Officer William C. Nelson « Utah Law Enforcement Memorial

Officer William C. Nelson

Died on December 25, 1912

Age 21
Midvale Police Department
Homicide: Handgun

Officer Nelson was murdered while conducting foot patrol with another Midvale officer. At 1:30 a.m., the two officers observed a group of men near a saloon firing their pistols wildly into the air in celebration of Christmas. As Officer Nelson approached the group, he was ambushed from behind by a man who fired a single shot into his head. The second officer returned fired but failed to hit the assailant, who then managed to escape into the darkness. Although several suspects were arrested, no one was ever brought to trial for the murder.  Officer Nelson was engaged to the daughter of Midvale Officer Frank Colclough, murdered near the same spot four months before. He is buried in Sandy City Cemetery. His bronze memorial plaque is sponsored by Salt Lake County Captain Teri and Joe Somers.

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One response to “Officer William C. Nelson”

  1. 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

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