Posted on Leave a comment

Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police Officer: In Memory

Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police Officer In Memory

In Memory Officer Roy L. Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police Department

This post is in memory of officer Roy L. Nelson of the New Smyrna Beach, FL Police Department. Officer Nelson and his police K-9 Caesar perished in an automobile accident while on duty, August 13, 2005.

I invite you to read my other blog posts for law enforcement officers from Volusia and Flagler counties in Florida, who have died in the line of duty. You may find the master list and links to individual posts using THIS LINK. Research is ongoing for this project. If you have information or photos you would like to share, please drop me a line. I would love to be able to give you credit for your contribution.



Officer Roy L. Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police obituary photoOfficer Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police

According to NSBPD Sergeant Mike Brouillette, Officer Roy L. Nelson, K-9 handler and officer on the New Smyrna Beach police department was described as having a “heart of gold” and that “he loved his job and loved being a k-9 handler.” Volusia County Sheriff’s K-9 officer Jeff Harting added, “He was a good guy. He was good-hearted and very dedicated to K-9.”

Nelson’s death shook fellow officers deeply. He was the first New Smyrna Beach police officer to die in the line of duty. Not only did Nelson perish, his faithful K-9, Caesar, a companion of two years on the force, also perished in a terrifying, high-speed, single car automobile accident. The circumstances surrounding the accident, were slow in coming, and were often contradictory.

Roy L. Nelson grew up in Lakeland, FL where his father served as a corrections officer. According to family, Nelson became interested in law enforcement after stopping to assist an injured motorcyclist. After serving as a volunteer firefighter, he would later spend five years as a Polk County firefighter before realizing his career dream of law enforcement with the New Smyrna Beach Police Department. His mother recalled him as “a wonderful son, always the first to learn everything.”

Community support in the days after Nelson’s death was overwhelming. Residents and law enforcement throughout the state provided food, emotional support, and even patrol support in order to help the family and police force cope and recover. “People want to help in whatever way they can” said Commander Bill Schulz of the Port Orange police department. The Volusia County Sheriffs office also provided deputies to help cover shifts. The City of Edgewater provided patrol officers for the night of Nelson’s accident, allowing fellow officers to grieve.

Coronado Community United Methodist Church served as host for Officer Nelson’s funeral service. More than 600 law enforcement officers were in attendance. None left the services with a dry eye. More than 250 law enforcement vehicles served as an escort for the coffin containing the body of Nelson and the ashes of Caeasar.  Sea Pines Memorial Gardens is where Nelson and Caesar were laid to rest. The service featured a 21 gun salute, taps, and a four-helicopter flyover in the missing man formation.

The service ended with a traditional call over the police radio, “RCC to Kilo-2000, RCC to Kilo-2000, RCC to Kilo-2000. RCC to all listening units. RCC to all listening stations. This is to inform you that K-9 officer Roy Nelson and his faithful partner, Caesar, have reached their final resting place and will forever be 10-7.”


Make any coffee drink with Explorer cold brew concentrates. From a classic cold brew to an espresso martini and everything in between

The Fatal Accident

Officer Nelson and K-9 Caesar died in a violent automobile accident. The details surrounding the accident were at best sketchy and often times reported before all information was fully clear.

Officer Roy L. Nelson was on duty the evening of Saturday, August 13, 2005. He was beachside at the time when he took off at a high rate of speed crossing the south causeway bridge. Officer Nelson was not wearing his seatbelt. Officer Nelson was not flashing his emergency lights and did not have his siren on when he seemingly lost control of his vehicle, hitting a guardrail, before his cruiser flipped. Shortly after 11:45 p.m., Nelson and Caesar were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the New Smyrna Beach police would state that Nelson was responding to a burglary call. The Florida Highway Patrol began to investigate the accident. An unnamed witness provided information that a white, late model pickup had been seen turning east on the South Causeway, before Nelson’s crash. There was no indication that Nelson’s patrol car made contact with this vehicle.

In the preliminary FHP report, they stated that Nelson was  responding to a “law enforcement call.” He was travelling in excess of 70mph in a 50mph zone. He was not wearing his seat belt and his flashers and siren were not activated. The report references a white pick up which pulled into Nelson’s path. Nelson swerved to avoid the truck, swerved back when he hit a guardrail, spun clockwise, flipped, and hit another guardrail, before coming to a stop.

