Served: 30 years
About 1885 to February 24, 1915
Elijah Jr. was born May 19, 1867 to Elijah N. and Kate (Darman) Boileau, Sr. He went by his middle name, Newton.
Elijah Sr. had been in law enforcement since at least 1865 when he was a Cincinnati Patrolman assigned to the 9th Street Stationhouse. He became a Detective during 1867, when Elijah, Jr. was born, and in 1868 he moved his family to 72 Carr Street. He became a Constable, working at 10 W. 6th Street, during 1872 and back to Policeman in 1874. In 1879, Elijah Sr. joined the Indianapolis, Cincinnati, & Louisville Railroad as a Watchman. He later worked as a railroad policeman for the Central Union Depot in 1885.
By 1899, Newton joined the Baltimore and Ohio Southwest Railway working as a Special Agent in the stockyards. He was quickly promoted to Captain by 1904 and his father joined him as a Policeman in 1905. The next year, Newton was promoted to Superintendent of Police of the Baltimore and Ohio Southwest Railroad (B&O S.W. R.R.). 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 Superintendent Boileau’s body in the B&O SW RR yards in the rear of the Abattoir (slaughterhouse), north of Arlington Street, in Camp Washington. He had been shot, with the bullet having entered his left shoulder and traced down through his lung. Death would have come quickly. Evidence at the scene suggested that, before he died, he was only able to drag himself five feet from where he had been shot. His revolver was found still in his coat pocket.
Superintendent Boileau was survived by his wife, Maria (Heger) Boileau; children, Harvey N. Boileau (13), Estella Boileau (11), and Roy Boileau (6); and father, Elijah Nathan Boileau, Sr. (80). He is buried in Section 17, Plot 215, Grave 1 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, probably with several others, in an iron gondola car carrying a freight of angle irons. 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 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 from the Sedamsville (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 found to be involved or if anyone was identified as a suspect in the murder.
Superintendent Boileau’s oldest child, attempted a few careers until he settled on law enforcement in his 41st year. He became a Norwood Patrolman during 1942 and in 1954 he was appointed Police Chief. Police Chief Boileau retired in 1958 and passed away in 1972.
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.
© The fact of Superintendent Boileau’s line of duty death was rediscovered in 2015 by Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Historian, Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward W. Zieverink III (Retired). Sherry Sheffield, Wyoming Historical Society Researcher, provided research on the Boileau descendants. This narrative was revised February 21, 2015 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum President. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.