Warden Mathew B. Burgher

Warden Mathew B. Burgher

Died on:  

March 16, 1876

Age 37
Utah Territorial Prison
Homicide: Blunt Force

Warden Burgher succumbed to injuries sustained while attempting to prevent an escape from the territorial prison. On the afternoon of March 14, the 37-year-old victim escorted an inmate work detail outside the gates of the prison. While both interior and outer doors were open, the inmates bludgeoned the warden with “slung shots,” (large rocks placed inside woolen socks). He died of a fractured skull in the early morning hours of March 16. The escaping prisoners were recaptured by trustees and posse members. Returned to prison, they escaped again two months later. In the process, they murdered a trustee who attempted to spread the alarm and who was serving time for the murder of Provo Marshal Albert O. H. Bowen three years earlier. The prisoners were not recaptured. Warden Burgher was single. He is buried at Fort Douglas Cemetery. His bronze name plaque is sponsored by the Utah Department of Corrections.

Fallen Officers