The New Smyrna Beach Police Department provided contradictory information in the same newspaper article referenced above. A police representative states, “We are speculating as to what happened. There was no radio traffic.” No radio traffic threw into question the FHP report stating Nelson was responding to a “law enforcement call.” The NSBPD proposed several hypotheticals as to what Nelson was doing.

In the weeks following, 71-year-old Gordon Camp came forward as a person of interest. According Camp’s attorney at the time, he and his wife were returning from a party and were in the median turning east on the Causeway when Ms. Camp saw a police car “shoot” behind them at a high rate of speed with no lights or siren. They continued home, not realizing that Nelson had crashed his patrol car.

In early November, 2005, the Florida Highway Patrol recommended felony charges be filed against the Camps for leaving the scene of an accident involving death. The state attorney’s office responded, “Our review of the report requires that additional investigation is needed before we make any decision whether or not to file charges.” It is important to remember, the state attorney did not have a final report from the Florida Highway Patrol at that time and that the vehicles of Nelson and Camp did not collide.

Nearly a year and a half later, the state attorney’s office declined to pursue charges against Camp. Reasons included that “based upon physical evidence, eyewitness interviews, and accident reconstruction experts, investigators with the State Attorney’s Office determined Gordon Camp did not cause the accident that killed Officer Roy Nelson.” The state attorney’s office added that according to the final FHP report, Nelson was travelling in excess of 115 mph without his emergency lights or sirens activated.

Roy Nelson’s widow, Angie, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the amount of $3 million against Gordon and Bonni Camp in May 2006. After the state attorney declined to press charges, the Camp’s attorney, Michael Lambert, stated, “It will become very expensive for Miss Nelson to bring the Camps in any greater than their policy limit. Its very unusual where you have a case of no contact. And if you look at the terrain down there, it would be very difficult for (Nelson) to maneuver at that speed.”

Volusia County Courts dismissed the case of Angelique R. Nelson vs. Gordon Camp and Bonni Davis Camp on January 7, 2009. The parties reached an out of court settlement.

The Aftermath

Officer Roy L. Nelson has not been forgotten.

Visit an online memorial to Nelson HERE.

Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police Officer In MemoryThe Law Enforcement Memorial to Volusia and Flagler Counties features Nelson’s name. This impressive monument is located outside the Indiana Avenue entrance to the Historic Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand, FL.

A small marker dedicated to Nelson and Caesar is located on the South Causeway Bridge near the location where both officers lost their lives. This marker can only be accessed safely on foot while crossing the bridge.

The memory of Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police officer is never far from officers hearts and minds. Located at the NSB Police headquarters is an impressive memorial to Officer Nelson.

Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police Officer In Memory
This beautiful memorial to Roy Nelson New Smyrna Beach Police Officer is located outside the NSBPD station. It serves as a fitting and lasting memorial to the beloved officer who gave his life on duty. The police station is located at 246 Industrial Park Boulevard, near the airport.


Buy Me A Coffee donation link
Click the image to support this site through Buy Me A Coffee. Your support pays for web services, research trips, photocopies, and photo usage fees.



Daytona Beach News Journal–Numerous articles provide the basis for this post. I generously acknowledge their contribution.

The Ledger–This is the local newspaper in Lakeland. I discovered Nelson’s early interest in law enforcement from this newspaper.

Volusia County Clerk of Court

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. Affiliate programs or sponsors providing products do not influence the views and opinions shared in this blog. 


Order from Flag Shirt to show your dedication to the American Spirit. The American way of life is for everyone, regardless of political affiliation, religion, or race.
Established in 2009,  Flagshirt is a 3rd generation, family-owned and -operated business that has been living the American dream: hard work rewarded with success. We believe the American way of life is for all of us.



Posted on Leave a comment

Sites in Bowman Georgia Worth Visiting

Bowman Georgia Famous Little Police Station Sites to See in Bowman Georgia

Bowman, Georgia

Bowman, Georgia is a small town located in Elbert County in the northeast portion of the state. The town boasts a population of around 900. Bowman is located between the towns of Elberton and Royston along Georgia State Route 17. Elberton is known by the nickname of the “Granite Capital of the World.” Royston is famous for it’s association with Hall of Fame baseball player Ty Cobb. If you are driving State Road 17 in Georgia do not miss these sites in Bowman Georgia that are worth visiting.

To read my review of the book Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beautyclick HERE.

