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Notes for John Elmer "Jack" Dyer

Known in CO, NM, AZ and possibly MO as Jack Dyer.

1880 United States Census Mt. Vernon, Lawrence, Missouri Page Number 586A
Samuel DYER Self M Male W 38 CAN Farmer IRE IRE
Sarah J. DYER Wife M Female W 37 IL Keeping House SC SC
Wm. H. DYER Son S Male W 16 IL Farmer CAN IL
Mary E. DYER Dau S Female W 14 IL At Home CAN IL
Edgar H. DYER Son S Male W 9 IL CAN IL
Samuel B. DYER Son S Male W 7 IL CAN IL
John E. DYER Son S Male W 3 MO CAN IL
Manuel H. DYER Son S Male W 1 MO CAN IL
Samuel's brother Bolton listed next door:
B. B. DYER Self M Male W 28 IL Farmer IRE IRE
Elizabeth DYER Wife M Female W 25 IL Keeping House --- ---
Amanda J. DYER Dau S Female W 2 IL IL IL
Marilla DYER Dau S Female W 9M IL IL IL

Sept 20, 1899: Marriage license for J. E. Dyer, age 23, of Mt. Vernon, Lawrence Co., MO and Ollie Phillips, age 16 of Phelps, Lawrence Co., MO. License issued by written consent of T. W. Phillips, father of Ollie Phillips, because she was under age 18.
Sept 21, 1899: "This is to certify that I a minister of the Gospel did at the home of the bride unite in marriage the above named persons." Signed Aaron D. States

1900 census East Half Mt. Vernon, Lawrence Co., MO
John E., .dyer, head, July 1876, age 23, md 0 yrs, MO/CanadaEng/IL, Farmer
Ollie, wife, July 1883, age 16, md 0 yrs, 0 births, MO/MO/MO
Flora Phillips, sister-in-law, Feb 1886, age 14, MO/MO/MO

1902 Canon City City Colorado Directory -
J.E. & Ollie Dyer, hostler, W.B. Knox (305 Main), res. 120 Greenwood
J.H. Dyer, clk Smith Merc. Co, rms 707 Greenwood (James Halbert, son of Wm.)
W.H. & Emma Dyer, bartender St. Cloud Bar, res. 707 Greenwood

Separated 1903??

1903 Canon City Colorado City Dir. -
Albert Dyer, emp C C Mill, res 707 Greenwood (James Halbert, son of Wm.)
John Dyer, hostler W.B. Knox (305 Main), res. 305 Main
Wm. H. & Emma Dyer, bartender 814 Water St., res 707 Greenwood Ave.

1905 CC City Dir. -
J Hal Dyer, clk Smith Merc Co, res 707 Greenwood
J.E. Dyer, barkeeper The Club Rooms, 305 Main upstairs
Sam B. & Roena Dyer, bartender Jockey Club (305 Main) res 707 Greenwood
Wm. H. & Emma Dyer, bartender Jockey Club (305 Main) res 707 Greenwood
(Note: Kari Northup visited Canon City in July 1998 and 305 Main had new owners - it is being gutted out and is to be turned into a Christian Youth Center.)

1905-1906 Florence City Dir. - John & Mary LaPlant, contractor, LaPlant brick yard W 1st St. res. W. 1st St.

1909 Florence City Colorado City Dir -
John Dyer, bartender, J.R. Miller, rms 127 1-2 Main
Edward & Jean LaPlant, brick layer, 542 W. Main
John & Mary LaPlant, contractor & brick mfr. res W. First near Houston Ave.
Nellie LaPlant, boards John LaPlant
Milton L. & Lulu Mackie, Mackie & Bailey barbers 103 W. Main, res 110 Robinson Ave.

1910 census Precinct 8 Florence City, Fremont Co., CO, taken April 27, 1910
109-1/2 East Main St. #290/292
John Dyer, Roomer, age 33, First marriage, md 8 years, MO/Can. Eng/IL, Bartender, Saloon.
The number of years married isn't correct - he married Ollie in 1899 so had been married 11 years. Had been separated for 8 years - maybe census taker misunderstood and it should have read Divorced 8 years?
Head of household is Ida M. Pale. Other roomers in the same household are William H. Kennedy, David Ives and Charles Caleb.

