Today Walnut Ridge Police Chief Chris Kirksey was in Little Rock honoring fallen Walnut Ridge Marshal J.P. Biggers who was killed in the line of duty in the fall of 1912. Chief Kirksey told those in attendance the story surrounding the death.
In 1912 a resident named Dock Driver had alledgedly been in a heated altercation with his wife. The Mayor of Walnut Ridge J.F. Medaris was contacted by Driver’s wife Laura who demanded a warrant be sworn out for her husbands arrest. Driver was a well known resident and the Mayor reluctantly agreed and had the warrant written. The warrant was then delivered to the Walnut Ridge Marshal J.P. Biggers who was patrolling with his wife and daughter accompanying him. The Mayor instructed the Marshal to summon his deputies and arrest the suspect, upon instructing the deputies the marshal was told that Driver was spotted in the Barber Shop located on Main Street. Driver was said to be intoxicated and in a foul mood.
The deputies were new to the job and were not carrying weapons, Dock Driver was approached as he exited the Barber Shop and notified of the warrant for his arrest. As the suspect was being searched he drew a 44 caliber revolver and shot Marshal Biggers in the abdomen, killing the officer.
Dock was taken into custody, he was held over for trial in Newport due to the intense emotion surrounding the killing in Walnut Ridge. Dock Driver was tried, convicted and hung for the crime in January 1913 in the attic of the Lawrence County Courthouse.
Roses were laid at the Fallen Officers Memorial today by Chief Kirksey in honor of the fallen Walnut Ridge Marshal next to J.P. Biggers inscription on the memorial.