Thomas Jefferson Bowman and the growth of the Elberton Air Line Railroad in the 1870s led for the formation of the city of Bowman. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the city in 1907. John Judson Brown, was elected the first mayor of Bowman in 1910. Brown would later serve as the Commissioner of Agriculture in Georgia and founded the Georgia Farm Market Bulletin.

After the turn of the twentieth century, four trains made daily service to Bowman. The then thriving community was home to two blacksmith shops, two barber shops, a harness store, livery stable, hotel, and several mills. Baptist and Methodist churches provided for the spiritual needs of residents.

Much of the history of Bowman, GA can be found through this interesting 1938 footage. This is on the University of Georgia Brown Media Archives page.

In 2009 the Building at 6 and 7 Public Square was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in architecture as an excellent representation of commercial buildings in small towns during the early 20th century. The building is also deemed important in the field of commerce as it served as home to numerous business from its construction date in 1908 through the middle of the 20th century. Business types included a brickyard, gin, shoe and harness shop, blacksmith, lumber yard, bank, drug store, grocery, and telephone company.

The National Register of Historic Places added the Bowman Commercial District to its listings in 2016. The completed nomination form does not appear to be available online yet.

Today, Bowman plays host to two large, yearly festivals, the Big Iron Crank Up, held in the spring and the Bowman Fall Festival held in October.

My wife and I have driven through Bowman on several occasions on our way a bit further north. The last time through my wife was driving and I had her stop so I could take a few photos.

Stop at the corner of SR17 and SR172 to view interesting sites you will only find in Bowman, Georgia.



Sites to See in Bowman Georgia Famous Little Police StationLittle Police Station

The first place to visit is the City of Bowman’s Famous “Little Police Station.” Bowman doesn’t make claim to having the world’s smallest police station, but this would probably give most a serious run for the money.

Measuring only several feet square with a single door, the station is located adjacent to the railroad tracks.

If you are interested in finding the world’s smallest police station, you’ll have to drive south, to Carabelle, Florida. Located at the corner of US 98 and CR 67 is the world’s smallest. Read more about the Carrabelle police station/phone booth using THIS LINK.



Bowman Georgia Famous Little Police Station Sites to See in Bowman Georgia



Small police station claims are also made by

Ridgeway, South Carolina

Britain’s Smallest Police Station




Mecole Hardman, Jr.

Every small town seems to have the high school athlete that is just better than everyone around them. For Bowman, that young man is Mecole Hardman, Jr. A rather prominent sign proclaiming his ties to the town is located a very short distance from the little police station.

Hardman had a standout college career at the University of Georgia, where in addition to playing wide receiver, he also returned kicks. Hardman opted out of his senior year of college eligibility. He was drafted in the second round of the 2019 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Playing alongside superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Hardman made 151 catches in less than four years (due to injury) and ultimately was part of two Super Bowl winning teams.

After the 2022 season Hardman became a free agent and in March 2023, signed with the New York Jets. In October 2023, Hardman was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, reuniting him with the team where he had his greatest success. In February 2024, Mecole Hardman caught the Super Bowl winning touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes.

Sites to see in Bowman Georgia. Home of Mecole Hardman welcome sign.

Super Bowl hero Mecole Hardman talks about playing in the Super Bowl, starting the season with the Jets and ending the season with the Chiefs, who was the craziest at the after party, Post Malone performing, blacking out when he scored the game winning touchdown, the play that they called, growing up in Bowman, Georgia, and the parade.


Bowman Area Veterans Memorial

This unique monument with W for World War I and II, a K for the Korean Conflict, and V for Vietnam is;

Dedicated to the glory of God and all veterans of the Bowman Community, more especially to these who have given their lives for our nation’s cause.

Listed are the names of seventeen men from the Bowman area who gave their lives while in service. I am currently working on a more detailed post/s for these men and will link from here once complete.

Listed below, are the names on the monument. If known, I have referred as to the war these men perished in. When possible, I have linked names to online memorials.


