Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial


John H. Nafziger - Special Detective

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Police Department


Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, January 30, 1940, Railroad Detective John Nafziger, 57, was patrolling the Santa Fe yards in downtown Oklahoma City when he told another railroad officer, he was going to check on a train that was due to arrive at 12:20 a. m.  At 2:20 a.m. Detective John Nafziger’s dead body was found by switch engine foreman George Hayes near Grand Avenue (now Sheridan) on the Santa Fe tracks.  Detective Nafziger had been run over by a train and his body was horribly mangled.  His left foot had been severed, his skull fractured, and his chest crushed. John H. Nafziger had served as a Detective for the Santa Fe Railroad for sixteen years.


Detective John Nafziger was a widower and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.


OLEM – 7N-2-23    NLEOM – 29E29


April 30, 2021




James Nakedhead - Deputy U S Marshal – Officer


U. S. Marshal– U. S. Indian Police


Near daybreak the morning of Wednesday, February 27, 1895, Deputy Marshal James Nakedhead was a member of a group of deputy marshals and Texas Rangers that surrounded Ben Hughes’ house near Brush Hill, about ten miles southwest of present-day Checotah, in hopes of arresting the Hughes gang, suspected of a Texas train robbery occurring October 19, 1894 near Gordon, Texas. Evidence showed that Sam Baker along with the Hughes brothers Ben and Jim committed the train robbery. Others suspected in the robbery were Shirley Smith and Judd South, who also went by Judd Southern and Judd Silvers.  


The gang’s dogs alerted the gang of the officers’ approach, and they began firing on the posse. During the gun battle that followed Ben Hughes ran from the house and into the nearby brush. Judd South was next to come out running and firing at the officers. As Deputy Marshal Nakedhead rose to fire at the running Judd South, Ben Hughes fired from hiding at Deputy Marshal James Nakedhead striking him in the head, killing him instantly. Judd South escaped into the brush.


Outlaw Ben Hughes was then wounded in the arm by the officers.  Ben Hughes wife ran from the house with more ammunition for her husband and was arrested. When Ben Hughes saw his wife was arrested, he surrendered. Judd South was soon located and arrested.


Deputy Marshal James Nakedhead, a Cherokee, was survived by his wife and several children and is buried in Tahlequah Cemetery, Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma.


Ben Hughes and Judd South were eventually taken to Dallas, Texas and placed in jail to await their trial on the train robbery.


On May 18th Jim Hughes was arrested by Texas Ranger Captain Bill McDonald and was also taken to Dallas and placed in jail. Jim Hughes’ alibi the day of the train robbery checked out to be true and he was released.


It is unknown what the outcome of the train robbery case was, but Ben Hughes and Judd South later stood trial in Fort Smith for the murder of Deputy Marshal James Nakedhead. The Hughes brothers pleaded innocent citing self-defense. When it was brought out that the Texas officers did not have an arrest warrant for Ben Hughes or Judd South at the time of the shootout both men were acquitted and freed.


Eight years later in early 1903, Ben Hughes and his brother, Jim, were tried in Fort Smith for the brutal October 20, 1902, murder of another Deputy U.S. Marshal, Lute Houston, by members of the Bert Casey gang and again the Hughes brothers were acquitted.


OLEM – 5N-2-19    NLEOM – 59W17


April 30, 2021




Guy David Nalley - Trooper


Oklahoma Highway Patrol


Guy David Nalley, a former Seminole Police officer, had been a state trooper about two years when he stopped a truck and trailer on State Highway 6 about twenty miles west of Elk City Saturday evening, October 27, 1984, about 8:30 p.m. When Trooper Nalley radioed in to check the tag registration he was advised that the trailer tag was stolen. When backup officers arrived soon afterwards, they found Trooper Guy Nalley dead from two .25 caliber gunshot wounds to the back of the head.  


Trooper Guy Nalley, 29, was survived by his wife Jean Ann, and four children including a newborn son and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Wewoka, Seminole County, Oklahoma.


William Best was arrested fifteen miles from the scene within two hours. Best was sent to Eastern State Hospital at Vinita for mental evaluation. Two months later while at the hospital William Best took several hostages at gun point and was shot and killed by another Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper.


