Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial

Francis Lewis “Frank” Yeager - Deputy Sheriff

Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

  About 2 P.M. on Thursday afternoon, November 16, 1911, Deputy Yeager, 51, and A.F. Marks went to serve a writ issued by a Justice of the Peace in Harrah for a herd of cattle that had been seized by a black constable, Sam D. Jones. Jones had previously been given a writ to seize the herd of cattle by a black Justice of the Peace in Dewey Township. A dispute over legal authority broke out between the two lawmen.

  Jones reached for his Winchester rifle in a wagon and Yeager drew his gun on Jones.  A friend of Jones’, William Bonner, came out of the house, covering Yeager and Marks with a shotgun. As Yeager, 50, turned around to look at Bonner, Jones shot him in the back. The bullet went entirely through Yeager’s body. Deputy Yeager fired one shot before he fell dead but missed. Marks was forced to leave the premises.  Jones then walked four miles to Luther and surrendered himself.

  Murder charges were filed against Sam Jones but he was acquitted in a trial in Oklahoma City the following January. The jury found that Deputy Yeager did not have legal authority in the matter.

  Deputy Yeager was survived by his pregnant wife Sally and their five children.

  Deputy Yeager was born Francis Lewis Yager on April 7, 1860, in Missouri and the spelling was later changed.

Pleasant Yargee - Deputy Sheriff

Tulsa County Sheriffs Office

  On Monday, October 18, 1909, Deputy Sheriff Pleasant “Pleas” Yargee, while participating in a roping contest, intervened with a gambler who was “robbing” a young drunken boy of his money. Harsh words were exchanged and guns were drawn. The gambler, Texas Graves, shot first, striking Yargee in his right arm, shattering it from the wrist to the elbow. Yargee returned fire striking Graves in the hip. Graves fired again, shooting two fingers off Yargee’s left hand. The shooting stopped. Deputy Yargee was taken to his home in Red Fork; the gambler was arrested and taken to jail. A few days later, Yargee was taken to the West Side Hospital in Tulsa for blood poisoning.  His arm was amputated at the shoulder but the surgery did not save his life. Deputy Yargee died on October 26th. Yargee was survived by his wife, Cassie, of one year.  Due to conflicting witness statements, no one was ever held accountable for Yargee’s death.  Deputy Yargee was the first Tulsa County deputy sheriff to be killed in the line of duty.

Alan F. Yerton - Officer

Tulsa Police Department

  Shortly after 1 A.M. on Thursday morning, Christmas Eve of 1959, Officer Yerton, 24, was en route to a hospital on an emergency call.  Another patrol car was traveling alongside Yerton’s when a vehicle, driven by Lance Vandeventer, turned in front of the officers at the intersection of 11th and Delaware Avenue. One of the patrol cars swerved to miss the civilian vehicle, jumped the curb, glanced off of a building and hit the other patrol car. Although Officer Yerton’s injuries were initially diagnosed as minor fractures and lacerations, he died from his injuries 25 hours later on Christmas morning. Vandeventer ran from the scene but was later arrested and felony charges filed for leaving the scene of an injury accident and manslaughter. Two passengers in his car were arrested at the accident scene for Public Drunkenness.

Ed Yoakum - Officer

Tulsa Police Department

 At 3 A.M. on Wednesday, October 27, 1920, K.W. Cottrel received a phone call at his home from a neighbor calling to tell him there was a burglar in his house. Mr. Cottrell had already been awakened by the burglar, got his pistol from under the pillow and began searching the dark house. Four Tulsa officers, including Officer Yoakum, quickly arrived and surrounded the residence. Officer Yoakum, a veteran of World War I, went to the rear of the house and soon arrested the burglar Tom Smith coming out of the back door carrying a gun in one hand and his shoes in the other. Mr. Cottrel was still searching his house and as he approached his back door he saw a man’s shadow in the doorway. Cottrel fired at the shadow once and heard a man scream. Officer Yoakum, hit in the chest, ran around the house and collapsed in the front yard. Yoakum was rushed to the hospital and died an hour and a half later. No charges were ever filed against Mr. Cottrel who was absolved by Officer Yoakum just before he died saying, “I forgive the man that shot me.” Officer Yoakum’s badge number was 13, the same badge number that Officer Glenn Allison had been wearing when he was killed in the line of duty two years earlier. Yoakum had specifically requested that badge number the previous spring.

