Willard H. Marshall, 89, former Sheridan County Sheriff, died Monday at Eventide Nursing Home following an extended illness.
He was born Oct. 24, 1893, in Nora, Ill., a son of Arthur and Jennie Marshall. He had resided in Sheridan since 1919. He married Hazel E. Daly Dec. 24, 1920, in Denver.
Prior to coming to Sheridan, he had worked for the Illinois Central railroad. He worked for the Burlington railroad in Sheridan previous to being elected sheriff of Sheridan County, a position he held for 24 years.
Marshall was an officer in the Second Division of Engineers during World War 1. He received the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, French Croix de Guerre, Purple Heart and many other battle decorations.
He served as president of the Perkins Foundation for several years and was a member of Legion of Valor, American Legion, DAV, Masonic Lodge No. 43, Scottish Rite Bodies, Kalif Temple and Elks Lodge.
Survivors include his wife, Hazel, Sheridan; two sons, Bob, Sacramento, Calif., and three grandchildren.
Services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Champion Funeral Home with the Rev. Dave Brown officiating. Burial will be in the Elks section at Sheridan Municipal Cemetery.
Memorials may benefit the Elks Cemetery fund or the charity of the donor’s choice.
The Sheridan Press, October 12, 1983, page 2 col 3-5
Sheriff Willard H Marshall was shot today by an unidentified assailant.
The shooting occurred at about 1:44 p.m., at the Rex Hotel, according to police.
Marshall was taken immediately to the emergency room of Sheridan County Memorial hospital, and was them taken into surgery. His condition was termed critical by his physician. The physician said the gun used was a six shooter, and that the wound was in the abdomen.
A Sheridan Press reporter who talked to the proprietor of the hotel said the shooting occurred on the steps of the hotel. She reported that Marshall was after a man by the name of Art Brown, who also had been staying at the Rex for the past three nights under the name of Bob King.
The proprietor said no one apparently saw the shooting, and that the assailant is not definitely known. One bullet was found in the wall, the proprietor said. She also stated that Marshall might have suffered a wound in the leg.
The proprietor of the hotel told the reporter Marshall was lying on the steps and called her for help and that she called the ambulance.
Police had highways covered soon as the incident was reported. Police had no information as to the identity of the person who did the shooting.
According to the proprietor of the Rex Hotel Sheriff Marshall had come to the Rex looking for a man by the name of Art Brown, but was told that no such man was registered there.
However, after Marshall had given a description of the man it was found that the man, he was looking for had registered under the name of Bob King and had been registered at the Rex for the past three nights.
Sheriff Marshall then sat in the waiting room with the proprietor; shortly afterwards the proprietary saw the wanted man walk in from the back stairs. She told Marshall and he set out for his man.
A few minutes later the proprietor heard several shots and heard Marshall yell; “call an ambulance and a doctor at once. I have been shot.” The proprietor found Marshall lying on the front stairway leading into the hotel.
It is possible that Marshall received two bullets wounds. There was one bullet hole in the wall at the top of the stairs while another bullet hit along the side of the wall at the bottom of the stairway and embedded itself in the door casing at the bottom of the stairs.
Glenn Bertrand, an employee of the Johnstone Phillips 66 service station across from the hotel, told another Press reporter that he heard the shooting and saw a man flee from the hotel.
He said he heard three shots, and that he saw a man come out of the hotel with a gun and brief case in his hand. He said the man looked back into the hotel stairway, ran north to Mandell and cut back into the alley, and went south.
A Carroll Furniture employee went after the man but the man stopped him when he pulled his gun.
Donald Carroll, 18, and other Carroll store employees heard the shots. Donald pursued the man in the alley for about two blocks, stopping when the gunman pointed the weapon at him.
Others reported the gunman went west on Smith street from the alley.
Marshall is in the fifth term as sheriff. He has lived in Sheridan county, 35 years, and is a former Burlington employee. He was born in Illinois, and is a World War 1 veteran.