OLEM – 2N-2-6    NLEOM – 46W1


April 30, 2021




Samuel Henry Neal - Officer


Muskogee Police Department


About 2:30 A.M. on Sunday December 26, 1915, Officer Samuel Neal interrupted Willie Williams and Homer Green committing a business burglary on East Okmulgee Avenue. Willie Williams opened fire on Officer Neal striking him twice before the two men escaped. Officer Neal was able to give a description of both men before he died.  


Officer Samuel Neal was survived by his wife, son and daughter and is buried in the Greenhill Cemetery, Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma.  


Willie Williams was later convicted of the murder of Officer Samuel Neal and died in the Oklahoma electric chair on April 13, 1917.


OLEM – 4S-3-12   NLEOM – 31E23


April 30, 2021





Peter G. "Gus" Nebhut - Deputy Sheriff  


Pontotoc County Sheriffs Office


About 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11, 1921, several officers from Ada and Pontotoc County surrounded the Byrd Hotel in Ada to arrest B. F. Marshall for possession of illegal moonshine whiskey. B. F. Marshall, seeing the officers, ran to the back door of the hotel where he was met by Deputy Sheriff “Gus” Nebhut. The two men struggled, and B. F. Marshall shot Deputy Sheriff “Gus” Nebhut with a .25 caliber Colt automatic pistol. Deputy Sheriff “Gus” Nebhut, 41, fired three shots at B. F. Marshall as he fled, and Marshall returned shots at the deputy sheriff. “Gus” Nebhut, having been shot twice, then collapsed. B. F. Marshall was arrested soon after that with four bullet wounds. Deputy Sheriff Peter “Gus” Nebhut died the next morning, Saturday, March 12, 1921, about 10 a.m.


Deputy Sheriff Peter “Gus” Nebhut was survived by his wife Lula and their four children and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Stonewall, Pontotoc County, OK.


B. F. Marshall was convicted of killing Deputy Sheriff Nebhut and was sentenced to life in prison.

 

OLEM – 8S-3-10 (Nesbitt)   NLEOM –


April 30, 2021





Thomas Johnson Nevitt - City Marshal

El Reno Police Department

 

About 6 p.m. the evening of Thursday, September 18, 1890, City Marshal Thomas Nevitt, 27, attempted to quite a drunk cowboy named John Sparks who had been firing his gun in the street. City Marshal Nevitt approached John Sparks with his gun drawn but Sparks fired first hitting City Marshal Nevitt in the abdomen. As the wounded city marshal fell to the ground John Sparks ran but was soon shot in the left arm and captured by citizens who pursued him.


John Sparks’ left arm was amputated that evening and City Marshal Thomas Nevitt died eight hours later about 2 a.m. Friday, September 19th. Thomas Nevitt was the first City Marshal of El Reno and was survived by his wife Floretta, four-year-old son Walter “Rawleigh” and two-year-old daughter Nora “Edna”.


City Marshal Thomas Nevitt was buried in the Poheta Cemetery, near the town of Kipp in Saline County, Kansas.


OLEM – 5N-2-8 (Johnson Nevitt)    NLEOM – 10E29


April 30, 2021





Charles Ellington Nichols - Officer


Coweta Police Department


About 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 1995, Officer Charles E. Nichols, 44, was in route to back another officer on a report of a man entering Coweta Elementary School armed with a knife. Officer Charles Nichols, south bound on Highway 51, entered the middle turn lane to pass another vehicle. That vehicle entered the same lane forcing Officer Nichols into the oncoming northbound lane where he collided with another car, killing Officer Charles Nichols, and severely injuring the driver of the north bound vehicle.


Officer Charles Nichols was survived by his wife and is buried in Vernon Cemetery, Coweta, Wagoner County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 2N-3-9    NLEOM – 29W20




Charles M. Nichols - Deputy Sheriff


Marshall County Sheriffs Office

 

The morning of Friday, February 4, 1921, Deputy Sheriff Charles Nichols, 49, along with Sheriff John Glenn and Deputy Sheriff Bill Dickerson were searching a home near Kinlock where a whiskey still had been discovered. Deputy Sheriff Charles Nichols was in the house alone when a gun shot was heard. The other officers started into the house when they were met by Deputy Sheriff Charles Nichols at the door coming out. Deputy Sheriff Nichols stated “I accidentally dropped my gun and have killed myself” before he pitched forward and died.


