A southeast Missouri constable, who fell in the line of duty 146 years ago, has been honored at his gravesite near Cedar Hill. Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen tells KREI Radio in Farmington that the ceremony was for 32-year-old Samuel T. Herrington, who served in the Concord Township that’s known today as Irondale.
“He was summoned one evening to a saloon that still stands today in the city for a saloon fight,” said Jacobsen. “As he was trying to intervene in that disturbance, he was stabbed.”
Herrington died the next day from massive blood loss.
The exact location of Herrington’s grave has been a mystery.
“His family had lost information on where Deputy Herrington’s body was buried,” said Jacobsen. “No one really knew much about it other than just years and years of past tense stories.”
In May, historical grave hunter Tim Ogle solved the mystery. He was trying to locate the gravesite of Herrington’s grandfather, who was a revolutionary war soldier.
“When he found that gravesite, he also uncovered, under approximately eight inches of soil, another headstone. That headstone turned out to be Samuel Herrington’s headstone,” said Jacobsen.
Wednesday’s ceremony included the presentation of colors and grave medallions, an unveiling of the restored headstone, a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. A proclamation from Governor Eric Greitens also marked October 4th as Constable Samuel T. Herrington Day. More than 100 people attended, including public officials and family members from out of state.
Luke Turnbough of Missourinet affiliate KREI Radio in Farmington contributed to this story.