Thursday, September 1, 1955
The gunman who shot and critically wounded Sheriff Willard H. Marshall used the weapon to check foot pursuit by a Sheridan youth Wednesday afternoon.
As Donald Carroll, 18, ducked behind a building when Art Brown pointed a gun “in my direction.” No shot was fired.
As Donald related to the Sheridan Press, he was working in the warehouse of Carroll’s furniture store, 340 North Main, when he heard a noise.
The sounds were the gunshots at the Rex hotel, 358 ½ North Main, although Donald didn’t know what they were at the time.
He went to the warehouse door, saw a couple of employees of other nearby business firms in the alley and a man “running at a good lope” enter the alley from Mandell street.
The man had one hand in his pocket and in the other carried a bag which Carroll thought was a duffle bag.
As the man went by, a girl came out onto the rear steps of the hotel and shouted “Follow that man.” Forty yards ahead of Carroll, the man slowed to a walk – apparently not to attract attention – upon reaching Alger street, which he proceeded to cross and continue southward in the alley between Main Street and Big Goose creek.
Donald said he also crossed the street. As Donald reached the corner of Big Horn Taxidermy building, the man glanced back, took a gun out of his pocket and pointed it in Carroll’s direction.
Donald recalled “I ducked behind the taxidermy building” 40 or 50 yards away from the gunman. He then peered around the corner to see the man disappear westward toward the rear of the J. C. Penny and Brouillette’s Inc., stores.
Carroll was able to give authorities a description of the gunman and identified him as Art Brown when shown a photograph of Brown.
Donald is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Carroll, 735 South Thurmond.
Friday, September 2, 1955
Sheridan police, members of the National Guard 300th Field Artillery battalion, state highway patrolman, sheriff’s office officials and volunteers are still working around the clock seeking Art Brown, alias Bob King, a California ex-convict in connection with the shooting of Sheriff Willard Marshall in a local hotel Wednesday afternoon.
Several planes have been flying over this section of the state and southern Montana in an effort to try and locate a 1950 two-door green Ford sedan with Wyoming license plates 11-4752 which was taken from the Sheridan Motor company shortly after 6 p.m. yesterday. It is not known whether the gunman stole the car.
A yellow Packard, owned by Warren McKinney, which was reported missing shortly after the shooting, was recovered around 6 p.m. last night in back of Gamble’s store.
Also, a green color Buick reported taken from near Stevens-Fryberger and company last night was recovered this morning near the Episcopal church on West Loucks street.
Personnel of the 300th Field Artillery battalion have been scouring this area in jeeps equipped with radios. A number of state highway patrolmen, among them Lt. Al Wheeler from Cheyenne, from other sections of the state have joined local officers in the search of the assailant.
A number of leads have come into the local police station concerning the wanted man but have turned out to be false.
“Marshall’s physician reported this morning that the wounded sheriff’s condition was still critical, but good. He said Marshall spent a good night under the circumstances. He is conscious.”
The sheriff underwent four hours of surgery yesterday afternoon and evening. He had been hit twice, once through the abdomen and once through the leg and buttocks. A .38 caliber slug was removed from the abdominal wound. Blood transfusions were given during the operation and during the evening and night.
Hospital attendants reported last night that Marshall’s first words when he regained consciousness were, “Did I get him?” Indicating the he fired at his assailant.
Interviews with various police officers last night revealed that Marshall did shoot. One officer reported the sheriff still had his gun in his hand when picked up at the Rex hotel. 358 ½ North Main and taken to the hospital. It was reported, however, that Marshall shot twice after he had fallen on the hotel stairs.
“Meanwhile, police received additional information on Brown from Oakland, Calif., police last night by phone. They reported that Brown served five years in San Quentin on an arson and prior felony conviction and was then paroled. They told Sheridan Police that Brown has a record in nearly every town in California on such counts as arson and burglary.”