Jimmy Lee Almond   Korea (his correct name is Jimmie)

Joe Robert Burton             World War II

Lloyd George Burton         World War II (killed in a flight training accident at Cecil Field)

Ouitman Bone Drake      World War II (his correct name is Quitman)

Robert Edward Echols        Vietnam

Edison H. Lunsford    post World War II

Samuel T. Martin       currently unknown

Benjamin M. Maxwell        World War II (see HERE also)

Hugh Hall Maxwell               World War II (see HERE also)

Charles C. Mayfield           Vietnam

Dorsey A. Pulliam     World War II (killed in airplane accident at Smyrna Army Air Field in Tennessee)

Julian Pulliam            World War II

Charles Stakley Roberts, Jr.         World War II (see HERE also)

George Henry Rousey      1960 (killed in a single car accident in Hampton, Virginia)

Clifford Farris Rucker      World War II (see HERE also)

Thomas Gary Sikes        Vietnam

James Fletcher Webb           World War II (see HERE also)


Samuel Johnson Verner marker, one of the sites in Bowman Georgia that are worth seeing.To the side of the main memorial is a flat stone dedicated to World War II veteran Samuel Johnson Verner who passed away at the age of 76 in 1989. Verner is buried at Lavonia-Burgess City Cemetery in Franklin County, GA.

Dorsey Alexander Pulliam and Julian Pulliam were brothers.

Lloyd George Burton and Joe Robert Burton were brothers.

I have not confirmed the relationship Hugh Hall Maxwell and Benjamin Martin Maxwell. They may or may not have been related.

Please share any information on any of these service members, especially photos or memories. As I put together individual posts about these men, I will include your histories. You will receive full credit for any materials shared.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 


Posted on Leave a comment

In Memory: Officer Thomas M. Coulter Daytona Beach Police Department

Thomas Coulter headstone Courtesy Findagrave

 Thomas M. Coulter

Thomas M. Coulter Courtesy Findagrave
In Memory Officer Thomas M. Coulter
Courtesy Findagrave

In Memory Officer Thomas Coulter of the Daytona Beach Police Department. Having only graduated from the police academy at Daytona State College in 2017, Thomas M. Coulter was beginning to live out his dream of being a police officer when hired by the Daytona Beach Police Department in 2018.

Thomas M. Coulter was born January 29, 1993 in New Jersey to parents Ann and Michael Coulter. He later earned his high school diploma and A.A. degree in 2011, finishing early with the assistance of dual enrollment credits. Later, he attend would attend the University of Central Florida.

Coulter began his recruit training on May 14, 2018 after passing a preemployment physical with the Daytona Beach Police Department. On the morning of Friday, May 18, Coulter, along with twenty-three other recruits and three trainers, were participating in what police chief Craig Capri said was a team building exercise. This was was jogging and walking exercise that included stops for pushups and stretching. The group was moving at the speed of the slowest participant.

Around 8:00 a.m. Coulter collapsed during training. Doctors at Halifax Health Medical Center  initially believed the young officer would recover. His condition began to decline on Saturday the 19th and he passed away at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, May 21. Autopsy reports would in fact later show the Coulter died of a heart attack.

Fellow recruits were allowed that Monday off training before being required to return on Tuesday morning. DBPD provided counseling for those in need.

According to Chief Capri, Coulter had made neither a complaint of discomfort nor did he complain of feeling ill before collapsing and as noted prior, had passed the required physical. Capri stated that Coulter was in “average shape” for a 25 year old.

The local newspaper quoted Chief Capri, “This young man, all he wanted to do was be a police officer. Talking with the family he wanted to be a police officer. That was his life’s dream, since he was a little kid. That was his goal and he did meet his goal.”

The News-Journal Center in downtown Daytona Beach was the site of Coulter’s memorial service. Law enforcement officers from numerous agencies along with then Florida governor Rick Scott attended the memorial service. Capri stated, “I’m just very proud of the community, the support of the community. And we had police officers from all over.”

Thomas Coulter left behind a wife of only six months, Jazmin, his parents, a brother, Mikey, and sisters Sandy and Bridgette, along with extended family members.

Thomas Coulter headstoneCourtesy Findagrave
Thomas M. Coulter headstone
Courtesy Findagrave

Officer Coulter is buried at Daytona Memorial Pak in the Hero’s Garden of Glory section. His marker includes the words, Have a Great Day Officer Coulter. 

Officer Coulter is memorialized on the Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties located adjacent to the Historic Courthouse in DeLand, FL.

An online memorial for Officer Coulter may be found HERE.



Buy Me A Coffee donation link
Click the image or THIS LINK to support this site through Buy Me A Coffee. Your support pays for web services, research trips, photocopies and other materials, and photo usage fees.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. Affiliate programs or sponsors providing products do not influence the views and opinions shared on this blog. 

