Served: At least 6 years
At least 1900 to October 30, 1906
George was born December 31, 1853 in Ohio to Peter and Maria Charlotte (Schwartze). During 1860, the nine-member family was living in Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio. During 1880 he was working as a laborer.
He was a night policeman, probably for Franklin, during 1900. On March 1, 1906, he was sworn in as the village marshal.
By his fifties, he was a second lieutenant in Company No. 99 of the Fourth Rank of the United Rank, Knights of Pythias, and past chancellor of the American Lodge No. 72. George was also a member of the Climax Council, No. 337, of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics (Jr. O.U.A.M.).
Unfortunately, we do not know more about Marshal Basore, his work history, his date of appointment, or anything that occurred during his tenure. But it is apparent that he was a highly respected man among the citizens, businessmen, and politicians of Franklin.
Little is known either about Henry White, indeed if that is his name. He was born about 1882. He was rumored to have lived in Dayton, Ohio, but that is not confirmed. For a time he lived in Columbus, Ohio. From that point on, his solution to problems was murder.
He shot and killed his girlfriend in Columbus. We assume he was an older juvenile or very young adult at the time, because he was sent to Mansfield Reformatory. He was paroled in the first week of October 1906.
On October 21, 1906, he and his acquaintance of three weeks, Sadie Freeman, who had spent four separate terms in the Springfield and Dayton Work Houses for Theft, posed as husband and wife, and rented a room at Reuben Tilford’s Colored Boarding House on Anderson Street in Franklin. Then, White set about to burglarize homes and businesses almost every night thereafter.
Tilford (71) became suspicious of White’s nocturnal activities and wrote a letter to Marshal Basore. In the letter, he described White as always having on his person a firearm and two razors. Marshal Basore was sufficiently convinced to conduct surveillance on White.
On October 30, Tilford found Marshal Basore in Squire Corwin’s office and informed him that White and his “wife” were at the traction station in Earhart’s Drug Store and about to get away with valises suspected of containing stolen property.
Marshal Basore found White and Freeman at the traction station with two suitcases. After a short conversation, about 7:28 a.m., White agreed to go with Marshal Basore to the town hall, but when he stood up, he pulled out a .32 Caliber revolver and shot Marshal Basore three times. One bullet entered his chest and tore through his lung and aorta. Another wounded his face and a third lodged in his stomach.
Though mortally wounded and having fallen to the sidewalk, Marshal Basore pulled his sidearm, took deliberate aim, and shot White in the shoulder and collapsed. White shot twice more at Marshal Basore while running away and emptying his revolver.
Deputy Marshal Clint Sinnard ran to the Marshal, took his revolver, and ran after White, shooting at him until the revolver was empty.
Dr. Rice R. Evans was sitting in his office when he heard the shots and saw the commotion outside. He ran to Conover’s Hardware Store, as did a number of citizens, and procured a revolver. Other citizens, ten in all, pursued White carrying guns, clubs, hammers, and other weapons. Dr. Evans led them to Anderson Street where they found White trying desperately to reload his revolver with one arm – the other one made useless due to the bullet in his shoulder.
Dr. Evans fired in his direction and told him to put his arms up. After another shot was fired near his head, White raised the one good arm. Dr. Evans yelled “both arms” and fired another shot past his head. White told him about the broken shoulder and tossed his revolver. The other citizen wanted to execute White there and then, but Dr. Evans persuaded them not to. Deputy Sinnard caught up and detained White for Warren County Sheriff J. C. Patterson.
Marshal Basore was lifted and carried to Dr. Evans’ office where he died just after being placed on a stretcher. His body was prepared and taken to his home on Front Street where it was further prepared by his wife and children.
He was predeceased by a 1½-year-old son, Raymond Basor. Marshal Basore was survived by his wife of 31 years, Ida Belle (Thayer) Basore; children, Edna (Robert) Coles (30), Bessie (Roscoe) Miller (27), Earle (Ivy) Basore (26), Guy (Charlotte) Basore (23), George H. (Anna) Basore (21), and Alfred Basore (19); and grandchildren, Wren Coles (11), Hazel Coles (8), Ida Miller (5½ mos.), Helen Basore (5½ mos.), and George H. Basore (5½ mos.).
As the body lay in state at his home on Seventh Street, hundreds of citizens filed by. Schools were canceled, businesses generally closed, and one of the largest funerals ever in Franklin was held November 1, 1906 at the Methodist Episcopal Church of Franklin, officiated by Rev. Creighton Jones. Six city council members acted as pallbearers. The Knights of Pythias and Jr. O.U.A.M. provided honorary pallbearers. Marshal Basore was buried in Woodhill Cemetery in Franklin.
The luggage White had with him was found to contain property stolen in the burglaries. Sadie Freeman picked them up during the pursuit and arrest of White and tried to walk away with them. Someone shouted, “Get the woman! Get the woman!” and Mayor McLane apprehended her. He came across Robert Fox, a former Marshal, and swore him in. Together they locked her up and staved off the multitudes who were trying to get to White and lynch him. Freeman was charged as an accomplice in his burglaries. Another woman that was with him, Florence Carroll, escaped but was arrested in Hamilton as she alighted from a southbound Cincinnati Northern Traction car from Franklin.
