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Allen F. Shoemaker — a police officer with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Police — was shot and killed on Sunday, May 17, 1925, while conducting a railroad check in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
When Shoemaker came across nine men riding in a gondola car, he turned his flashlight on them and demanded to know what they were doing. One man drew a gun and shot Officer Shoemaker. As Shoemaker fell against the shooter, the suspect then fired three more shots at the wounded officer.
The 36-year-old Shoemaker had served with the railroad police for four years. He was survived by his wife.
Though six men from the gondola car were rounded up and taken to the Harrison County Jail, they later were released with none charged in Shoemaker’s murder. It remains unsolved.
Allen Shoemaker was born in 1890 to Hanie P. and Mattie B. Shoemaker. He had three sisters, Florence, Edith and Dorothy, and one brother, Robert.
Officer Shoemaker was laid to rest at the Walnut Hill Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
NOTE: Though all documentation on Officer Shoemaker’s life and service spells his given name “Allen” (including 1900 US Census records), his headstone spells it “Allan.”
If you have any information about Allen Shoemaker’s unsolved murder, please contact the Missouri Valley Police Department at 712-642-2736, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office at 1-877-644-2299, or the Iowa Department of Public Safety.