111 years after his death, a policeman's grave gets a monument
Scofield police officer Thomas Nalley lay nine days dying of wounds and then his body spent 111 years at rest in an unmarked grave. While the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial could not change that sad chapter in Carbon County history, it did give Nalley's memory a recognition that will last long into the future.
On Tuesday, representatives of the Carbon County Sheriff's Office and the Naples Police Department dedicated a headstone and paid tribute to the fallen officer in a short ceremony at the Scofield Cemetery.
In his remarks, Naples Police Chief Mark Watkins told the story of Nalley's death in the line of duty. The officer had joined others on a posse to put down a noisy, drunken disturbance in town just before midnight on Oct. 5, 1902. Violence erupted, and Nalley was badly pistol whipped by a man who was later shot and killed by other officers.
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Nalley's injuries were so severe that he had to be transported to St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake, where he died on Oct. 14. His body was brought back to Scofield, where he was buried.
Those who attended Tueday's ceremony took part in a prayer and observed a moment of silence to recognize their fallen comrade.
Later, Jerry Pope, vice president of the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial, explained that the organization is better than 99 percent certain that the headstone is in the right place. This is based on research of records by Kim Erkkila and the presence of an obliterated monument adjacent to the new one, he said.
The memorial group is organized to find and mark other forgotten graves of Utah's 136 officers killed in the line of duty.