Watchman Clayborne Long
Served almost 1 year
January 27, 1860 to January 10, 1861
Watchman Daniel Sutton Hallam
Served almost 1 year
January 27, 1860 to January 10, 1861
Dan was born about 1812 in Kentucky. During 1833, he married Hannah Sterling and began to grow a family. They moved to Cincinnati during the mid-1840s and by 1851 had five children. Dan worked as a wagon maker until 1860.
Clay was much younger, born about 1833, either in Vermont or Alabama. By 1850, his family moved to Campbell County, Kentucky. During the mid-1850s he moved to Cincinnati and worked as a teamster.
Dan and Clay were hand-selected and hired by Mayor Richard Bishop upon his installment to serve as Watchmen on the beat bounded by Race, Elm, and 3rd Streets and the Ohio River – the ‘hard’ beat in the “Bloody Fourth Ward”.
During the day on January 9, 1861 Watchman Long received a letter stating that a young girl had been abducted from her parents in another city and was in the company of a man known by police to often visit several of the houses of prostitution in the vicinity. The two officers asked for and were granted permission by Lieutenant Kirby of the Pearl Street Stationhouse, to don civilian attire and search for the girl.
The two searched several houses of prostitution and between 10 and 11 p.m., according to Emma Clemens who operated a boarding house at 292 Main Street (between 6th and 7th Streets), Watchmen Long and Hallam rang her doorbell. Miss Clemens knew Watchman Long in uniform, but she had not seen him before in plainclothes and at first refused to admit him. He identified himself and told her he was there just to look around and she admitted him and Watchman Hallam.
About a minute later, a father and son, Roman and Casimer Lohrer, rang the doorbell. Miss Clemens saw only Casimer Lohrer whom she would not admit because she thought that he was drunk and had a pistol in his hand. Casimer stated, “You better not close that door on me or else I will come in anyhow.” Watchman Long told Miss Clemens that they would go out and take care of it.
When the officers came out to the platform, they did not know that Roman Lohrer was behind them. Watchman Hallam placed his hand on Casimer Lohrer’s shoulder and said, “Neighbor, I wouldn’t go into a house where I wasn’t wanted if I were you.” Roman Lohrer jumped from behind them and stabbed Watchman Hallam and then Watchman Long. Casimer Lohrer punched Watchman Hallam in the head and Watchman Hallam returned punches, but Roman Lohrer, who had run down half the stairs, came back up, and stabbed Watchman Hallam again. The Lohrers ran off.
Watchman Long staggered back into the house, saying “I am cut!” He first sat on the lounge, then went into the front room and fell on the bed. Watchman Hallam followed, saying “I am stabbed”, and fell on the lounge.
It would seem that Miss Clemens waited some time to sound the alarm, but finally went outside and screamed, “Watch!” Watchman Casey was in the area, responded, and found the two officers unconscious. Dr. Mussey responded and, by 1 a.m. on January 10, his prognosis was dire. The officers’ wives were sent for and quickly responded.
Mrs. Long had the sad duty of closing her husband’s eyes moments before 6 a.m. on January 10, 1861. Watchman Hallam had also died, having slowly declined all day and finally passing away at 8 p.m.
Officers Hallam and Long’s bodies were taken to their residences on Race and West Front Streets, respectively. It was decided to have a single funeral for both. On January 12, 1861, an immense funeral was held at the Morris Chapel on Western-Row (now Central Avenue) between 4th and 5th Streets and conducted by Rev. Granville Moody. More than ten thousand people walked with the procession to the Brighton House and from there the watchmen were carried to Wesleyan Cemetery where, due to the ground being frozen, they were placed in a vault. On April 3, 1861 they were buried in Wesleyan Cemetery.
The whole police department was placed on the lookout for the murderers. Four watchmen staked out the Lohrer home at 12th and Clay Streets. The suspects were located on the corner of 13th and Main Streets and, about 5 a.m. on the morning of January 10, the watchmen pounced on them. Casimer Lohrer did not resist, but Roman did until a revolver was placed to his head and he was advised that his least resistance would result in his immediate death.