All Gave Some Law Enforcement Mens T-Shirt

from: Flagshirt

Posted on Leave a comment

In Memory: Officer Elmer Michael of the DeLand, FL Police Department

Elmer Michael monument detail

Elmer Lunger Michael

Born in West Virginia in 1889, young Elmer Lunger Michael knew the difficulties life could bring. Growing up in Morgan County, he was the eldest of five children born to Albert (might be Tolbert) and Mary Michael. Elmer was to only complete the eighth grade before quitting school, most likely to help his family. By the age of twenty he had left his parents home, was married, and employed as a farmer. Elmer’s World War I draft registration shows him as being of medium height and build with brown hair and blue eyes.

Elmer, and his wife Ida Maud, moved to Volusia County, Florida sometime around 1925/1926. Elmer left the uncertainty of his last job of being a truck driver for what they hoped would be a brighter future in Florida. Elmer and Ida Maud were the parents of two children, Ralph, and Virginia.

In 1926, Elmer had been hired as a police officer with the DeLand police department. This would no doubt have been a welcome job during lean years for a man with no formal education and limited marketable skills.

For those who would harken back to an earlier time when streets were safe, there was little violence, and people had a respect for the law; the story of Elmer Michael is a harsh reminder of the realities in the world.

The Crime

On October 25, officer Michael was working the overnight shift, a shift that might have been considered safe considering DeLand was a small town of around 5,000 residents.

It was during this shift that John Wallace and John McGuire, known criminals from Indiana, were caught in downtown DeLand in a car reported stolen in Daytona Beach. While attempting to apprehend the criminals near the corner of Woodland and Wisconsin Avenues, Michael was shot and wounded. He was also pushed to the ground and received a serious wound to the head.

The following day Florida East Coast Railway workers M. A. Snyder and Walter Minton were both wounded during an encounter with the fugitives in New Smyrna Beach. Snyder received five bullet wounds; and Walter Minton, a special agent out of Palatka where he worked for the Florida East Coast Railway, was shot twice in the arm. Snyder was hospitalized for his wounds while Minton was released from medical care.

John Wallace was arrested later in the day on October 26 after the confrontation with Snyder and Minton. Local reports stated that McGuire was still wanted but Volusia County Sheriff S. E. Stone was confident he would be apprehended shortly.

On November 4, the DeLand Sun News ran an editorial thanking officer Michael and congratulating him on his release from DeLand Memorial Hospital.

Dear Elmer:

That was great news to hear that you are out again after the attempt made on your life recently by auto bandits. Elmer, it is such men as you that keep up the honor of a police force and in whom we have confidence that the law will be enforced. We congratulate you on your fearlessness and the whole of DeLand is happy that you escaped with your life. The next time Elmer any of that type of criminal sticks a gun at you, shoot him first. The country is well rid of such offscourings. (1)

While Sheriff Stone was confident that John Luke McGuire would quickly be apprehended, these thoughts were premature. During the first week in November Stone was working with Fort Wayne, Indiana authorities in order to put together a wanted campaign including photos. McGuire was described as twenty-three years old, five fee six inches tall, gray eyes, blond hair, with a medium build and complexion. The reward for the capture of McGuire was placed at $50. Five hundred copies of the wanted poster were distributed. In addition to the wounding of officer Michael and the FEC workers, McGuire and Wallace were accused in the robbery of a Daytona Beach pharmacy. (2)

The Trials

With McGuire still wanted, prosecutors began their case against John Wallace in December. Judge Marion O. Rowe was expected to announce a trial date when he convened court on December 2. The following day, Wallace, a young man of only twenty, was to plead guilty to three charges: the theft of two automobiles and participating in the robbery of Bogart’s Pharmacy. He received a six-year prison sentence at state prison in Raiford. Wallace was not arraigned that day on charges of assault with intent to kill in the attack on the three wounded men.

Good news reached DeLand in January 1930 where word was received that McGuire had been arrested in Ft. Wayne, IN on a weapons charge. The good news was short lived as Indiana authorities refused to immediately extradite the fugitive to Florida to face charges. McGuire and his attorneys used multiple legal maneuvers, including “witnesses” stating he was in Memphis, TN at the time of the shootings, to prevent his being returned to Florida.

Harry Leslie Indiana Governor
Indiana Governor Harry Leslie courtesy Indiana Historical Bureau

In a scene that is right out of a movie however, on February 26, 1931, Indiana Governor Harry Leslie signed extradition papers. Volusia County Sheriff Stone was there to immediately take possession of the prisoner and begin transporting him to Florida where he would stand trial.