June 5, 1916 - Raton, NM record: John E. Dyer, age 39, born Pierce City, MO, 12 Jul 1876, married 5 June 1916, Lula LaPlant, age 27, born 10 Feb 1888, residing in Florence, CO. Colfax county Marriage Book 9, page 1549. Married by H. Richard Mills, Minister of the Gospel, Methodist-Episcopal church. Witnesses: Fannie Atkins Mills, Edith Martinez.

August 27, 1918- Jack & Lula adopted daughter Mary Jane when she was 4 years old. Her name had been Minnie Ireland and she was the daughter of Richard & Pearl Ireland - her father Richard Ireland gave his consent and testified for the adoption. I wrote Raton, NM for more information and was told that adoptions are closed to the public. They said to write: Judge Stanley A. Read, PO Box 160, Raton, NM 87740.

September 12, 1918 WWI Draft card Colfax Co., New Mexico
John Elmer Dyer
Tall height, medium build, blue eyes, brown hair
Address - 324 Rio Grande, Raton, Colfax, New Mexico
Age 42, Birthdate - July 12, 1876
White, native born
Occupation - Bartender
Employer - Jack Pavlich, 228 So. 1, Raton, Colfax, NM
Nearest relative - Lulu Dyer, 324 Rio Grande, Raton, Colfax, New Mexico
Signed John Elmer Dyer

1920 - ??

1930 census Tucson, Pima Co., AZ
1622 E. Broadway Household #10
John E. Dyer, head, age 53, age at first marriage - 39, Missouri/Canada English/Illinois, Cheif of Police, City
Lula, wife, age 40, Nebraska/Canada French/Canada French
Robert E., son, age 4, Arizona/Missouri/Nebraska

Tucson Citizen May 2, 1926

CHIEF J. DYER COMPLIMENTED BY SAWTELLE Boost Given Tucson Marshal in Open Court Saturday
Judge William H. Sawtelle of the Unites States district court highly complimented Chief of Police Jack Dyer in open court for his vigorous campaign against bootleggers and other law violators, following the hearing of several cases yesterday.
"I want to give thanks of this court to Chief of Police Jack Dyer," Judge Sawtelle declared, "for the vigorous campaign in abateing violations of the national prohibition law in Tucson, which has relieved federal officers of many minor cases, and allowed them to concentrate on the higher-ups and wholesale bootleggers, and has greatly facilitated the work of this court. If other municipal officers in the state of Arizona would do the same, it would greatly aid federal officers and promote better observance of the prohibition law."

Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 27, 1927 - DYER FUNERAL SERVICE TO BE THIS AFTERNOON Public Rites for Son of Chief of Police to be at Grave Only -
Private funeral services will be held at the Reilly chapel this afternoon at 3 o'clock for Jack Edwin Dyer, Jr., son of Chief of Police J.E. Dyer. Afterwards, the principal service, which friends of the family have been asked to attend, will be held at the grave in Evergreen cemetery.
The boy, who was 7 years old, died after a short illness, a victim of spinal meningitis. He was ill early last Saturday and was then taken to St. Mary's hospital, where in spite of every medical aid, he died at 8:00 Monday evening.
Because of the nature of the disease which caused the death of the child, the private funeral services in the chapel were announced yesterday. The service at the graveside, however, will be for the benefit of the friends who have been asked to attend.

Arizona Daily Star Aug. 29, 1927 - VETERAN'S WEEP AT FUNERAL OF JACK DYER, JR. Police are Active and Honorary Pall Bearers For Son of Chief -
John Edwin Dyer, Jr. 7-year-old son of Chief of Police and Mrs. J. E. Dyer, was laid to rest yesterday afternoon in the Elks plot in Evergreen cemetery, while hardened and old members of the police force, friends and relatives wept quietly as the Rev. Julian C. Mc Pheeters, pastor of the University Methodist church, read the benediction and said a closing prayer.
Rev. McPheeters in his talk consoled those whom "Little Jack" had left with the thought that "God plucks the little children from earth for heaven, just as we on earth go into the garden and pluck the bud of the rose."
Services at Reilly chapel were private and brief. Mrs. John ??? sang "God will Wipe All Tears Away", and Mr. McPheeters gave a prayer. The funeral cortege was made up of 20 cars while at the grave where the public services were held as many more were waiting. All cilty offices were unofficially closed during the time of the funeral, while the police force, with the exception of those required to remain on duty, was represented 100 percent. The cortege was led by Motorcycle Officers Belton and Smith. Police Captain Mark Robbins, Detectives A.S. Franco, Cliff Kronauer and Dallas Ford were active pall bearers. Honorary pall bearers were Officers Louis Ezekials, P.B. Wilbanks, Jesus Comacho and Sargeant A.W. Forbes.
Jack Dyer, Jr. died Monday at 8 pm at a local hospital where he had been taken late Saturday night. He was first taken ill Friday afternoon after he stood on the lawn in front of his home at 1622 East Broadway for several hours waiting for Col. Charles A. Lindbergh to pass. Shortly after he complained of feeling ill and Saturday morning his condition became alarming. Every medical aid possible was summoned, but he sank rapidly and Monday evening he died from spinal meningitis.
He was a pupil of the second grade at Miles school and was considered a very bright student and popular among his playmates. At the police station, where he went often with his father, he was the pet of every man on the force. Besides his parents, he leaves his little brother Bobby, age two, and a host of relatives and friends.

