Type of Officer: Under Sheriff
Jurisdiction: Jefferson County
County: Jefferson
Death Date: 4/29/1920
Added to Memorial: 2009
Circumstances of Death: Heart Failure
On April 29, 1920, Undersheriff George Burnau along with Jefferson County Sheriff Rindom were near the community of Williamstown Kansas in search of an individual suffering from mental illness. Upon locating and approaching the individual, he jumped from a wagon, leading both Undersheriff Burnau and Sheriff Rindom on an extended foot chase through fields and timber. Both Burnau and Rindom became separated from one another during the foot chase. Undersheriff Burnau disappeared during the foot chase but later that day he was found deceased in a field north of Williamstown. Undersheriff Burnau’s cause of death was ruled as heart failure and apoplexy caused by over-exertion from the foot chase. The mentally-ill Individual being pursued later turned himself in at a Topeka hospital. Undersheriff Burnau was 46 years old at the time of his death.