James W. Brown was a Railroad Agent for the M&O Railroad when he was murdered on October 29, 1901 in Cahokia, Illinois.
Brown was born in 1850, in Marion County, Illinois. His family moved to Will County, Illinois in 1860. At Age 15 he joined the Union Army as part of the 15th Illinois Infantry. He joined in March 1865, only a few weeks before the end of the war. He mustered out in July of 1865.
In 1890 he was in East St. Louis, Illinois, with his family and working as an Night watchman. Later in the decade he was an East St. Louis Police Officer. He was working for the M&O Railroad in 1901 at the time of his murder.
On October 29, 1901, Brown and his partner, J. C. Combs, were investigating the theft of brass items from box cars along a siding in Cahokia, Illinois. The officers were ambushed. Brown was shot. One of the thieves was killed but the others escaped during a running gun battle with Combs.
Returning to the scene, Combs discovered that Brown's wallet had been looted by the thieves and his watch was gone. The dead thief was clutching Brown's gun in his hand. Brown was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Belleville, Illinois.
View his profile on the Officer Down Memorial Page
Military record from: Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database
|Name||BROWN, JAMES W OR JOHN M|
|Unit||15 IL US INF REORG|
|Residence||WILTON, WILL CO, IL|
|Joined When||MAR 10, 1865|
|Joined Where||JOLIET, IL|
|Joined By Whom||CPT LONGWORTH|
|Muster In||MAR 10, 1865|
|Muster In Where||JOLIET, IL|
|Muster In By Whom|
|Muster Out||JUL 31, 1865|
|Muster Out Where||FT LEAVENWORTH, KS|
|Muster Out By Whom||CPT WYMAN|