January 8, 1883 Faribault Police Chief David J. Shipley died from a gunshot wound sustained while attempting to arrest a man.  Shipley was shot by Lewis (Louis) Sage on January 2nd.  The police chief was 48 years old with a wife and four children.  Some accounts say he had five children.

According to newspaper articles at the time Sage had purchased a gun and threatened to shoot his wife with it.  Sage was arrested on January 10th.

William Delaney was appointed the new Faribault Police Chief on January 12th the same day a heavy snowstorm gripped Rice County blocking roads and causing problems with traffic on the railroads.

On May 3rd Sage was indicted for murder in the second degree by a grand jury.

On May 9th Sage was convicted of manslaughter in the fourth degree and sentenced by Judge Thomas Buckham to four years in Stillwater prison.  According to Faribault police records Sage served less than 3 years of the sentence. I have not been able to find out why the charge was reduced.

Speculation would be there was no proof that Sage intended to kill Shipley.  That somehow the gun discharged striking the Faribault Police Chief.

I also read Judge Buckham reviewed the evidence again June 13, 1883.

The Faribault Republican newspaper had this article dated January 10, 1883.

"Contrary to the hopes entertained at the time of our last issue, chief of police Shipley gradually grew worse from Wednesday onward, and expired on Monday morning last at 6:30 o'clock.  The sad event caused a feeling of universal sorrow, as the chief was not only a most faithful and efficient public officer, but was highly respected in all the relations of life."

"The various flags in the city were displayed at half-mast.  The chief was a native of Ohio, and was 49 years of age on 16th of last May." (actually 48 according to his grave marker born May 16, 1834, died January 8, 1883)

"He resided at Prarie Du Chien several years and removed from there to Independence, Iowa, where he served on the polife force for a time, and then was appointed deputy sheriff, and subsequently city marshal.  He came to Faribault about three years ago.  He was appointed on the police force about two years ago, and was appointed chief in April last."

"He leaves a wife and four children.  Fortunately he took out a policy in the Iowa mutual aid association of Waterloo, Iowa for $2,500 a few weeks ago.  Shipley was shot by Lewis (some accounts spelling Louis) Sage.  An inquest was held at 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon."

The Faribault Republican went with Lewis Sage while the Rice County Journal had Louis Sage.

Apparently the Faribault City Council also passed a resolution regarding his death.  Wife Judith would pass away in 1897.

There are other names on the tombstone.  I assume two were his children and the other possibly a brother.  One passed less than two months after birth in 1879.  I can't make out the name.  Albert B. Shipley was born August 8, 1848 and died November 29, 1887.  Angie Shipley was born December 21, 1855 and passed away June 24, 1944.

You can see the tombstone is in rough shape.  Mr. Shipley gave the supreme sacrifice for Faribault so it would be nice to have a better tribute to the man don't you think?


KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...



More From KDHL Radio