Detective Lieutenant Elijah Newton Boileau, Jr. | Baltimore & Ohio Southwest Railroad

Age: 48
Served: 30 years
About 1885 to February 24, 1915


Like his father before him, Lieutenant Boileau, of Paddock and Township in College Hill, was a railroad detective for 30 years. During September 1914, he was the Chief Inspector of Police of the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern Railroad when he, Cincinnati Night Chief John Stegner, and Detectives Albert Geithlein and Joseph Brink conducted a raid in Bond Hill for items stolen from boxcars. He was highly regarded by Cincinnati and railroad police alike.

At 5:45 a.m. on February 24, 1915, freight train brakemen, E. L. Taylor and Charles Beebe of Newark, Ohio found Lieutenant Boileau’s body in the Baltimore & Ohio Southwest Railroad yards in the rear of the Abattoir (a slaughterhouse) north of Arlington Street in Camp Washington. He had been shot, the bullet having entered his left shoulder and traced down through his lung. Death would have come quickly. Evidence at the scene suggested he was only able to drag himself five feet from where he had been shot before he expired. His revolver was found still in his coat pocket.

Lieutenant Boileau was survived by his wife, Maria (Heger) Boileau; three children, Harvey N. Boileau (13), Estella Boileau (11), and Roy Boileau (6); and father, Elijah Nathan Boileau, Sr. (80). He is buried in Vine Street Hill Cemetery.

Cincinnati Detective Chief William Love and Detectives Bell and Hayes immediately responded to the scene. They spoke with a laborer on the yards, Fred Bartlett, who advised that he had heard what he thought was a shot at about 5:30 a.m. They also determined the murderer was apparently concealed in an iron gondola car carrying a freight of angle irons with probably several others. There were 35 cars in the train.

About 4½ hours after the shooting, at 11 a.m., Paul Hold, a grocer at 3600 Spring Grove Avenue, called the Cumminsville (10th) District and advised that a “seedy-looking, middle-aged fellow with a mustache” was in his store looking for a hat and told the grocer that he was changing his hat to disguise himself from police. Lieutenant John Weiss commandeered an ice wagon and rushed to the area of Knowlton’s Corner. He found the suspect’s cap without anything inside it to identify its owner.

Late on the 14th, Sergeant Fricke and Patrolman Ecker, 9th District, arrested six men at 6th and Neave Streets for questioning in the murder: Emmett McGee, Quillon Eaton, John Johnson, Wilbur Foster, George Page, and John Jordan. It is not known whether they were ever identified or chuarge in the murder.

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The fact that this law enforcement officer was killed in the line of duty was recently rediscovered by Cincinnati Homicde Detective Edward W. Zieverink III (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Musem Historian. With his assistance, this narrative was created on February 21, 2014 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.