They were taken to the Hammond Street Stationhouse; then before Judge Lowe who ordered them held on a charge of 1st Degree Murder; then to the City Jail.
Four hours later, at 10 a.m., Coroner Eckert held an inquest. After hearing the evidence, the jury came back with a finding that Watchman Long had been killed in the line of duty by Roman and Casimer Lohrer.
Before the inquest was held, as the fact of the murder was becoming public, throughout the community, there was a prevailing desire for revenge; but especially in the 4th Ward where the officers resided with their families.
As evening fell at the Vine Street Engine House, a meeting was held presided over by James Pollock, a well-known foundry man. The crowd was orderly, though their feelings were intense. They resolved to appoint a committee to assure prosecution of the Lohrers. The meeting was about to peacefully adjourn until a man yelled, “To the City Lot!” The leaders present, including Mayor Bishop, quelled the crowd.
Then a messenger arrived at the meeting with word that Officer Hallam had died. “To the corner of Hunt and Sycamore!” a man cried. This was repeated by several and the room emptied.
The crowd became a mob, growing substantially with each block passed until they arrived and numbered ten thousand. They found waiting there Mayor Bishop, Police Chief Lewis Wilson, and fifty officers – which soon grew to one hundred and fifty. The mob was informed that the prisoners were moved. They had in fact been moved to the 17th Ward Stationhouse, but the crowd did not believe them. Sheriff Armstrong called out the Guthrie Gray Battalion, fifty or sixty of which also responded by 10 p.m. By midnight, the rioters had all departed.
Another inquest was held by the Coroner on January 11 for Watchman Hallam’s death. The results were substantially the same as Watchman Long’s hearing.
On January 14, 1861 the Hamilton County Grand Jury returned two indictments each for Casimer and Roman for Murder of the First Degree.
On February 5, 1861, Lieutenant Brockington discovered an attempt to bribe the two principle witnesses to the murder. The offer was $300 (almost $9000 in 2019 dollars) and made by friends of the Lohrers. Lieutenant Brockington found the witnesses at a house on 14th Street and arrested them, holding them until they could post a surety bond.
On February 19, Roman Lohrer’s case went to trial. On February 22, the jury returned a verdict of guilty for Murder of the 2nd Degree. On June 28, 1861, he was sentenced to Life Imprisonment. Casimer was released on his own recognizance and it appears he was never tried for the murder due to the evidence that was presented in Roman’s trial.
After some legal maneuvering, including the order for a new trial, Lohrer was pardoned by Governor Cox seven years after his imprisonment. He continued his criminal ways, including an arrest for Receiving Stolen Goods in March 1873 and Counterfeiting in 1876. For the latter, he was sentenced to 15 years, but again, he served only a brief time.
Also on January 14, Elizabeth Scott, the girl who had been abducted to begin the events leading to the deaths of the watchmen, was found by Lieutenant Bleak in the Orphan Asylum where she had gone after escaping from her abductor. She had never been in any of the city’s houses of prostitution. Mrs. Scott, the girl’s mother, had posted a reward of $50 for the girl’s return and asked that it be redirected to the families of Watchmen Long and Hallam.
Lastly on January 14, members of the police force met and adopted a resolution to wear crepe for thirty days as their badge of mourning and to drape the stationhouses. Five officers were appointed as a committee to raise funds for the wives and families of the fallen watchmen. On January 20, Pike’s Opera House availed itself to a fundraising testimonial for the families. $1623 (almost $44,000 in 2014 monies) was realized for the widows. The City of Cincinnati City Council passed an ordinance granting each widow $200 ($5,400 in 2014).
If anyone has any information, artifacts, archives, or images related to these officers or the incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
This narrative was researched and revised on December 30, 2014 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired) with burial assistance from Donna M. St. Felix, Wesleyan Cemetery Historian. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.