Sheridan Police sent out a bulletin on Brown last night containing the following information: Arthur Brown, alias Bob King. Born Sept. 29, 1926 (age 28) in Hayward, Calif. Five feet eight inches, about 160 pounds, blue eyes, sandy hair with receding forehead, hair crew cut. Has oblong scar on back of each hand, where tattoos have probably been removed. Considered extremely dangerous and armed.
“Brown had a mother Mrs. Mary A. Brown of 2910 Edison Drive, San Jose, Calif. The mother was contacted by the Associated Press. She knew nothing of the shooting but said after being told, that her son has had “mental troubles. If only people understood. I hope they find him.””
The fugitive, Sheridan Police report, has a wife in Kansas City, MA.
For those involved in the manhunt, which has now extended over a 24-hour period, it has been a “long night.”
Searchers began scouring the city, the county and other outlying areas immediately after the shooting, which took place about 1:44 p.m. yesterday. Road blocks were thrown up on highways U. S. 14 and 16 over the mountain, all roads were covered in the Big Horn basin and at Casper, Douglas, Newcastle and Gillette. Word was sent to Montana and all bordering states.
Then the job of checking all leads phoned into the police. Thus far none have produced results. Police and other searchers checked all cars at the drive-in movies. Houses were checked, and many runs were made to homes of area residents reporting seeing the green Ford or a man answering Brown’s description.
Among so called “hot leads” checked during the night and early morning was one reporting a car and man answering Brown’s description in the Lodge Grass, Mont., area; one concerning a car and a man in the area of Burgess ranger station, and others. None of them proved out, and as the night grew longer, weariness and frustration set in.
“Searchers are determined, however, and the whole episode has been marked by a heartwarming show of sincere friendship and a desire to help on the part of those who are personally acquainted with Marshall and even among those who only know of him.”
This morning searchers tracked a lead to the home of F. B. Spencer, a Padlock ranch employee, who lives at a ranch cow camp on Ash creek across the Montana line. Spencer’s wife is an aunt of Brown’s according to the police, and he had visited there a short time ago. There was some suspicion that he may have returned there. This lead was false.
Jack Pelissier, local FBI man, is assisting in the hunt wherever the case comes under his jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, pieces of the shooting story are still being pieced together. There is much verified, but just as much unverified information.
The shooting apparently has a connection with the house prowling Monday night at the home of William D. Redle. A picture of Brown, which was obtained by police, was shown to Redle yesterday afternoon about 4 p.m., and Redle said, “I’m sure it’s the same face.” He explained to a reporter that the man, although he had a towel on his head, did not have the towel over his face. Redle said he could “visualize” the towel on the man’s head.
It is known that Marshall went to the hotel to question Brown. According to Pearl Logan, hotel proprietor, he asked her about Brown, but was told that no such man was registered there. Marshall described the man and it was found he was registered under the name of Bob King and had been there three nights.
There are conflicting reports as to what happened from then up to the time of the shooting. Marshall is reported to have told a friend at the hospital that he tried to reach his office and police, by phone, but was unable to do so, and after hanging up the phone he saw the man coming. He is said to have told the man he wanted to talk with him and that when he did not, the man shot.
However, a physician said Marshall told him he went to the phone to call his office in order to tell his wife that he would be unable to take her to the hospital to visit with a friend. He put a dime in the phone and somehow or the other dime ended up on the floor. The physician said Marshall told him he was afraid to stoop over and pick up the dime so he could use the phone, because Brown was standing right beside him and he was afraid the man would shoot him right there. The doctor reported that Marshall said he finally ended up stooping over for the dime, and the shooting occurred at that point.
Friday, September 2, 1955
No trace has been found as yet of Art Brown, a gun wielding ex-convict, who shot Sheriff Willard Marshall, 61, in a local hotel Wednesday afternoon.
More than 48 hours has elapsed since the shooting took place. Marshall underwent surgery for four and a half hours at the Sheridan Memorial hospital. One bullet was removed from his thigh, another from his abdomen. His condition today was reported to be fair and that he was doing “all right.”
