ANAHEIM POLICE HONOR THE FIRST OFFICER SLAIN
IN THE LINE OF DUTY…
…124 YEARS LATER!
From the July 23, 1996 Orange County Register
Police still haven’t brought to justice whoever fatally wounded town marshal Charles F. Lehman during a shoot out at the
Detectives will never be able to catch Lehman’s killer, but police investigator Rick Martinez said the marshal will finally be recognized as Anaheim’s first police officer killed in the line of duty.
“It’s the least we can do for this guy”, Martinez said.
Lehman, who died 124 years ago, was buried in Anaheim Cemetery on July 24, 1872, according to cemetery records. A wooden marker once adorned the grave, but since it disappeared more than 100 years ago the site has lain bare. In a 10 a.m. ceremony today police will place a new marker on his grave.
“We didn’t have a photograph of Lehman so we decided to put a badge on the grave marker that we will be putting on the grave,” said investigator Robert De Paola, who helped conduct research about Lehman.
In May, Lehman’s name was added to the national memorial for slain law
enforcement officers in Washington D.C., Martinez said. Anaheim police are
now trying to get the name on the Orange County memorial in Santa Ana and
the California memorial in Sacramento.
The story of Lehman’s death was uncovered two years ago when Martinez
began doing research for a book on Anaheim Police Department history.
Southern Californian, a weekly newspaper published in 1872, detailed a bitter political race for town Marshal between Lehman and his rival David Davies.
Lehman, 44, was elected May 6, 1872, and had served as marshal for two months at the time of his death. Davies had been the town’s first marshal, but became Lehman’s deputy after losing the election to him.
On his deathbed, Lehman said Davies had shot him, the newspaper reported.
“Davies even told Lehman when they were running that he would kill him if he Lehman won,” De Paola said.
Davies was arrested for allegedly shooting Lehman, but it was discovered he had not been the only one at the scene.
An argument had broken out July 21, 1872, between Davies and a man known as “Horton” during a card game at the Anaheim Brewery on Center Street. The two were fighting over money and began shooting at each other, the newspaper said. Lehman was caught in the middle.
Horton fled after the shooting but was “captured by an angry crowd and put in jail.” He was never charged with murder. Davies was acquitted in a Los Angeles court, then returned to Anaheim where he was sworn in as town marshal. Before he died, Lehman gave his infant daughter, Mary, to Edelfrida Carrillo, the unmarried daughter of his friend, Dona Vicento Carrillo. The newspaper quotes Lehman as saying he gave Mary away because his wife was too young.
“Our next step is to try to find relatives of Lehman,” Martinez said. “At least we can let them know he has been recognized.”