Tucson Oct. 7, 1928
DYER PRAISES FORCE MORALE Men of Tucson's Finest Are Married; Chief Tells of Confidence
"When you appoint a policeman, appoint one you can trust. Then trust him." Jack Dyer, city marshal and chief of police, is proud of his department. with 26 members, all married men, and 19 of them tax payers, the chief has built up the organization in four years to the point where he admits he's proud of it. And he believes the success of his administration has been due to this principle of confidence. A policeman, he says, must do his work in the absence of his chief. He must be able to meet all sorts of emergencies, and meet them on his own initiative. So if he can't be trusted, he should not be a policeman. If he can be trusted, then the thing to do is to trust him.
Dyer spends none of his time driving around the streets to find out whether his men are doing their duty. He has no sympathy with espionage. He has had, on one or two occasions, to dismiss men for offences against the department rules, and when he does that is final. He does not ask of the men to do anything he would not do himself. He has walked every beat in the city as a patrolman, has acted as desk sargeant and was night captain before he became chief. His first beat was in the warehouse district. The chief was appointed patrolman by Chief Dallas Ford eight years ago. He received his appointment at 10 o'clock at night, and ten minutes later was walking his beat. Others appointed at the same time were Sargeant C.F. Ainsworth, Tony Grosetta, Al Franco, and William Lewis and those are now the veterans of the force, although Grosetta had served once before and is therefore the real dean.
In the eight years he has headed the department it has turned into the city treasury through fines something more than $80,000 and there has never been a time when the police department did not cooperate with the sheriff and the federal authorities to the utmost, although throughout all of that time both of these officers were Republican and he is a Democrat. One of the absurdities of the present city charter is that the city marshal must be elected every two years. The patrolmen are appointed for only 30 days and must be reappointed at every regular meeting of the city council. lt is only a miracle that, under this system, the city has had a real policeman at the head of its department and a real department under him. But it has, and it has been accomplished by Jack Dyer's policy of hiring only men he can trust and then trusting them.

Tucson Star Nov. 11, 1928
He's from Missouri, where they have to be shown - and where they are ready to show, if called upon.
Jack Dyer can show the world his police force has saved the citizens of Tucson more than $50,000 in one item alone, over and above the expense of running the department over the past four years while he has been chief. Tucson's "finest" have recovered lost or stolen property valued at $305,265.03 during the three years and nine months ending September 30, 1928. A high estimate for the budget of running the department for the entire four-year period would be $250,000. This means a savings to the people of the city of more than $50,000 in recovered property alone. It does not take into consideration the $83,979.20 that has been collected in police court fines - all through the zeal and vigilence of the 27 men who make up Tucson's police department. And on top of all is the incalculable saving that is effected by having a well-policed town. Crime is costly, and the boys who prevent crime save the town money.
Tucson, though it has fewer policemen in proportion to population than El Paso or Phoenix, is said to be the best policed town of it's size in Arizona or California. How often do we hear of a sensational murder or a daring robbery in Tucson, in comparison with other cities of 45,000 population? That's largely because Jack Dyer and his finest are constantly sitting on top of the lid.
"It is our earnest desire to cooperate heartily with both county and federal peace officers," Jack said yesterday. "At all times we have worked harmoniously with the sheriff's office, five of us holding deputy commissions. Likewise we have cooperated with federal peace officers in all departments - the department of justice, the secret service, prohibition and narcotic service and immigration service, including the border patrol, and others."
During the three years and nine months for which figures have been compiled, the Tucson Police Department has made 12,417 arrests. Of these, 6,225, more than half, have been for traffic violations. There have been 519 arrests under Ordinance 461, which prohibits the possession, sale or manufacturing of liquor. Seventy-four persons have been brought in for alleged violations of the National Prohibition act, 14 under the Harrison drug act, and 19 under the Dyer act, an federal statute that punishes the transportation of a stolen automobile from one state to another. Arrests for some other crime follow: Drunk and driving, 130; murder, 8; gambling and running games of chance, 34; bicycle thefts, 18; burglary and robbery, 81; shoplifting, 21; forgery and bad checks, 65; juvenile cases, 428.
John Elmer Dyer was born at Pierce City, MO 52 years ago. He spent the greater part of his early life in Colorado, and came to Tucson 12 years ago. Before going on the police force, eight years ago, his principal occupation had been that of stockman. Jack started on the police force as night patrolman, and has successively occupied the positions of day patrolman, night captain, and since Jan. 1, 1925, chief of police or city marshal. With Mrs. Dyer and their 3-year-old son, he lives in his own home at 1622 E. Broadway.
Dyer is seeking re-election. subject to the Democratic city primaries to be held next Friday.