Samuel D. Jackson, the attorney for McGuire was able to obtain a writ of habeas corpus from Marion Circuit Court Judge Harry O. Chamberlain, which would have kept the prisoner from being extradited. Jackson made his petition claiming that McGuire had not been identified by his accusers and the use of questionable witnesses placing the accused in Tennessee on the date of the crime.

With a several hour head start, Sheriff Stone easily outpaced Jackson who was chasing the Florida lawman attempting to serve the writ and keep McGuire in Indiana. Stone drove unimpeded to Florida where McGuire was greeted with six charges in Volusia County, including three assaults with intent to murder.

Judge Bert Fish
Judge Bert Fish courtesy State Archives of Florida


The trial of John McGuire began in August 1931 in the courtroom of Judge Bert Fish, a highly respected legal mind who would go on to serve as a foreign ambassador in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

When the jury returned its verdict on August 17, 1931, McGuire was found guilty. When Judge Fish attempted to talk with McGuire before announcing the sentence the young man had no reply. Fish’s sentence was reported in the paper as follows

I cannot recall anytime in Volusia County in recent years when any man displayed the reckless regard for life and property that you have been convicted of showing. You said nothing in your own defense, and your case does not seem to offer anything that would amend the sentence. As a punishment to you and as an example to others it is the judgement of the law and the sentence of the court that you be confined to the state prison for fifteen years at hard labor. (3)

As defense attorneys are paid to do, McGuire’s attorneys requested a new trial, a request denied by Judge Fish. They were however provided ninety days to present a list of exceptions for the court to consider.

When appeals of the verdict reached the Florida Supreme Court in November 1932, they were denied. A request for a rehearing was also denied, sending McGuire back to the prison at Raiford to continue his sentence.

Blue Lives Matter Law Enforcement Mens T-Shirt

from: Flagshirt

Death of Elmer Michael

Elmer Michael returned to the DeLand police force after his recuperation though it was reported at the time that Michael never returned to his old self. In February 1942, Michael was admitted to the hospital for what was considered at the time to be a non-life-threatening situation. The local newspaper theorized that over-exertion while making an arrest for public drunkenness may have led to the hospital stay. (4)

On the morning of February 17 Michael unexpectedly passed away having served dutifully for sixteen years on the force. “Mike” as he was known to many local residents and merchants left behind his wife, son, and daughter, along with a community to honor his memory.

Funeral services for the local officer were held on February 19 at First Christian Church with the Reverend Clyde Smith officiating. The local newspaper reported hundreds in attendance at the ceremony and city hall was closed during the service. Fellow police officers served as pallbearers and the local Masonic Lodge handled the burial ceremony at Oakdale Cemetery.

One week after officer Elmer Michael was laid to rest, his son, Ralph Michael was hired by the DeLand Police Department and reported for duty on March 1, 1942.

The March 2, 1942 DeLand Sun News ran a thank you notice from the Michael family for the outpouring of love and support they had received.

Card of Thanks.

We wish to thank our many friends for the beautiful flora offerings and kid expressions of sympathy expressed at the death of our husband and father.

Mrs. E.L. Michael                                                                                                                                                Mrs. Cecil Barnes* (Virginia)
Ralph Michael

Elmer Michael Headstone
Elmer Michael Headstone located in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand
Elmer Michael Headstone Detail
Detail of Elmer Michael’s headstone including Masonic symbol

The Monument

Some of you may be wondering how I came upon the story of Officer Elmer Michael. Well, as it is for many historians, it was by accident. Often during my lunch break at work, I take a walk, partly for exercise from my desk job, and partly to see what I can find. One day recently was one of those type days.

Elmer Michael Memorial
Elmer Michael Memorial
Elmer Michael Memorial
Elmer Michael Memorial shown facing Woodland Boulevard

I was on my way back to my office, walking along Wisconsin Avenue near Bank of America and the Courtyard by Marriott when I noticed something on the other side of the street, kind of an after thought but what looked to be a piece of concrete that was out of place. I kept walking but it gnawed at me. After a hundred feet or so I just had to go back and see what this was that was located near the hotel.




When I got there, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There, on the sidewalk was a memorial to Officer Elmer “Mike” Michael. The memorial itself is pretty plain and the plaque didn’t give much description but it was more than enough to spark my interest and contained enough information to send me on a newspaper chase that allowed me to write the article above.