The supposition is that Deputy Sheriff Nichols bent to look under a bed when his gun dropped from its holster and discharged striking him in the breast.


Deputy Sheriff Charles Nichols was survived by his wife Sallie and four children and is buried in Woodberry Forest Cemetery, Madill, Marshall County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 9N-3-3   NLEOM –


May 3, 2021



Eric Howell Nicholson - Deputy Sheriff  


Seminole County Sheriffs Office


Shortly after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 1945, Deputy Sheriff Eric Nicholson, 35, arrested Harlin Broyles, a Missouri State Prison escapee, at Fourth and Broadway in Seminole for attempting to pass a forged check. Harlin Broyles resisted arrest, pulled a .32 caliber gun from under his coat and shot the unarmed deputy sheriff twice. One of the shots struck the deputy’s heart, killing him almost instantly. Harlin Broyles then escaped.


On February 2nd Harlin Broyles was arrested in Waco, Texas after shooting another officer there. Harlin Broyles was convicted of Deputy Sheriff Eric Nicholson’s murder and died in Oklahoma’s electric chair on January 30, 1947.


Deputy Sheriff Eric Nicholson was survived by his wife, Esther, and four-year-old son, Phillip.


Eric Nicholson is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Seminole, Seminole County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 7N-3-5    NLEOM – 45E1


June 16, 2021



Joseph Earl Nicolle - Trooper


Oklahoma Highway Patrol


Trooper Joseph Nicolle had been with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol about eight years and had been assigned to their Air Division just over two years on his 39th birthday, July 26, 1990.


About 2 p.m. that Thursday afternoon Trooper Joseph Nicolle was flying to Adair County to assist local officers in spotting marijuana fields from the air. Near Tahlequah and the intersection of Highways 10 and 62, Trooper Nicolle’s Oklahoma Highway Patrol helicopter struck a power line and crashed, killing Trooper Nicolle.  


Trooper Joseph Nicolle was survived by his wife Vicki, two sons and two daughters and is buried in Resthaven Gardens Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Cleveland County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 2N-2-26    NLEOM – 44W11


June 16, 2021





M.W. "Joe" Nix - Deputy U. S. Marshal


U.S. Marshal


M. W. “Joe” Nix was commissioned as a Deputy U. S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas under U.S. Marshal George C. Crump out of Ft, Smith, Arkansas.


On the evening of Friday, August 3, 1894, Deputy Marshal “Joe” Nix rode out of Vian, a small town ten miles west of Sallisaw, on his large gray horse. He had told friends he was going out to arrest James Gertie, who had taunted the deputy marshal earlier in the day saying he had whiskey and for Deputy Marshal “Joe” Nix to come get it.


About midnight Deputy Marshal “Joe” Nix’s gray horse returned to Vian, without Nix. The next morning Deputy Marshal Nix was found dead with numerous shotgun pellet wounds in his body. James Gertie was arrested for the murder of Deputy Marshal Nix that same day.


On August 6th, a black man named William Ford walked into the U. S. Marshal’s office in Ft. Smith and said he had killed a white man riding a gray horse a few miles from Vian. William Ford had been visiting relatives and they were setting on their porch when the man rode toward their house with a gun in his hand. The man got off his horse and ordered everyone to raise their hands. Fearing for his safety William Ford grabbed his shotgun and ran into a corn field with the man in pursuit. When William Ford saw the man raise his gun Ford turned and fired hitting the man. The man turned and started to walk back to his horse then fell to the ground. William Ford went to him and found he was dead.


An investigation made the deputy marshals think Deputy Marshal “Joe” Nix had mistaken William Ford for an escaped convict named Andy Hunter, as they resembled each other. James Gertie was released. William Ford was later also released after a federal grand jury found that William Ford had fired in self-defense as Deputy Marshal “Joe” Nix had never identified himself as a deputy marshal.