The news of Marshall Basore’s killing spread quickly. Within a half hour, knots of men were standing on street corners commiserating about what to do. At 10 o’clock, a large crowd gathered. Fearing vigilante reprisals, Mayor McLane called Sheriff Patterson requesting his hasty response to pick up the prisoner. He then held a quick preliminary hearing in his office. White pleaded not guilty to “willful murder” and the Mayor bound him over to the grand jury.
Sheriff Patterson arrived and took the prisoner to the Warren County Jail on Silver Street in Lebanon – 1½ hours after the murder. As many as 600 men still gathered in Franklin considered going to Lebanon to lynch him, but none were known to make the trip. The Sheriff and White arrived at 10:25 a.m. White was hustled inside where Dr. A. W. Mardis treated his bullet wound.
During the painful procedure, White told his version of the story to assembled officers and newspapermen. He claimed that Marshal Basore displayed no badge or warrant and that when he ran, the marshal shot him, so he returned fire. He also claimed that the stolen property found in his luggage was purchased in Middletown.
Freeman sat in her cell, refusing to speak, claiming that if she did White’s gang would kill her. She did however disclose that she and White were headed to the home of Laura Lucas, a known fence in Dayton, before traveling onto Springfield. On October 31st, the Mayor held a preliminary hearing for charges of receiving stolen property. She pleaded not guilty and was bound over to the grand jury.
During the Coroner’s Inquest, among the eye-witness testimony, Freeman testified that White had told her that no officer could arrest him by himself and that he would kill him before he would be taken. The Coroner ruled that White murdered Marshal Basore.
The Warren County Grand Jury returned a true bill for Murder of the First Degree. He pleaded Not Guilty at his arraignment on November 15, 1906. His attorneys were W. F. Eltzroth and L. K. Langdon. A trial was set for December 11th.
On December 5, 1906, about 2 a.m., White escaped from the Warren County Jail using a bar of iron that he wrenched from a ventilator. A general alarm was sounded, and a posse searched for him. “Most of the [the citizens of the] entire county” were involved.
Bloodhounds were brought in from Martinsville and tracked White’s trail for eight miles to a railroad track and continued from there. About 10 p.m., White was seen at the home of Gilbert Fox and chased out of his barn with shots fired at him. He got away with a shotgun and seven shells.
The bloodhounds resumed their track which took them to David Ertel’s barn where the pursuers found he had stolen a horse. From there, they tracked him to William Barnes’s barn where they found the first horse abandoned and another one stolen. Along the track, they found that horse abandoned at Hills Station along the B&O Railroad bed. His trail was found again and tracked to a vacant house two miles west of Blanchester.
On December 7, at 2:30 p.m., the Blanchester Marshal opened the doors of the cupboard in which he was hiding. White leveled the shotgun at him, but the gun did not fire – he did not know how to take the safety off.
Back in his cell, he admitted that if he had not been successful in getting out of the building, it was his intention to kill Sheriff Patterson when he made his morning rounds.
White’s trial began the next Tuesday, December 11, 1906. Most of the time was taken up with selecting a jury. After numerous witnesses testified and were cross examined, the case went to the jury on December 20, 1906. White was found guilty of Murder of the First Degree without recommendation of clemency. News of the verdict arrived at Franklin with fireworks, ringing of bells, and blowing of whistles.
On January 5, 1907, after overruling a motion for a new trial, Judge Milton Clark sentenced White to die in the electric chair on May 29, 1907. White received the news without reaction. Sheriff Patterson took him immediately to Columbus. Sadie Freeman was taken to the penitentiary at another time having been convicted for her part in the thefts.
On May 2, 1907, one of the witnesses at White’s trial, seven-year-old Ralph Breubaker, died. His last words were, “I’m sorry I can’t live to see [White] electrocuted.”
The next day, May 3, 1907, the Circuit Court in Lebanon ruled on White’s attorney’s appeal, denying him a new trial. Soon, another appeal was made, delaying the execution. Then, on June 20, 1907, the Ohio Governor delayed it again in order to allow White’s attorneys to present a case to the Board of Pardons. On July 12, 1907, the Board, with the governor sitting in on the arguments and deliberations, refused to commute the sentence.
On July 19, 1907, just after midnight, White walked to the electric chair with “the same indifference shown throughout his life.” He had recently converted to Roman Catholicism and was clutching a crucifix. Father M. Rumaggi walked with him chanting an absolution rite. Strapped in the chair, he kissed the crucifix and declined a final statement. It took three jolts to stop his heart. His body was taken by Father Rumaggi and he was buried in Calvary Cemetery.
Marshal Basore’s wife, Ida, died fifty years after him at the age of 96 and is buried next to him.
If you know of any information, archives, artifacts, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was further researched and revised on October 20, 2020 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, including some research provided by Cincinnati Police Sergeant David R. Turner (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Volunteer, and proofed by Cincinnati Police Administrative Technician Mary Lou Berning, Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Secretary. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.