In memoriambanner


By: Keith Dameron, Historian – Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial

Officer Moses Lovern, 43, died from an accidental gunshot wound received about 10 hours earlier, on Monday, May 11, 1891, at 12:10 a.m., at Dr. McDonald’s office Pueblo. Officer Lovern 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’. It was just after 3:00 p.m. on May 10, when he entered the saloon to fix the problem. Lovern removed the belt, took the pistol from the scabbard and laid it on the glass cigar ‘show’ case. 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 Lavern’s head just below the love of his left ear, shattering the base of his skull and tearing open the internal carotid artery, and exiting an inch and a half above and behind the ear. The bullet then passed through the corrugated iron ceiling and buried itself in the floor above.

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

John Moses Lovern was born in 1848, in Macon County, Missouri and was the oldest of 10 kids. He came to Colorado about 1880, lived in South Pueblo and worked for the Railway Mail Service in 1881. By 1883 he was a policeman in South Pueblo and later a foreman for Mills & Bennett. He was appointed to the Pueblo Police Department in January 1891, just five months before his death. The funeral was held on May 13 at the Methodist Episcopal Church and Pueblo police officers served as pallbearers. The funeral 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. The newspaper noted relatives of the deceased were in the procession, however none were identified. 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