Tucson Citizen December 12, 1931
Because he has been the police chief of Tucson for seven years, spends much time in studying his work and apparently has accomplished that nearly impossible feat of pleasing all of the people all of the time (Law breakers excepted).
He was born in Colorado, came here on a visit 14 years ago, and immediately telegraphed his wife to hurry along because he had found their future home. He started as a patrolman and worked his way to the top in four years. He is what is known as a modern police official, has no use for third degree methods, is a member of the International Police Chiefs and Sheriffs association, and his reputation for "putting the finger" on a man has spread by grapevine among undesirables so that so-called hard persons omit Tucson from their itinerary. Local traffic problems worry him more than battling crime, yet his orders are for flashing action when crime breaks. The orders his men have received are short. They are "Go after the crooks fast" and "Tell me about it later." He spends all his spare time with his family, usually motoring in the mountains nearby.

Tucson Star January 19, 1933
(No title)
The old time cattle horn may be installed as a traffic officers' whistle here following a gift to Chief Jack Dyer yesterday. L.J. Franklin of California dropped in on the police chief long enough to make him a present of a handsome horn, fresh from the head of a steer. The chief, who in his youth could blow a mighty blast on this implement, demonstrated that he still had all the old power. It was then that the chief, jesting, suggested its use for the traffic squad.

Subj: John E. Dyer
Date: 98-05-27 14:37:40 EDT
From: (Nancy Sawyer)
To: KNort21285@AOL.COM

Hello Kari,

I saw your request for information on John E. Dyer on the Western Roots list. The earliest phone directory we have in the Archives for Tucson is 1933 but John and Lulu are listed for that year and he is Chief of Police for Tucson. In 1944 he is living at 1615 E. 12th Ave and is a storekeeper. He is still listed in the 1950 city directory at 321 La Paz, no occupation listed. Most of our records for Pima County are between 1864 and 1920 so you will have to contact the county for other records. For a marriage, will or probate case, write to the Pima County Superior Court, 110 W. Congress, Tucson, AZ 85701. The Police Chief is at 270 S. Stone Ave. Tucson, AZ 85276 and they may keep old records on former police chiefs. Let me know if you want any other addresses. The City of Tucson probably has a web page too.

Nancy Sawyer
Arizona State Archives
Department of Library, Archives, and Public Records

The Arizona Daily Star, Wed. Jan. 21, 1953
Many Tucson Lawmen Began Careers Under His Watchful Eye
John E. (Jack) Dyer, 76, Tucson's last elected Chief of Police, died yesterday afternoon in a local hospital following an extended illness. He lived at 321 West La Pax Street. He is survived by his wife, Lulu of Tucson, and a son Robert, of Denver Colo., an architect.
Mr. Dyer began his career as lawman in 1924 when he defeated Dallas Ford for the office of Tucson city marshal. Until civil service provisions altered the manner of selecting a police chief, he was appointed by the city council after being elected city marshal. Mr. Dyer was last appointed chief in 1928 after being unopposed in the city election of that year. Many of the present law enforcement officers, including Sheriff Frank Eyman, started on the police force under Chief Dyer. Eyman called him "The kindest man I ever knew." In the early days of the Tucson police department, officers were appointed on a month-to-month basis. Mr. Dyer is remembered by most of his men as being more like a father than a superior officer.
Others among the men who started in law enforcement under him are Al Franco, Chet Sherman, James Herron, Milo Walker, Harry Foley, and Tom Burke. According to these officers, Chief Dyer, a railroad shopman before becoming city marshal, knew little about modern law enforcement technique, but was admired and respected by all who knew him. A compassionate man, he was always known to be good for a handout. Franco said bums, part-time loafers and town characters constantly approached the chief with an open hand and were seldom refused. Mr. Dyer was chief until the election of Mayor Henry O. Jaastad in 1932. When he left, the force consisted of 19 men and three motorcycles.
After leaving the police department, he served for five years as deputy for Sheriff Ed Echols. He had been ill for more than a year before he died. Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Reilly funeral home.