M. W. Nix is buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Vian, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 10N-1-5    NLEOM – 14E2


June 16, 2021




Patrick Henry Nolan – Assistant Game Warden


Oklahoma Department of Wildlife


The evening of Saturday, December 9, 1922, Assistant State Game Warden Patrick Nolan was driving on 23rd street about ten miles west of Oklahoma City along with William “Billy” Sterrett, 60, a packing house superintendent from Chickasha and Earl Bryant, 45, an employee of the school land department, when the car ran off the rain slick street and rolled over killing Patrick Nolan and Billy Sterrett. Earl Bryant was not seriously injured. The cause of the accident appeared to be blinding bright car headlights from an oncoming car.


Patrick Nolan’s death does not appear to be a line of duty death.


OLEM – 8S-13-18


June 16, 2021



James Clifford Norman - Deputy Sheriff


Pushmataha County Sheriff’s Office


Deputy Sheriff James Norman had served as an officer on the Antlers Police Department about eight months before becoming a Pushmataha County Deputy Sheriff a month before his death. The City Council of Antlers met Monday night, November 2, 1970, and voted to hire Deputy Sheriff James Norman, 39, as their new Chief of Police, to take office on Wednesday, November 4th.


About midnight that Monday, November 2nd, night Antlers police officers, who had been drinking coffee with their new Chief just an hour before, found Deputy Sheriff James Norman dead slumped over the steering wheel of his car from two 30-06 rifle wounds fired from ambush outside the car.


The next day Gerald Anthony “Tony” Hall, 26, was arrested for Deputy Sheriff Norman’s murder. It appeared to be a revenge shooting as Hall’s tavern had been closed by the Sheriff’s office and he had been arrested by Deputy Sheriff Norman Saturday night for drunk driving. Anthony Hall was convicted of the murder of Deputy Sheriff James Norman and sentenced to life in prison.


Deputy Sheriff James Norman was survived by his wife Temple, two young daughters and a son and is buried in Finley Cemetery, Finley, Pushmataha County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 1N-2-1    NLEOM – 33W15


June 17, 2021



Matthew Ryan North – Officer


Bernice Police Department


Officer Matthew North, 34, completed his regular patrol shift about 5 p.m. the afternoon of Friday, March 19, 2021, and immediately drove himself to the Cleora EMS station, seeking medical assistance for chest pains. Cleora EMS transported Officer Matthew North to Grove Integris Hospital for treatment. Officer North was released from the hospital later that evening but returned early the next morning Saturday, March 20, 2021, and died at the hospital just after 8 a.m. that morning.


Officer Matthew North was survived by his fiancé Jaymie Randall, his son Joseph, 17, his daughter Kimber, 9, and his mother Pat North.


Officer Matthew North is buried in Olympus North Cemetery, Grove, Delaware County, Oklahoma.


OLEM – 12N-1-1   NLEOM – 31W33


April 26, 2022




August Godfrey Nowka - Officer


Tuttle Police Department


The night of Sunday, August 20, 1939, Tuttle City Marshal L. C. Force asked Officer August Nowka to assist him in arresting three men at the Thompson Cafe who were suspected of committing several robberies in Minco, Enid and Chickasha.


The officers found the men, Lee Bowen, 20, Hugh Douglas, 21, and Dorris Schabnitt, 21, at the café and advised them they were under arrest. As the officers began searching the men, Lee Bowen drew a concealed gun and shot both officers. City Marshal L. C. Force was wounded in the leg while Officer August Nowka was shot in the head, neck, and lung. Officer August Nowka died within a few minutes before a doctor could arrive at the café.


Lee Bowen and Hugh Douglas, who was wounded by City Marshal Force, escaped but Dorris Schabnitt surrendered to the wounded city marshal. Lee Bowen and Hugh Douglas were arrested the next day after being wounded in a chase and shootout near the Kansas line with Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers.


Officer August Nowka was survived by his wife Myrtle and five children and is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Tuttle, Grady County, Oklahoma.


Lee Bowen pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.


Dorris Schafnitt pleaded guilty to robbery and received a seven-year term in prison.


Hugh Douglas pleaded guilty to armed robbery with firearm and sentenced to seven years in prison. He later escaped and was killed in a shootout with Oklahoma City police officers in February 1942.


OLEM – 7N-2-13    NLEOM – 35W27


June 17, 2021