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Hometown Heroes: Marshal Hiram Gregory

Updated: Jan 1

End of Watch: April 23, 1926

Burnside City Marshal Hiram Gregory was 49 or 50 years old when he was gunned down in 1926 while attempting to arrest a Burnside barber named Ed Gibson for public drunk. Marshal’s Gregory’s death certificate says the cause of death was “Gun shot wounds to head and body – homicide”. The August 23, 2002, edition of the Commonwealth Journal said that two shots entered Gregory’s left arm, just below the arm pit and another in the left side below his heart. He was also shot in the forehead. Gregory died at a local hospital about six hours after he was shot.

It was reported that Marshal Gregory told officers on his deathbed that Gibson was the one responsible for his wounds. He said that he received a complaint at around seven in the morning in front of the Burnside Post Office. He said he didn’t see Gibson walk up near where he was standing until he was there shooting him. Marshal Gregory went on to tell officers that Gibson had threatened to kill him more than once.

The shooter, Ed Gibson, a 45-year-old native of Wayne County, was arrested and charged with the Marshal’s murder. During his trial Gibson denied shooting the marshal, however he was found guilty of murder by a Lincoln County jury and sentenced to life in prison.

We don’t have an image of Marshal Gregory, but his WWI draft card describes him as short in stature, medium build, blue eyes, and light hair. His wife’s name was Ella Gregory and they had at least two sons. From what we can tell, they met and married in Wayne County but later moved to Pulaski County only a short time before he became Marshal.

In August 1927, following the death of Marshal Gregory, his wife Ella, went on to marry another Burnside marshal named General W Sloane.

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