Type of Officer: Sheriff
Jurisdiction: Seward County
County: Seward
Death Date: 1/5/1892
Added to Memorial: 1987
Circumstances of Death: Gunshot
During a complicated political situation in Seward County involving a political faction, loyal to the late Samuel Wood, and the Stevens County seat war, Sheriff Dunn learned of a plot to assassinate Judge Theodosius Botkin. Botkin, the judge trying the case of Wood’s murderer, had raised the ire of the alliance that had followed Wood. They evidently feared that Botkin would not follow through on the case or prosecute it to their liking. The scheme was to kill Judge Botkin as he rode in open country on his way to Springfield for court. The sheriff stayed at Botkins’ house the night before, with five deputies, and replaced the judge the next morning on the ride. He and the deputies were ambushed, and in the ensuing gun battle, the sheriff was killed. The political climate in Seward County became so unruly that the state militia was called in to enforce order.