Meanwhile Arthur Sandusky, acting county attorney in the absence of Edward Redle, who is out of the city on vacation, has filed two charges against Brown, also known as “Bob King.” They are: No. 1. Commit the crime of assault and battery with felonious intent; No. 2. Did commit the crime of burglary at the William D. Redle home, 822 Victoria.
All roadblocks leading out of the city which went into operation shortly after the shooting Wednesday afternoon were removed at 6 o’clock this morning.
A number of state highway patrolmen, city police, and sheriff’s office officials, members of the 300th Field Artillery battalion (National Guard) and volunteers had worked around the clock since the shooting Wednesday in an effort to capture Marshall’s assailant.
Law Enforcement officers are on the lookout for a 1950 two-door green Ford bearing Wyoming license plates 11-4752, which was taken from near the Sheridan Motor company around 6 p.m. Wednesday. It is possible that Brown made a getaway in this stolen vehicle.
Marshall was shot by Brown on the stairway of the Rex hotel where he had gone to question the latter about house prowling.
Saturday, September 3, 1955
Art Brown, ex-convict who shot Sheriff Willard Marshall in a local hotel Wednesday afternoon is still eluding the law.
Law officers in this area are continuing to track down reported leads on Brown but to date none have produced the wanted man.
A group of local officers went to the Birney, Mont., area early this morning when a hitchhiker resembling Brown was reported in in that section. The officers returned, however and word from the police was still, “no dope.”
State Highway Patrolman C. R. Bunney was called to Wyola Friday afternoon when another hitchhiker was reported in that section. The hitchhiker turned out to be a sheepherder who was going on to another place to work.
There were rumors circulating around the city this morning that three men were reported to have been shot at the Antler ranch near Wyola. A call to the ranch by Sheridan Police today found the rumor to be false.
The condition of Sheriff Marshall was reported to be still critical but satisfactory this morning. Marshall was shot by Brown when he went to a local hotel to question the latter concerning house prowling at the William D. Redle home on Victoria Avenue.
September 6, 1955
No trace of Art Brown, suspect in the shooting of Sheriff Willard Marshall, has been found over the Labor Day weekend, Police Chief Roy C. Dow reported this morning.
Neither has the 1950, two-door Ford, which Brown may have stolen, been found, Dow said.
Dow said several leads were checked over the weekend, but all proved fruitless. A report this morning that the Ford has been found in the bushes out by Stanko’s on U. S. 87 was squelched by Dow. He said his office had no information concerning a car being found in that area.
The highway patrol check station said it knew nothing of finding the car, and Undersheriff Joe Cammock said the rumor was not true.
Dow continued to express the fear that Brown may be holding some family hostage, and may have driven the car in a garage out of sight.
Attempts to apprehend Brown, alias Bog King, began immediately after Marshall was shot on the steps of the Rex hotel last Wednesday afternoon.
Hospital attendants reported shortly before noon today that Marshall’s condition was “slightly improved.” Marshall underwent four hours of surgery the day of the shooting, and one bullet was removed from his thigh, and another from his abdomen.
September 7, 1955
Another lead concerning the whereabouts of Art Brown, wanted in connection with the shooting of Sheriff Willard Marshall, proved to be a dry run this morning.
Police, Sheriff’s Officers, postal employees and volunteers scoured the Acme area following a report received last night that Brown had been seen there. The search failed to turn up the fugitive.
Roy C. Dow, Sheridan Police Chief, said John Legerski, an Acme resident, reported to police last night that on Monday night Brown had come to his door and had forced him to feed him. According to Dow, Legerski said Brown then left and crossed a creek in back of Legerski’s home.
The chief said that no footprints were found along the creek and that no trace of the wanted man was found.
About 18 men took part in the search, and all were armed. The hunt started at 8:15 a.m. and the searchers returned to the police station around 11:30 a.m.
Marshall’s physician said at noon that the sheriff’s condition remained unchanged and that he may need further surgery.
September 8, 1955
Sheriff Willard Marshall, wounded last week, shot at the Rex hotel, underwent surgery again this morning.
