperwork at Central Police Station on a charge of Shooting to Kill.
Patrolman Scott was then taken to the hospital where his thigh wound was dressed. He was sent home and expected to recover.
When Garver sobered up, he admitted shooting Patrolman Scott and blamed it on being drunk. He said, “I know I was to blame and only thank God that I didn’t hurt the man more than I did and that he didn’t kill me.” On January 7, 1893, after his appearance in Police Court, Garver was released on bond.
Five days later, about 10 a.m. on January 10, 1893, word arrived at police headquarters that Patrolman Scott had taken a turn for the worse and was gravely ill. Chief Deitsch, Prosecutor Hertenstein, and Dr. Armstrong responded at once to get a deathbed statement, but when they arrived Patrolman Scott was already dead.
Patrolman Scott left a wife of three years, Sallie. On January 13, 1893, services were held at the Allen Temple. Pall bearers included Patrolmen Samples, White, Spurlock and Deigle. Patrolman Scott was buried in the Colored American Cemetery on Duck Creek Road.
Immediately upon his death, Chief Deitsch called and had a warrant issued charging Garver with Murder and had a wire sent to Hamilton Chief Thomas to that effect. Cincinnati Detective Witte set out by train to pick up Garver. Chief Thomas went to Garver’s home on North B Street, arrested him, and transported him to Hamilton Police headquarters. Detective Witte arrived at 1:40 p.m. and took Garver back with him on the 2:50 train.
On Wednesday, January 11, 1893, Garver appeared in court, but did not enter a plea because his attorney, H. L. Morey of Hamilton, was not there. The case was continued until January 20, 1893.
On January 13, Dr. Walker reported that the wound was a terrible one owing to the caliber of the bullet and that it was found in an outer muscle. A piece of Patrolman Scott’s pants was found in the leg wound which caused the blood poisoning that resulted in his death.
A coroner’s inquest was began on January 15, 1893 and continued until the next week. Garver stayed in jail until March 15, 1893, when a $1000 bond was posted by Mites Lindley, of Hamilton, and George Hobson. On the same date, the Coroner related to the press that he was having a difficult time ascertaining the circumstances on the night of the shooting. By then, Garver was claiming self-defense.
On July 13, 1893, the indictment was nulled due to a lack of evidence. There were no witnesses to the quarrel, no deathbed statement, and only Garver’s tale of self-defense.
Based on a new statute passed by the State of Ohio, Mrs. Scott applied for a pension July 7, 1898. The application was favorably acted upon by the Board of Directors Police Relief Association on February 21, 1899.
If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was revised September 19, 2012, by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, based almost entirely on research conducted by Cincinnati Police Homicide Detective Edward W. Zieverink III (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Historian. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.