Watchman Clayborne Long | Cincinnati Police Department
Served: 2 years
January 1, 1859 or January 27, 1860 to January 10, 1861
Watchman Daniel Sutton Hallam | Cincinnati Police Department
Served: 2 years
January 1, 1859 or January 27, 1860 to January 10, 1861
Dan Hallam was born about 1812 in Pennsylvania. He married Hannah Sterling on May 1, 1833 in Hamilton County. In 1850, they had five children and lived in the 4th Ward. He was working as a wagon maker and continued to do so until 1859. By 1860, they had another daughter, Catharine Hallam, but had lost a son, Thomas B. Hallam. During 1861, they were living at 34 Race Street.
Clay Long was much younger, born about 1833 in Alabama or Vermont; the first child born to an Irish immigrant, George Wesley Long, and Catharine (Baughman) Long of Maryland. During 1836 and 1841, the family lived in Ohio where his two siblings were born. By 1843, they were living in Kentucky, probably northern Kentucky, where four more siblings were added to the family. During August 1850, Clay was 17 and they were living in the 2nd District of Campbell County. He was working as a laborer. During the mid-1850s he moved to Cincinnati and worked as a teamster. Probably during 1859, Clay married, we believe Mary McKibben, and they had a daughter at the end of the year. By 1861, he was living at 194 West Front Street.
On April 22, 1850, the City of Cincinnati enacted an ordinance authorizing the city’s first (and the nation’s third) municipal police force under the direction of a Chief of Police. However, no chief was appointed until 1853, and in the eight years between then and 1861 there were nine changes in chiefs. While the original ordinance called for a committee to appoint and promote police personnel, in reality, the mayors did so with little resistance.
On January 1, 1859, Richard Bishop, upon being installed as Mayor, hand-selected and hired 4th Ward residents, Dan Hallam and Clay Long, to serve as Watchmen and clean up the beat bounded by Race, Elm, and 3rd Streets and the Ohio River – the ‘hard’ beat in the “Bloody Fourth Ward”. Within two years, they were considered “among the best of the force.”
Watchmen’s hours were relative to the time of sunset and sunrise, though they were considered to be on duty twenty-four hours a day. It is likely that Watchmen Long and Hallam, during January 1861, were arriving at work at 7 a.m.
Casimer Lohrer was born in Baden, Germany about 1817. His son, Rohmer, also known as Roman, was also born in Baden about 1838.
Later, probably after the unsuccessful rebellion in the German states in 1848, they came to America. We found no record of Casimer being married, but later he was associated with and living with Rosine Lohrer, also of Baden, and eleven years his senior.
Roman married Mary Lipps on November 1, 1856. We found no record of a divorce, but he was later living with Louisa, or Louise, also of Baden, who claimed to be his wife. Reporters of the day could find no official justification for that claim.
We found no mention of the Lohrers before 1861 in any record or publication, except Roman’s marriage to Miss Lipps.
During the morning of January 9, 1861, Watchmen Long and Hallam met J. L. Scott who informed them that his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Scott, had been kidnapped from a nearby town and asked them for their assistance in finding her. Scott offered them $25 each if they found her. They refused the money, saying that it was their “bounden duty to ferret out the girl.” 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 had been working about thirteen hours, when, between 10 and 11 p.m., they rang the doorbell at a house of ill fame, operated by Emma Clemens, at 292 Main Street (between Sixth and Seventh Streets) far north of the 4th Ward. 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, Casimer and Roman Lohrer rang the doorbell. While we found no specific statement to the effect, inferences were made that they came looking for two specific ladies who until recently were living in one of their “boarding houses.” Miss Clemens saw only Casimer Lohrer, whom she later claimed she would not admit because 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, intending, she believed, to arrest the man.
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. Roman, who had run down half the stairs, came back up, and stabbed Watchman Hallam again. Then 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.
Miss Clemens must have 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, their 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; about the time his murderers were apprehended. He was survived by his wife, Catharine; daughter; and probably both parents.
