Police museum, Web site packed with York County law enforcement info
John Stine sits inside a hand-constructed late 1800s jail cell. Bunks in the cell come from the old York County Prison on Chestnut Street. These are some of the artifacts displayed in the Police Heritage Museum. Stine has been a driving force behind the 3,400-square-foot museum. Background posts: Longtime district justice: ‘You can wait for the book’, Witman among York County’s most notorious crimes and For the Hoses, law enforcement is all in the family.
Curtis D. Sowers was a motorcycle officer in North York Borough.
But he was on foot on a detail to nab a suspect, Jacob Troup, in May 1929.
As part of the detail knocked at the front door of Troup’s Newberry Township home, Troup readied himself near the rear door.
Here’s an account of what happened next: … .
North York Borough Police Officer Curtis D. Sowers’ name was etched onto the National Law Enforcement Memorial in 2004.
Jacob Troup, at the sound of the knock on the door, had grabbed his shotgun and ran to the back of the house. Sowers yelled to Troup: “Come on out; it’s no use hiding in there.” There was more shouting. Witnesses heard voices shouting, “I’ll riddle you through of holes,” and “Don’t shoot.” (Civilian partner Ray) Bentzel said he heard Troup yell, “I’m not going to shoot.” A moment later, the shotgun roared. Bentzel saw Sowers fall backwards. Bentzel turned and ran. Out front, (Caleb) Altland said to (B.F.) Emenheiser, “I wonder what that shot was.”
The state police were summoned, and Sowers’ body was found at the back door, his revolver in his right hand, a blackjack in his left. The shotgun blast had struck him fully in the face.
Troup remained a fugitive for five days before his arrest.
He was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in Eastern Penitentiary. Troup was released from prison in 1940.
This account comes from York’s Police Heritage Museum’s Web site. The museum is packed full of local law enforcement artifacts, and the site serves as a worthy electronic counterpart.
Sowers death was little discussed for years, perhaps overshadowed by the overlapping Hex murder case. The police museum’s work brought Sowers’ death to public view. He is one of three local officers who died in the line of duty, according to the site. York officer Henry Schaad and York County Sheriff’s Deputy Edward “Skip” Schroeder Jr. are the others.
Here’s how the Sowers account ends:
At Sowers’ funeral, the preacher, the Rev. Harry W. Zuse, of Fifth United Brethren Church, said, “Life is like a story. It may be good; it may be bad. The good story is remembered by the impression it makes upon our hearts, while the bad and indifferent tales are tossed aside with but little afterthought.”
Other Police Heritage Museum-related posts:
– Those in uniform with York County links who die in line of duty should be remembered.
– Errant pickup driver knocked on-duty fire policeman out of his shoes.
– Old York County town jails: ‘They’re kind of hidden history’.