Charles Cash York - Detective

Oklahoma City Police Department

  Detective York had joined the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1919. On a bitterly cold Wednesday morning, February 8, 1933, Detective York and Detective Martin Binion, went to a rooming house to arrest a black man named Otis Tillman, wanted for bogus checks and mortgaging property that didn’t belong to him..  Tillman, a three-time inmate of the Granite State Reformatory, had been arrested by York in the past without incident and therefore the officers didn’t anticipate any trouble this time. Upon entering Tillman’s two-room apartment, the two detectives heard a noise in a darkened back room. Finding Tillman in the back room, York told him to come along with them and both officers turned to leave.  As York was exiting the room after Binion, Tillman drew a gun and shot York three times. York fell dead, his revolver still in its holster as Binion turned back through the doorway and shot Tillman in the forehead killing him.

Billy Gene Young - Trooper

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

  On Friday morning, May 26, 1978, the nation wide search for two escaped convicts, Claude Eugene Dennis, 35, and Michael Charles Lancaster, 25, centered around Lake Texhoma. The pair had escaped from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester thirty-four days earlier.

  Since then the pair had engaged in a crime spree that covered 1,000 miles from Oklahoma to Alabama and included seven murders. They also had wounded a police officer in Alabama. Highway Patrol (OHP) Troopers were sent from all over Oklahoma to assist in the search. That morning a farmer in Kenefic reported that two heavily armed men tied him up and stole his pickup truck. The description of the pickup was broadcast to all units in the area. OHP Troopers Houston F. “Pappy” Summers, 62, and Billy Gene Young, 50, located the pickup on Highway 48 eight miles north of Durant and pursued it north to near Kenefic. The pickup finally pulled over to the side of the road. As the troopers patrol unit came to a stop behind the pickup the two convicts opened fire on them. Both Trooper Summers and Young were killed. The convicts then traveled east on Highway 22 into Caddo with their location being broadcast by an OHP airplane that was following them overhead. Once in Caddo the pickup pulled into a driveway on Court Street, the two convicts jumped out and hid behind some nearby shrubbery. Almost immediately, an unmarked OHP unit pulled up in front of the driveway driven by Lt. Hoyt Hughes with his partner, Lt. Pat Grimes, 36. The convicts opened fire on the troopers immediately, killing Trooper Grimes. Trooper Hughes was also wounded but after emptying his pistol retrieved a semi-automatic rifle from his dead partners lap and emptied it at the convicts, killing Lancaster. Other troopers soon arrived and in the continuing shootout killed Dennis.  

  Trooper Young had been a Trooper 25 years when he was killed . He was survived by his wife, three sons and a grandchild. May 26, 1978, “Black Friday” was the worst day in the 40-year history of the OHP, however less than two months later three more troopers would die in the line of duty.

Eugene L. Young - Probation and Parole Officer

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

  Young, 60, was working at the Oklahoma City office of the State Parole and Probation Department. On the afternoon of Friday, July 28, 1989, parolee Huey Don Turner, 23, was being arrested during his visit to the office preparatory to having his parole revoked. Turner resisted violently and Young was one of five-corrections officers called to subdue him. A short time later, Officer Young suffered a heart attack and died at Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City.  Officer Young was the only Oklahoma law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in 1989.

Thomas Young - Deputy U.S. Marshal

U. S. Marshal

  On Saturday, August 12, 1882, Deputy Marshal James G. Farr and his posseman, Thomas Young, arrested a man named Robert Love aka Robert Jones on a murder warrant for the murder of a Dr. Bailey at Lake West in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. As Posseman Young was walking Love to his horse, John S. Lennox and G. G. Randell, Love’s brother-in-laws attacked Young, shot him eight times and freed Love.  Young was treated for his wounds and for a while it appeared he might survive but he died from his wounds on Friday, August 25th. Robert Love committed suicide several days after Young died. Randell was later arrested and tried but the trial ended in a hung jury and apparently he was not retried. Lennox would go on to kill Deputy U. S. Marshal Dave Layman on April 10, 1883. Lennox was finally arrested almost twelve years later in September of 1894, tried only for the murder of Deputy Layman for which he was found not guilty.

Kristopher David Youngberg - Federal Agent

U.S. Department of Energy

National Nuclear Security Administration

Office of Secure Transportation

  On Friday, October 5, 2018, Federal Agent Youngberg, 41, and four other agents were returning to Amarillo, Texas, in a Department of Energy van after attending training at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Traveling west bound on I-40 near Okemah, Oklahoma the van struck the back of a dump truck that was attempting to make a U-turn in the center median of the Interstate. Agent Youngberg suffered fatal injuries at the scene while three of the other agents were critically injured. Agent Youngberg was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the National Nuclear Security Administration - Office of Secure Transportation for eight years. He is survived by his wife, two children, father, and sister.


October 10, 2018