Watchman Hallam had also died, having slowly declined all day and finally passing away at 8 p.m. He was survived by his wife, Hannah Hallam (49), and children, Georgiana (27), Ambrose (22), Nancy Jane (18), Samuel Walker (13), and Catharine (9).
Officers Hallam’s and Long’s bodies were taken to their residences. 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. 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.
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 10th and the watchmen pounced on them. Casimer 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.
As soon as the crime became generally known, excitement prevailed. A feeling of revenge pervaded the entire community, but no more than in the 4th Ward. 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 voted to write a resolution. Pollock gave a eulogy. Mayor Bishop addressed the crowd in concurrence with their feelings and advising restraint. They resolved to appoint a committee “for dealing out justice” to 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. But when a messenger arrived at the meeting with word that Officer Hallam had also died, a man cried, “To the corner of Hunt and Sycamore!” (at that time, the location of the Hamilton County Jail). This was repeated by several and the room emptied. We do not know how or when they were transferred to the County Jail, but soon they were transferred again.
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. The mob was not satisfied until an ad hoc committee was formed and permitted to inspect the cells.
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. At their arraignment, Casimer was released.
On February 5, 1861, Lieutenant Brockington discovered an attempt to bribe the two principal witnesses. The offer was $300 ($9000 in 2021 dollars) made by friends of the Lohrers. Lieutenant Brockington found the witnesses at a house on Fourteenth Street and arrested them, holding them until they could post a surety bond.
On February 19, 1961, Roman Lohrer’s case went to trial. The jury got the case on February 21st. Five jurors initially voted for Murder of the 1st Degree, five for Murder of the 2nd Degree, and two for Manslaughter. The next morning, there were still five for 1st Degree, but the other for 2nd Degree. After a final vote, on February 22, the jury returned a verdict of guilty for Murder of the 2nd Degree. On June 28, 1861, Roman Lohrer was sentenced to Life Imprisonment.
Some elected officials do not understand the definition of “life” imprisonment as The People define it. Seven years after the double-murder of two Cincinnati law enforcement officers who were peaceably preventing them from entering a house of prostitution, Lohrer was pardoned by Governor Jacob Cox, the founder of the short-lived Liberal Republican Party.
On January 14, 1861, 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.
On January 14th, 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. They raised $1,623 ($49,000 in 2021 dollars). The City of Cincinnati City Council passed an ordinance granting $200 ($6,000 in 2021).
Watchman Hallam’s daughter, Nancy Jane Hallam, died four months after him. The Hallam family in 1863 were living at 110 Van Horn. Mrs. Hallam was working as a dressmaker. We find no records of descendants passed the next generation except Samuel Walker Hallam’s lineage extends six generation into the future, with at least four great-great-great-great grandchildren alive today.
Casimer Lohrer, during 1865, lived at 21 East Eighth Street and worked as a carpenter. It appears he was arrested January 18, 1869 for stealing two wheelbarrows, but received little or no jail time. During 1869, he was working as a box manufacturer, and they lived at 17 West Miami Canal.
Roman moved in with him when he got out of prison, and both were working as carpenters. By 1872, Roman was living at 584 Central Avenue and working as a saloonkeeper. He was charged with Receiving Stolen Goods, silverware, from a former prison acquaintance, at his saloon in March 1873. By the end of 1873, he was charged with Counterfeiting, which was dismissed because the judge believed he did not know it was counterfeit. He was living at 703 Main in 1875.
Roman and Casimer were charged again in 1876 with Counterfeiting. Both pleaded guilty in June. For that, Roman was sentenced to 15 years, but again, he served only a brief time. We do not know Casimer’s sentence, but he was out of jail and being charged with a liquor violation within six months. Roman was released from prison on November 23, 1879, having served less than three years.
Father and son were living together again in 1880 on Central Avenue. We have no account of Casimer’s death nor of any other criminal activity by the two. Roman lived on Elm Street, Plum Street, West Sixth Street, and Spring Grove Avenue, before he died in December 1905.
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 June 9, 2021 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired) with burial assistance from Donna M. St. Felix, Wesleyan Cemetery Historian, and Cincinnati Police Sergeant David R. Turner (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Researcher. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.