According to his physician, a colostomy was performed. Surgery took one hour. He said Marshall is still critical.
Art Brown, alias Bob King, is still being sought as a suspect in the shooting.
October 15, 1955
A 1960 two-door, green Ford sedan stolen in Sheridan the evening of Aug. 31, several hours after Sheriff Willard Marshall was shot, allegedly by Art Brown, a California ex-convict, has been recovered.
Chief of Police Roy Dow said today that he received word from the sheriff’s office in Rapid City, S. D., that the stolen vehicle was recovered Friday at the Ellsworth Air Base at Rapid City. How long the car had been there is not known.
It is not known that Brown escaped in the stolen car but it was presumed that he did since the car was missing about 6 p.m., Aug. 31, about four hours after the shooting took place.
The stolen car was owned by Don Brent of Sheridan.
Sheriff Marshall had gone to a local hotel on the afternoon of Aug. 31 to question Brown in connection with house prowling, Marshall was shot twice, once through the leg and buttocks.
Marshall is still a patient at the Sheridan Memorial hospital. The attending physician said today that Marshall’s condition was satisfactory and that he is coming along fairly good.
October 17, 1955
Art Brown, charged with the shooting of Sheriff Willard Marshall here Aug. 31, is linked with a holdup at Rapid City, S. D., the same day.
Mrs. Fritz Schimmel, victim of a liquor store holdup, identified a photo of Brown as the man who robbed her of $196, according to the Associated Press.
Sheriff Marshall was shot twice in the Rex hotel by a man he sought to question in connection with a house prowling. That was just before 2 p.m.
About 5 p.m. a car owned by Don Brent of Sheridan was stolen. It was never established that Brown was the thief.
The Rapid City liquor store holdup came later that night, Brown is still at large.
Rapid City authorities made the tie-in after a shopping center manger reported the car had been sitting unattended for “about two months.” It is a 1960 two-door Ford.
Sheriff Marshall is still hospitalized.
October 24, 1955
Sheriff Willard Marshall was dismissed Saturday after a seven weeks stay in the Sheridan County Memorial hospital recuperating from gunshot wounds received Aug. 31.
Marshall was shot in a downtown hotel on that date as he started to question a man identified as Art Brown. Brown has since been identified with a robbery in Rapid City, S. D., late in the evening of Aug. 31 but he has never been apprehended.
Marshall underwent surgery twice to correct resulting injuries from the two gunshot wounds.
November 11, 1955
Sheridan Police have received no additional information concerning Art Brown, ex-convict sought in the shooting of Sheriff Willard Marshall, Brown was reported in Kansas City Wednesday.
Brown’s estranged wife, Mrs. Jean Brown, staggered, dazed and breathless into her Kansas City home Wednesday evening, three hours after she was forced into a car at gunpoint by Brown who threatened to kill her.
Mrs. Brown has hospitalized and was reported to be in a state of shock.
Sheriff Marshall is recovering from wounds allegedly inflicted by Brown as the officer sought to question him in the Rex hotel Aug. 31 about house prowling.
Brown is believed to have fled Sheridan following the shooting in a car stolen from Don Brent. The Brent machine was recovered in Rapid City, S. D., Oct. 14.
November 14, 1955
The long arm of the law caught up today in San Francisco with Arthur Ross Brown, 29, paroled California convict sought for the shooting of Sheriff Willard Marshall Aug. 31.
Brown, once quoted as saying he would never be taken alive, was arrested at 3 a.m. Monday as he slept in a parked automobile. Two loaded pistols were at his side. Brown offered no resistance.
The tip that led to the arrest came from Brown’s aunt, the Associated Press reported from San Francisco.
Patrolman Bert Brystrom got a call early Monday from a woman reporting a prowler. She said to the officer later, that it might have been her nephew, Brown. A check with the FBI disclosed that two agents had the residence under surveillance. Bystrom, three other ‘Frisco policemen and four FBI agents searched the neighborhood and found Brown asleep in a car around the corner from his aunt’s home.
