GOSLEE (PUBLIC SERVANT), THOMAS FERDINAND - Garland County, Arkansas | THOMAS FERDINAND GOSLEE (PUBLIC SERVANT) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Thomas Ferdinand GOSLEE (PUBLIC SERVANT)

Greenwood Cemetery
Garland County,
Arkansas

OFFICER KILLED IN SHOOTOUT
13 December 1851 – 16 March 1899

Thomas Ferdinand Goslee was born in Buchanan County, Missouri, to Dr. Samuel Goslee and Sarah “Sallie” Elizabeth Smith. Before 1884, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Thomas married Rose A. Smith, born Nov. 21, 1863 in Illinois, daughter of Judge Henry C. and Rosana Smith. They had the following known children: Charles Smith, b. Sept. 19, 1884, editor of the Hot Springs newspapers, New Era and Sentinel Record, John Marshall, b. Jun. 24, 1887, and Henry Samuel, b. Aug. 10, 1897, d. Jun. 6, 1899. “Tom” was noted as father of Charles, and an “old time printer” as well as policeman in an Arkansas publication.[Ref1] Thomas was a Police Sergeant with the Police Force in Hot Springs, Arkansas. On March 16, 1899, he and four others were shot and killed during a gunfight during an argument over a mayoral election. They were killed by a neighboring sheriff, his son, and three of his deputies. The sheriff, Robert Williams, his son John Williams, and his deputies, Coffey Williams, Ed Spears, and Will Watts, came into town and started arguing with the officers and a local “bartender.” The men left, but later returned. All three Hot Springs officers, the bartender, and one of the deputies were killed. The sheriff, his son, and his other two deputies were arrested and charged with murder. Two were tried and acquitted. The trials of the other two ended with hung juries.[Ref2] A newspaper article, March 17, 1899, noted “About twenty minutes after the main battle another affray occurred in which four or five shots were fired. This occurred on the sidewalk a little below where the other dead bodies lay. A great multitude which had gathered stampeded in the wildest excitement tumbling over each other in every direction. In this fusillade Detective Jim Hart was shot down with the whole of his skull blown off.” It listed the dead and wounded: “Thomas Toler, Chief of Police; J. F. Hart, city detective; Thomas F. Goslee, Police sergeant; John Williams, son of Sheriff Williams; Louis Hinkle, driver of a brewery wagon. Ed Spears was shot in the neck and may die.” [Ref3] Thomas' family continued to live in Hot Springs, and are buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. Some of his descendants are living there.

Ref1: History of the Arkansas Press for a Hundred Years and More, by Frederick William Allsopp
Ref2:http://www.odmp.org/officer/5598-officer-thomas-goslee (accessed October 18, 2008)
Ref3:http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/arkansaseletriot1899.htm (accessed October 21, 2008)
Ref:Ancestry.com, Historical Records (accessed October 2008)

Father of Charles Smith Goslee.

Photograph courtesy of Patti Hays.

Contributed on 10/20/08 by mitzibitzi2
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Record #: 82053

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Submitted: 10/20/08 • Approved: 7/4/11 • Last Updated: 10/29/14 • R82053-G81434-S3

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