Subj: Re: [MOLAWREN-L] How about CO, NM & AZ?
Date: 2/9/99

Hope everyone isn't tired of these.

My great-grandfather, John Elmer "Jack" Dyer, was born in Lawrence County in 1876. He dropped out of school at age 10 when his father died from injuries he sustained from an accident where he chopped himself in the foot with an axe. Jack spent a summer in CO as a teenager riding stagecoach between Rifle and Glenwood Springs CO, and in 1901 he took his new bride (Ollie Phillips of Lawrence Co) and baby daughter and settled in Canon City, CO. Ollie stayed about a year and then packed up my grandmother and returned to MO where she became a licensed Free Methodist evangelist. Jack became a bartender and he lived in Canon City and Florence CO until about 1916. Jack married a woman from Florence named Lula LaPlant and they moved to Raton, NM and lived there for a few years. By 1920 they had moved to Tucson, AZ, where Jack joined the police force. He was Chief of Police in Tucson from 1924 to 1932, and he lived there until his death in 1953. Several of Jack's Dyer siblings also lived in CO and AZ - I think the group in Canon City, CO included several folks from Lawrence County area.

Jack and Lula adopted a 4 year old girl named Minnie Ireland in Raton, NM. She was the daughter of Richard T. and Pearl Ireland, and Richard gave consent for the adoption. If anyone has connections with this family, I would be interested in comparing notes with you.


Between 1871 and 1921 Tucson had thirty different marshals/chiefs of police. The turnover rate of these officials was high because of their elected status. The population of Tucson had grown to over 30,000 by 1921. The police department grew from one marshal in 1871 to 33 commissioned officers in 1921. Starting in 1909, the department was housed in the basement of the "new" City Hall at 109 North Meyer Street.

In the 1920s, under Chief Jack Dyer's administration, the police department became part of the civil service system. The department was completely reorganized into a modern police department consisting of a chief, two captains, one lieutenant, two uniformed sergeants, one desk sergeant, two detectives, two traffic officers, 17 uniform officers, one fingerprinting expert, and four school/park traffic officers. The 33 commissioned officers of the police department served a population of about 20,000 living within the 6 square miles of the city. The officers worked 12-hour shifts for an annual salary of $1,800. They were required to provide their own uniforms, badge, guns, and ammunition, and they had to be married. The first policewoman was Nora Nugent who joined the department in 1929. Her job was eliminated by the City Council in 1933. No more female police officers were hired until 1952.

Until 1930, the resident voters elected the chief of police. The city council decided that since the department was now under the civil service system, they should appoint the chief of police. Chief Dyer was the first chief appointed by the city council and was directly responsible to the city manager. New regulations also went into effect for the police department. The department was expanded into three battalions, each with a captain and three sergeants. All of the officers worked eight-hour shifts. Applicants to the force had to be between 25-35 years old and had to pass a physical exam. Officers were required to learn city laws, streets, buildings, and they had to pass a written and oral exam. They were provided with uniforms, a .38 caliber S&W revolver, and a gun belt. They were required to qualify each month with their weapon.

In 1930, the Tucson Police Department started a care-taking program. This service only applied to the crossing guard officers. From September to May, they worked as crossing guards. During the summer months, they were assigned to the new care-taking program. Officers watered and mowed lawns, cared for pets, opened windows for houses to air out, and picked grapes and produce. During the summer, one officer cared for as many as 120 houses.

Also during 1930, technology took a step forward. Until that year officers patrolling their beat, either on foot or in a vehicle, would have to check in from time to time with the dispatcher to see if any calls for service were holding or if there was a message for them. New police signal light boxes were installed throughout the city. These were connected to the police dispatch center. When a call for a particular beat came in, the dispatcher could activate the signal lights in that beat. When an officer saw a signal light flashing, he went to a call box to check in with headquarters. They would dispatch him on a call, pass a message, or give him information regarding his beat.