Placerville in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
In Respectful Memory of Joseph M. Staples
Deputy Sheriff of El Dorado County
Following the robbery, the outlaws separated into two groups, one heading west to Thirteen Mile House, and the other heading south-west toward Somerset, arriving there in the early morning of July 1st. Following their trail, Deputy Sheriff Joseph Staples, accompanied by constables Van Eaton and Ranney confronted the outlaws at the Somerset House. In the ensuing gun battle Staples was killed and suspect Thomas Poole and Constable Ranney were wounded.
Suspect Poole was captured at the scene and later tried and convicted of the murder of Deputy Staples. He was executed by being hanged in Placerville on Sept. 29, 1865.
Deputy Staples was the first El Dorado County Peace Officer to give his life in the pursuit of criminal justice.
Erected 1992 by Peace Officers and Their Friends.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics • Law Enforcement • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is June 30, 1908.
Location. 38° 43.776′ N, 120° 48.003′ W. Marker is in Placerville, California, in El Dorado County. Marker is on Main Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is left of the entrance to the Parking Area. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Placerville CA 95667, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Douglass Hines Building Bricks (here, next to this marker); Morning Star #20 I.O.O.F Lodge Building (a few steps from this marker); Confidence Engine Company (a few steps from this marker); Confidence Hall (a few steps from this marker); Emigrant Jane (within shouting distance of this marker); James D. Rinehart (within shouting distance of this marker); County of El Dorado Courthouse Restoration (within shouting distance of this marker); Lower Fairchild Building (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Placerville.
Also see . . .
1. The Officer Down Memorial. (Submitted on October 30, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
2. George Cross – Stage Robbery Information. (Submitted on October 30, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
1. End of Watch: July 1, 1864
A group of outlaws had robbed the Comstock stages on the Placerville Road. A posse was formed at the Cary House in Placerville. Deputy Staples, a well-liked Irishman who lived in Coloma and was a member of the Neptune Company of the Placerville fire brigade, would lead the team. Staples, Van Eaton and Ranney rode south to Diamond Springs, where they turned east and began working their way along the Pleasant Valley Road. Deputy Staples discovered the robbers held up in the Somerset House, a large hotel on the north fork of the Cosumnes River where they spent the night. In the morning, two of Sheriff Rogers' deputies, Joseph Staples and George Ranney, rode up asking Mrs. Reynolds, the proprietor, if she had seen any strangers around. She nodded her head and motioned them to a side door. Deputy Staples rushed into the room yelling, "You men are all my prisoners!" whereupon he was met by a barrage of gunfire, killing him instantly.
— Submitted October 30, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,430 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 30, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. 3. submitted on November 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. 4. submitted on November 29, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.