Detective Joseph H. Grous | Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad
Served: 11+ Years
~1900 – ~1903 Campbell County Constable
~1911 – ~1918 Newport Police Department
~1919 – December 8, 1919 Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad
Joseph Grous was born October 10, 1856 in Kentucky to German immigrants, Felix and Thelma (Shineker) Grous. He started raising a family in Indiana during 1883. He boarded for a time in Riverside, a neighborhood of Cincinnati, and in 1887 the family moved to Newport and he eventually fathered six children.
During June 1900, he and his family were living at 936 Brighton Street in Newport and working as a mill peddler. Joseph became a Constable in Newport before 1900 and served at least until October 11, 1903, when his second son, Arthur Grous (17), died of a lung disorder. Thirteen months later, he lost his only daughter, Myrtle Grous, to pulmonary tuberculosis on November 11, 1904.
Constable positions, being political, are often tenuous between elections. It is probably for this reason that Constable Grous went to work at a steel mill by 1906. During 1909, he was elected Vice President of the Sons of German Pioneers Society. By 1910, he had been promoted to Foreman.
He went back into law enforcement as a Newport Patrolman before November 6, 2011. That night he was in a shootout where more than 25 rounds were fired and he had his revolver and mace shout of his hands. A man who came to his aid was shot in the arm. Before losing his revolver, he shot a murder suspect in the leg.
He worked in Newport until 1918. Sometime thereafter, he joined the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad as a Detective.
By December 1918, he had more than eleven years of law enforcement service in Northern Kentucky.
On December 8, 1919, Detective Grous was on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad trestle leading to the bridge over the Ohio River when he was struck by a freight engine. He suffered a fractured skull and multiple injuries and was carried across the bridge to Cincinnati where his death is recorded.
He was predeceased by his children, Arthur Grous (1903) and Myrtle Grous (1904). Detective Grous was survived by his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Grous, and children, Joseph F. Grous (36), Edward Grous (35), Harold Grous (28), and Leo G. Grouse (21). Detective Grous was buried in Evergreen Cemetery on December 10, 1919.
All the children and widow seem to just disappear after 1920. The 1920 Newport Directory has Maggie living with Leo at 1110 Isabella and the 1920 Census has her living with Joseph F. on Mitchel in St. Bernard. Perhaps they “Americanized” their last name, because Grous also seems to disappear.
If you know of information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer and/or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This line of duty death was rediscovered 94 years after the fact by Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward Zieverink, Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Historian and the narrative was revised October 2, 2019 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Vice President. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.