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.


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2 responses to “Warden Mathew B. Burgher”

  1. 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 blsmith@sandy.Utah.gov.

  2. BL Smith says:

    I am so proud to be a member of the Utah Peace Officer Association which started the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial. Both are proud members of Utah’s Law Enforcement Community. The UPOA recognizes, each year, 14 (different) fallen officers. If anyone has contact information on relatives I am the keeper of fallen officer relative information. When events come up that honor our fallen officers we reach out to family/relative members when these events occur. I can be reached at blsmith@sandy.Utah.gov.

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