A new memorial stone on the Boone County Courthouse grounds has room for more names, but speakers said Saturday they hope no names are ever added.
The engraved stone — a tribute to law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty — stands at the northeast corner of the Boone County Courthouse square. The top portion salutes Sheriff Lawrence I. Smoyer and Constable William H. Wathen, who were gunned down by unknown assailants in a pasture north of Akron in western Boone County on June 17, 1937.
Saturday’s ceremonies were one week prior to the 80th anniversary date of the shootings.
Members of the organizing committee, law enforcement officers and family members noted the monument is “dedicated to all law enforcement officers of Boone County.” The bottom half of the black granite stone has space for more engraved names of those who might die while serving in their professions.
“We hope there is never a need to engrave additional names on this monument,” said committee member Pat Wagner, after she and fellow committee member Karen Stewart unveiled the stone.
Other speakers at the dedication include District 41 State Sen. Tom Briese, Boone County Sheriff Denny Johnson and Seward County Sheriff Joe Yocum.
Smoyer and Wathen family members expressed their appreciation during an afternoon program at the Casey building on the Boone County Fairgrounds, and Sheriff Yocum discussed new developments in his search for the killers.
On Sunday evening, the Akron community hosted a meal and provided tours to the site of the shootings in a remote pasture.
Details and more pictures in the June 14 Albion News Print and E-Editions.