Brown is accused in Kansas City of kidnapping of his estranged wife, and of rape and burglary in San Jose, Calif.
Sheriff Marshall recovered from critical wounds. Only recently released from the hospital, he told the Sheridan Press on Saturday he would re-enter the hospital soon for several days for minor surgery.
Chief of Police Roy C. Dow and Sheriff Marshall were advised by the FBI of the arrest of Brown, and made the local announcement of his apprehension. They were informed Brown was armed with a .38 caliber revolver and a 9mm Italian beretta.
“Brown is being arraigned in San Francisco on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in connection with his assault against Sheriff Marshall.”
County Attorney Edward J. Redle said that he would immediately forward Sheridan county warrants to San Francisco authorities to be lodged against Brown.
Brown is charged with assault and battery with felonious intent in connection with the shooting and with burglary of the William Redle home, 822 Victoria.
Brown was described as “extremely dangerous” in police bulletins issued at the time of the shooting.
He was born Sept. 29, 1926, at Hayward, Calif.
Oakland, Calif., police advised Sheridan police that Brown served five years in San Quentin prison (California) on an arson and prior felony conviction and was then paroled. They added, in the Aug. 31 message, that Brown has a record in many places in California on such counts as arson and burglary.
His mother living at San Jose, Calif., said that her son has had “mental troubles. If only people understood.”
It was to question a suspect in the prowling of the Redle home that the sheriff went to the Rex hotel, 358 ½ North Main, shortly before 2 o’clock the afternoon of Aug. 31. The suspect, later identified as Art Brown, was registered as Bob King.
Redle had been confronted by a man who had a gun in his hand and a towel over his face when he investigated a noise upstairs in his home. The gunman fled.
There were no witnesses to the shooting of Sheriff Marshall but Brown allegedly was seen fleeing the hotel by several persons. He circled the end of buildings at Mandell and Main and fled southward in the alley. When pursued by Donald Carroll, 18, the gunman pointed his weapon at the youth and disappeared toward Big Goose creek in the rear of the J.C. Penny and Brouillette’s, Inc., stores. That was the last seen of him in Sheridan.
Brown did not pop up in the spotlight again until last Wednesday when his estranged wife, Mrs. Jean Brown, staggered dazed and breathless into her Kansas City home three hours after she was forced into a car at gunpoint by her ex-husband.
Kansas City Police said Mrs. Brown was able to tell them only that the abductor was Brown, 29, who she said had threatened to kill her in late September. Mrs. Brown is 30 and the mother of a 13-month old daughter. She separated from her husband in July.
It was 75 days to the day since Brown shot Marshall that he was apprehended.
Sheriff Marshall underwent four hours of surgery following the shooting. He had been hit twice, once through the abdomen and once through the leg and buttocks. A .38 caliber slug was removed from the abdominal wound.
Marshall’s first words when he regained consciousness were “Did I get him?”
Sheriff Marshall’s condition was extremely critical for a long time and only recently was he dismissed from the hospital.
Following the shooting, road blocks were set up at all roads leading out of the city and manned by city police, personnel of the National Guard 300th field artillery battalion, sheriff office officials and volunteers.
A round the clock watch was held but evidently the assailant made good his escape from the city before the road blocks could be set up. Brown was reported to have been visiting relatives in Sheridan and vicinity at the time of the shooting.
The gunman most likely made his escape from Sheridan in a stolen car owned by Don Brent. The vehicle was recovered in Rapid City, S. D., Oct. 14, where it had been sitting unattended for about six weeks.
Mrs. Fritz Schimmel, victim in a liquor store holdup at Rapid City night of Aug. 31, identified a photo of Brown as the man who robbed her of $196.
Brown is also sought for burglary in Omaha committed after his flight from Sheridan.
February 24, 1956
The End Result
Arthur Brown was transported back to Missouri to face the charges of Rape/Murder. He was found guilty and was executed by the gas chamber in Jackson, MO on February 24, 1956.