Officer Festus Sprague « Utah Law Enforcement Memorial

Officer Festus Sprague

Died on May 3, 1870

Age 39
Grantsville Police Department
Homicide: Handgun

Officer Sprague was killed during a gun battle with a homicide suspect. The 39-year-old victim was a member of a posse pursuing the killer of U.S. Marshal William Story, who was shot to death the day before in Grantsville. Upon cornering the suspect in a canyon south of town, shots were exchanged and both the suspect and Officer Sprague were killed. A second posse member was wounded. Officer Sprague was married and the father of four children. He is buried in Grantsville City Cemetery.  His bronze name plaque is sponsored by the Grantsville Police Department.

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6 responses to “Officer Festus Sprague”

  1. […] day. A gun battle resulted in the deaths of the suspect and a member of the Grantsville posse, Festus Sprague. Marshal Story was unmarried. He is buried in Fort Douglas Cemetery. His bronze name plaque is […]

  2. Scott L. Sprague says:

    Festus Sprague was my great great grandfather. I have known for several years that he was a law enforcement officer that was shot and killed in Grantsville Utah in 1870. I always wondered what the circumstances were surrounding his death. His father,also named Festus Sprague,was a Marshal in Ohio before the family moved to Utah. I was a police officer in Idaho for 20 years. I have a grandson who wants to be an officer. It seems to run in the blood. Thank you for your information. I am glad I found your website.

  3. Kristen Molen says:

    This is my fifth great grandfather. I didn’t know that I had a police officer in my family line, but it makes sense because my grandmother is a very hard working, honest woman. Now I know where some of that comes from.

  4. Kristen Molen says:

    Correction on my previous post. He is actually my fifth great uncle. His father is my direct descendant.

  5. BL Smith says:

    Amazing how many people are affected by ones actions. I am so proud to be a member of the Utah Peace Officer Association which started the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial (we are located in the same building now)and recognize, each year, 14 (different) fallen officers. If anyone has contact information on relatives I am the keeper of fallen officer relative information so we can reach out to family/relative members when these events occur. I can be reached at

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