End of Watch:
August 22, 1936
Emery County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff William L. Black was murdered during a water dispute in Ferron.
At approximately 8:30 a.m., Sheriff Black was contacted by a woman who said her brother had assaulted her during an argument over a ditch that crossed their respective properties. The woman and her husband drove to Sheriff Black’s home and asked him to intervene. The couple was followed back to the scene by Sheriff Black, who was unarmed and driving his own car. As the two vehicles approached the suspect’s farm, he stepped out onto the roadway and stopped them at gunpoint. Sheriff Black was immediately shot through the head with a .30-40 Krag-Jorgensen rifle. The suspect then shot and killed his brother-in-law. Following the murders, the suspect turned himself in to the police. He was convicted of second-degree murder, sentenced to life in prison, and paroled seven years later. Sheriff Black was married and the father of six children. He is buried in Ferron City Cemetery.
The bronze memorial name plaque of William L. Black is sponsored by the Emery County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Care Fund.