William C. Warren (city marshal)

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William C. Warren
Born 1836
Michigan, U.S.
Died October 31, 1870 (aged 33–34)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Relatives Juanita (née Lopez), wife
three daughters
Police career
Department Los Angeles City Marshal
Country  United States of America
Allegiance  Los Angeles, California
Years of service 10
Rank Deputy City Marshal (1860–1865)
City Marshal (1865–1870)

William C. Warren (1836 - 1870) was the first regularly employed law enforcement officer in the city of Los Angeles.

William C. Warren was born on a farm in southwestern Michigan in 1836. He migrated to California and by June 1860 Warren was the deputy of City Marshal Thomas Trafford and was living with him. In December 1860 he married Juanita Lopez, a daughter of the Paredon Blanco settler Jose Francisco Lopez. The couple had three daughters. The eldest, Ida, became the mother of the later Los Angeles County Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz.

As a deputy city marshal, at the end of 1861, Warren assisted J. E. Pleasants, overseeing one of William Wolfskill's ranches, to pursue and capture several horse thieves who were sent to the penitentiary.[1]

Warren, a Republican, was elected Los Angeles City Marshal from 1865 to 1869 with the help of the Californio voters in this Democrat dominated city. As city marshal once again in 1869, Warren also served as the first head of the local police force of six officers in a city that had about 5,600 residents. The city granted Warren $50 to furnish his headquarters and $25 a month for rent. He also was dog catcher and tax collector, being paid 25% of all the tax money he collected.[2] However the following year:

"During the second marshalship of William C. Warren, when Joe Dye, was one of his deputy officers, there was great traffic in Chinese women, one of whom was kidnapped and carried off to San Diego. A reward of a hundred dollars was offered for her return, and she was brought back on a charge of theft and tried in the Court of Justice Trafford, on Temple Street near Spring. During the trial, on October 31, 1870, Warren and Dye fell into a dispute as to the reward; and the quarrel was renewed outside the courtroom. At a spot near the corner of Spring and Temple streets Dye shot and killed Warren; and in the scrimmage several other persons standing near were wounded. Dye was tried, but acquitted."[3] Dye won an acquittal but the disposition of the reward is unknown.[4]


  1. ^ Harris Newmark, Edited by Maurice H. Newmark; Marco R. Newmark, Sixty years in Southern California, 1853-1913, containing the reminiscences of Harris Newmark 2nd ed., The Knickerbocker Press, New York, 1926. p. 327.
  2. ^ Los Angeles Police Department website
  3. ^ Harris Newmark, Sixty years in Southern California, 1853-1913, p. 418.
  4. ^ R. D. Wade Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine.


See also[edit]