Type of Officer: Corrections Officer
Jurisdiction: Leavenworth
County: Leavenworth
Death Date: 11/16/1901
Added to Memorial: 1997
Circumstances of Death: Gunshot
Three hundred and thirty-eight prisoners were working at the new site for the federal prison just north of Leavenworth and two miles west of Fort Leavenworth and the federal prison. They were under the control of twenty-seven guards. At approximately 3:30 P. M. a whistle sounded from a small steam engine inside the stockade. Thee inmates instantly dropped their tools and drew three Colts revolvers and marched up the superintendent’s office. Superintendent Hinds and two guards were walked out of the building in front of the convicts. As they advanced additional guards were added to the human shield (no weapons were allowed within the stockade). The convicts charged one gun tower where all of the weapons were held and removed them and took the guard hostage. After being turned away from the west gate the convicts turned to the southwest corner of the stockade. One tower was rushed but the guard’s rifle did not fire. He was slightly wounded but they left him alone when he threw the rifle down. By this time the three hundred and fifty convicts who refused to join the “Mutiny” were shouting and cheering while guards fired from twelve different towers. About one hundred yards east of the first tower was that of J. B. Waldrupe. The convicts started to fire but he was unable to return fire because of the captive guards. His tower was constructed of wood and offered little protection. He fell wounded in the hip. The tower was rushed and he rose to fire. Waldrupe killed one of the attackers. Almost instantly Waldrupe was struck in the head with a bullet. When the tower was rushed he was able to knock the first attacker down the ladder. The second attacker closed the trap door and protected the mortally wounded officer from his fellows. The captives were released about a quarter of a mile from the prison. The twenty-six escapees spread out throughout the state and people from all walks of life went on the hunt. Many depredations were committed by the escapees, some of them were killed, but the majority were eventually captured. Waldrupe lingered nine days before he died.