Elmer Michael monument detail
The top plaque of the Elmer Michael monument located near the corner of Woodland Blvd. and Wisconsin Avenue

In Memory of

Elmer “Mike” Michael

Outstanding Service in the

Line of Duty for the City of DeLand

DeLand Patrolman



Detail of the Law Enforcement Memorial at Historic Courthouse showing Elmer Michael's name
Detail of the Law Enforcement Memorial at the Historic Volusia County Courthouse


Officer Michael’s name is also included on the Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties that is located at the Indiana Avenue entrance to the Volusia County Historic Courthouse in DeLand.

Ida Maude, the widow of Elmer, lived her remaining years in DeLand. She passed away in February 1986 at the age of 97. Survivors included daughter Virginia, son Ralph, a sister Grace Lintz, and many grand, great grand, and great, great grandchildren. (5)

*As I was researching this article and printing newspaper articles, the name Cecil Barnes struck me but I couldn’t place it immediately. I knew I had seen it before. A quick search of the multiple projects I am working on turned up his name. Not only did the Michael family lose their patriarch, Elmer, in February 1942; daughter Virginia, lost her husband, Staff Sergeant Cecil Barnes, on May 29, 1944 in fighting at Biak Island in present day Indonesia. Staff Sergeant Barnes is buried in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand. (6)

Cecil Barnes headstone detail
Detail of the headstone for Cecil Barnes
Cecil Barnes headstone
Headstone for Cecil Barnes who was killed in action during World War II







1)DeLand Sun News. November 4, 1929.

2) DeLand Sun News. November 7, 1929.

3)DeLand Sun News. August 17, 1931.

4)DeLand Sun News. February 17, 1942.

5)DeLand Sun News. February 8, 1986.

6)DeLand Sun News. June 8, 1944.

I have not included citations to every piece of information gathered from local newspaper articles. Almost all information was gathered from the DeLand Sun News. There are multiple other articles on the crime, trial, and death outlined above.

If you are interested in law enforcement in Volusia County, you may wish to read my blog post on a mural created for retired officer Francis McBride that is located in downtown DeLand, not far from the memorial to officer Michael.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.


Posted on Leave a comment

Volusia Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial in DeLand, Florida

Volusia and Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial

Volusia Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial

Courthouses often serve as the home to monuments and memorials of local importance. The Historic Volusia County Courthouse, with entrances on both New York and Indiana Avenues, is no exception. Near the Indiana Avenue, entrance is the Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties.

This 3,500-pound marble Volusia Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial, crafted by Gene Letter, features the names of law enforcement officers from all stripes who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The monument currently contains thirty names.


Dedicated on June 2, 1995, a day designated by Volusia County Council as Law Enforcement Memorial Day, and attended by then state Attorney General Bob Butterworth, the monument serves as reminded of the dangers that law enforcement of all types face every time them go to work.

As then Ponce Inlet Police Chief Todd Hendrickson stated, “I don’t care if your force has 3,000 members or eight like we do, it’s devastating (to lose a fellow officer).”

Individual Posts

Over time, I will be researching the story of these officers service and will post a blog entry for them. I will then link the post through their names below. If you have memories of any of these officers, I invite you to leave a respectful comment to this post or use the “contact” function. I would be glad to include your memories in my post. If you have photos you would like to share, I will be glad to provide you with appropriate credit in the post. Your stories and photos can bring the stories of these officers to life! 

Volusia and Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial
Volusia and Flalger Counties Law Enforcement Memorial located outside the Historic Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand


Names on the Memorial

Sheriff Jefferson D. Kurtz                          April 25, 1895                      Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff William K. Kremer          December 10, 1898         Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff Charles M. Kurtz               September 3, 1907           Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Chief Deputy William P. Edwards            November 5, 1907             Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff Frank A. Smith                   March 18, 1927                 Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Perry Hall                                            August 21, 1927                 Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff George Durrance              August 25, 1927                 Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Lewis Tanner                                      October 26, 1930              Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Benny P. Stricklin                               January 23, 1931             Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer L.B. Hall                                               August 28, 1932                   Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Willie R. Denson                                  April 30, 1937                       Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Elmer L. Michael                              February 17, 1942              DeLand Police Department

Detective Harry F. Raines                          January 13, 1943                    Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Trooper Edwin Gasque                              October 26, 1961                     Florida Highway Patrol

Deputy Sheriff Alva Hayman                   May 8, 1974                                Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant George Tinsley                          May 7, 1979                               DeLand Police Department

Deputy Sheriff Donald Shackelford         June 9, 1979                            Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Sam Etheridge                               December 25, 1980               Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Deputy Sheriff Frank Genovese            June 3, 1982                            Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Greg J. Sorenson                         July 20,  1982                                Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Deputy Sheriff Stephen Saboda          November 6, 1982                  Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Timonty T. Pollard                      September 22, 1987               Ponce Inlet Police Dept.

