Sheriff Herman Barnickol was shot and mortally wounded during an escape attempt at the St. Clair County Jail in 1900.
As nine prisoners overpowered a jailor, one of them took his revolver and shot Sheriff Barnickol through his arm as he intervened. Sheriff Barnickol returned fire killing the suspect.
Two weeks later due to complications from infection, Sheriff Barnickol's left arm had to be amputated just below his shoulder. He died five hours later.
Sheriff Barnickol's wife and his aged mother played a heroic part in preventing the other eight prisoners from escaping. On April 21, 1900, six of the prisoners were found guilty of Sheriff Barnickol's murder. One was sentenced to 18 years in prison. The other five were sentenced to 14 years each.
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.