• AugustaKSHistory

Steve A. Jenkins

Steve A. Jenkins was born in Pointsburg, Tennessee on September 4, 1881. He was married to Grace Scott while living in Wellington, Kansas and served on the Wellington Police Force. They had one child, Charles. Steve joined the Augusta Police Department in 1921.

In the early morning of Friday, April 18, 1924, Officer Jenkins was on the night watch and passed the Standard Oil filling station located on the Northeast corner of 4th and State Street. He noticed a man crouching in the office of the station. Officer Jenkins drew his revolver, stood at the door and ordered the man to come out. Instead of obeying, the man…Harry Parsons…jumped into the small room opening off the office and closed the door. Officer Jenkins stepped into the building and again ordered the burglar to come out. He then sent two shots through the door into the other room. The burglar immediately opened the door and started firing. Officer Jenkins returned the fire, with both men emptying their pistols at a range of about 4-5 feet. The burglar was struck four times and died instantly. Officer Jenkins was struck four times as well, in his right shoulder, right leg, left leg, with the final shot entering his right side and lodging near the spinal column. He was taken to the Augusta Hospital on Santa Fe Street.

Officer Jenkins had been a member of the Augusta police force for three years and in addition to being an efficient and courageous officer, he was exceptionally popular in town. Since coming to town, he had been on the night watch practically the whole time. Since entering the hospital his condition had been a source of anxiety to hundreds of friends. The Hospital, Police Station and the Gazette were deluged with inquiries concerning him. The day following the shooting, a subscription paper was circulated throughout Augusta and about $360 was collected for Officer Jenkins and his family. The city of course carried compensation insurance on all city employees, and his family received a considerable payment under the policy.

After entering the hospital, his condition worsened throughout the following week and he passed away from his wounds the following Thursday, April 25, 1924 at 9:30 pm. At the time of his death, his wife, Grace, and their son, Charles, now 14 years old, were at his bedside. In addition to his wife and son, he was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Jenkins, Knoxville, Tennessee; three brothers, Will, Charles and Henderson; and, three sisters, Mattie, Minnie and Lottie.

Officer Jenkins was 43 years old at the time of his death. He had been a police officer for 16 years in various cities. He was a member of the Christian Church and of the I.O.O.F. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. His wife, Grace, moved to Missouri and at the age of 79, died in Missouri and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. Their son, Charles, continued to live in Augusta and was listed in the 1930 census as a baker, living at 516 ½ State Street. He died in 1963 and is also buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

(Interestingly, the suspect, Harry Parsons, is also buried in Elmwood Cemetery. At the time of his death, his identity was not known immediately. His body was held at the funeral home and people were encouraged to stop by and look at the body to see if anyone recognized him. Some of his co-workers at Grant Oil Company identified him. Harry was a welder and boiler maker by trade. He had several jobs in the months leading up to his death and no one really knew too much about him or why he had tried to rob the filling station. He had been arrested a couple of months prior in Arkansas City for forging checks at the Standard Oil Company. He had a wife and baby daughter, but the newspaper reported he didn’t seem to be in much contact with them. Officers from several other towns came to Augusta to view his body and see if he might have been responsible for robberies in their communities. The police located his wife and she said she would not be able to come but told them how to get in contact with other relatives. Mrs. Parson said she and Harry were at a carnival in Ark City until 10 that night. He told her he was going to look for work. Less than 3 hours after her husband left her to look for work, he was shot and killed by Officer Jenkins. Officers believe he came here in a car and that an accomplice drove the car because he didn’t have a car with him at the time. A small graveside service at Elmwood Cemetery was held for him on April 21, 1924. The funeral was attended by his father, A. B. Parsons, and two sisters of Miami, Oklahoma.)

Unfortunately, there are no photographs available.

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