Officer Kevin J. Fischer                            September 4, 1998                 Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Deputy Sheriff Charles T. Sease            July 5, 2003                              Flager County Sheriff’s Office

Trooper Darryl L. Haywood, Sr.            October 2, 2004                      Florida Highway Patrol

Officer Robert F. Grim, Sr.                       November 13, 2004               Ormond Beach Police Dept.

Officer Roy L. Nelson, Jr.                      August 13, 2005                     New Smyrna Beach Police Dept.

Officer Donna Fitzgerald                         June 25, 2008                         Florida Dept. of Corrections

Captain John L. McDonough                 February 16, 2011                 Volusia County Beach Patrol

Officer Thomas Michael Coulter         May 21, 2018                         Daytona Beach Police Dept.


Buy Me A Coffee donation link
Click the image orTHIS LINK to support this site through Buy Me A Coffee. Your support pays for web services, research trips, photocopies, and photo usage fees.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. Affiliate programs or sponsors providing products do not influence the views and opinions shared on this blog. 


Flag Shirt, patriotic clothes for everyone.Roy L. Nelson, Jr. In Memory.
Established in 2009, Flagshirt is a 3rd generation, family-owned and -operated business that has been living the American dream: hard work rewarded with success. Through the hard work and determination of the entire Lord Daniel family, we have succeeded in building a successful business that is truly dedicated to the American Spirit. We are united in our goal of honoring and sharing patriotism regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. We believe the American way of life is for all of us.
Posted on Leave a comment

Francis “Mac” McBride Mural in Downtown DeLand

Francis "Mac" McBride
Francis "Mac" McBride
Francis “Mac” McBride mural located on Rich Avenue near Woodland Boulevard

If you are standing at the corner of Woodland Boulevard and Rich Avenue next to the former Dick & Janes Coffee Shop be sure to take a look on the side of the building. Here, near the creepy looking stairs leading down to an empty basement storefront, you will see a mural in honor of Commander Francis “Mac” McBride.

Born in Rockledge, Florida, the McBride family had a legacy of police work. McBride’s father and brother were also in law enforcement. His uncle served in the United States Air Force as a military police officer.

The young McBride moved to Volusia County, living in Daytona Beach and Barberville, before moving to DeLand. In DeLand, he began work at Sherwood Medical Industries, before being hired as a rookie officer by the DeLand Police Department in 1975.

The then 77-year-old McBride retired in 2020 after 45 years on the police force. During this time he made many friends and won the respect and admiration of downtown business owners for his community policing style. He is often remembered for his “Night Eyes” program. As a part of this program he would leave notes for business owners assuring them he had checked on their business during his shift.

Former DeLand Police Chief, Bill Ridgway said of McBride, “I got to see how he built relationships and those connections with the community, he was ahead of the curve.”

In seeing his mural Officer McBride stated, “I hope I did the right thing. Everything that I’ve done now goes back to that mural. It’s an honor to know that my legacy is that I cared about the people and people cared about me.”

McBride was honored during his last shift with a retirement party held at the Sanborn Activity Center. After his retirement the beloved officer moved to Alabama to be closer to family.

You may view a brief video of the mural on my YouTube channel. 

Francis Mac McBride
Detail of Mac McBride mural
Detail of Mac McBride mural
Oath of Honor as seen in the Francis “Mac” McBride mural.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

If you are interested in memorials to law enforcement officers, please take a look at my post about the memorial to officer Elmer Michael of the DeLand police force. This monument is located just a short distance from this mural.

Don't Tread on Me Yellow t-shirt with coiled snake. Affiliate post.

Don’t Tread on Me t-shirt featuring the famous coiled rattlesnake from the Gadsden Flag. All sizes available. Pre-shrunk 100% cotton. Warm water wash and tumble dry. Do not iron or dry clean. Let Flagshirt be your go-to online shop for patriotic apparel.