In memoriambanner


By: Keith Dameron, Historian – Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial

Officer Moses Lovern, 43, died from an accidental gunshot wound received about nine hours earlier, on Monday, May 11, 1891, at 12:10 a.m., at Dr. McDonald’s office in Pueblo. He was walking his beat the previous afternoon near Charles Longquest’s Saloon on Union Avenue just north of the bridge, when he noticed something was wrong with his pistol belt. He went inside the saloon to fix it.

He removed the belt, took the pistol from its holster and laid it on a glass cigar showcase. While he was working on the belt the pistol “...slipped off the slanting top of the case and in falling the hammer struck the projected edge of the counter and the pistol was discharged.” Lovern was standing with his left side to the show case. The bullet went up cutting his coat and vest, through the coat collar and into his head just below the lobe of his left ear, shattering the base of his skull and tearing open the internal carotid artery. It exited an inch and a half above and behind the ear. The bullet then passed through the corrugated iron ceiling and stopped in the floor above.

A patrol wagon was summoned and he was taken to Dr. McDonald’s office. Pressure was kept on the ear to control the bleeding but it was soon determined that the injury was fatal. The right side of the his body was paralyzed, and except for a brief moment just after the injury was sustained, he was unconscious the entire time. His family was summoned and were with him when he died.

John Moses Lovern was born in 1848, in Macon County, Missouri. He was the oldest of 10 kids. He married Essie Mae Deninson in 1878 and came to Colorado in about 1880. He lived in South Pueblo and worked for the Railway Mail Service in 1881. By 1883 he was a policeman in there and worked later as a foreman for Mills & Bennett. He was appointed to the Pueblo Police Department in January 1891. He was survived by his wife, sons, James, 6, and Harry, 4, and several siblings.

Services were held on May 13 at the Methodist Episcopal Church. Pueblo Police officers served as pallbearers. The procession to the cemetery included the Fireman’s band, the mayor and councilmen in carriages, a fire engine, a hook & ladder truck, hose wagons, the police patrol wagon and an escort of officers marching six abreast. Burial was at the Pueblo Pioneer Cemetery.

EOW: 11 May 1891                                                               
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Accidental)

 Pueblo Police Department – Dr. Luis Velez, Chief
Pueblo Daily Chieftain – May 11, 13, 14, 1891
Ancestry – Library Edition