Officer seeks update to memorial


CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A local police officer is trying to help a fallen officer get the recognition he deserves. Scott Workman says he’s been working to find out more about Herbert H. Bronson for about a year. He’s finally making some headway.

Bronson was murdered in 1874. The story was published in some local papers. But, Bronson’s name isn’t listed anywhere in records for fallen officers. A small bit of the story was in the employee newsletter for the Charleston Police Department. Workman decided to look into it.

After doing some digging, he realized there was no record of Bronson and what he did. Bronson’s name isn’t etched on the Washington, D.C. memorial for fallen officers. There’s also no record of him being buried anywhere in Coles County, so Workman decided to do something to give Bronson recognition.

Workman was able to find out Bronson was killed by George Strange, May 16, 1874. It happened when officers went to arrest “country-men.” They thought they had Strange in custody, so Bronson told his fellow officers they could go on ahead.

After the other officer left, Strange pulled out a pocketknife and stabbed Bronson in the heart. It happened in an alley right across the street from the current Charleston police station. Strange got away that Saturday, but he was found and arrested the following Monday. A group of 200 men went out after him. They shot at him, but he survived.

Workman says the police department will be adding a memorial for Bronson when they remodel the department. He’s still working to get Bronson’s name etched in the monument in Washington.

One of the requirements is to find existing family members. Workman was in contact with one of Bronson’s great-great-grandnephews Thursday. The application deadline for the memorial is December 31.

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