Stone’s name to be included on D.C. memorial wall

Staff Report

Constable Franklin Stone’s name will be engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Oberlin police learned Dec. 8 that Stone, killed June 5, 1881, will be honored at the memorial’s 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13.

An Oberlin honor guard has been invited to attend, according to a letter from Craig Floyd, president and CEO of the fund that oversees the memorial.

Police also plan to host a small memorial in May at Stone’s grave site at Westwood Cemetery. That honor will fall during National Police Week.

Officers from all over the county will pay homage to their fallen Oberlin brother this spring at the annual Lorain County Police Memorial Service, which will be held in Wellington.

Stone death had long been forgotten, until a trio of history detectives unearthed news coverage. He is now officially recognized as the first Lorain County officer to die in the line of duty.

He was shot May 12, 1881, on what is now Locust Street and succumbed to his injuries nearly a month later.

Samuel Durham, the father of a fleeing suspect, fired the fatal gunshot. He was arrested in October and convicted of second-degree murder.

He was pardoned by the governor in 1891 due to his old age and frail condition. He died six years later in October 1897.

Stone is one of two Oberlin officers to be killed while on duty. Patrol officer Robert Woodwall died in a motor vehicle crash on March 10, 1971, when his vehicle slid off the icy roadway and crashed into a tree on East Hamilton Street.

Staff Report