Type of Officer: Sheriff
Jurisdiction: Cowley County
County: Cowley
Death Date: 1/28/1907
Added to Memorial: 1987
Circumstances of Death: Accidental Gunshot
Sheriff Welfelt had tracked murderer Louis Bloomfield to Ponca City, Oklahoma Territory. On November 22, 1906, as Welfelt approached Bloomfield, he drew his revolver and accidentally discharged the weapon into his own leg. After the accident, Welfelt continued to work diligently, even arresting a suspect in the murder of Arkansas City constable John Breene. He continued to overwork and at one point his deputies locked him in a cell to restrain him. Welfelt finally succumbed to the wound, which was complicated by other illnesses, on January 28, 1907, nearly three months after he had been shot. The wound had caused his retirement as sheriff prior to the elections and he was no longer an officer at the time of his death.