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Deputy City Marshal Green W. Rye - Plano, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 33° 01.173 W 096° 42.040
14S E 714770 N 3655803
Quick Description: A memorial to fallen Deputy City Marshall Green Wesley Rye stands in McCall Plaza, on the southeast corner of the intersection of E 15th and the railway tracks at the approach to downtown Plano, TX.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 10/8/2014 4:05:31 PM
Waymark Code: WMMMDD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 5

Long Description:
This memorial was placed here by the Plano Police Department on February 28, 2013, ninety-three years after Rye was gunned down. The bronze plaque bears three previous badges of the Plano Police Department, and the following text:

Deputy City Marshal Green W. Rye
End of Watch - February 28, 1920

In the early morning hours of February 28, 1920, Deputy Marshal Rye discovered suspects attempting to burglarize the Plano National Bank. A gun battle ensued behind the bank near what is now the corner of J Avenue and 15th Place. Deputy Marshal Rye was shot and later succumbed to his injuries. The suspects fled and no one was ever charged with his murder. Deputy Marshal Rye served the City of Plano for 18th months. Rye left behind a wife and three children.

The City of Plano has a biography on him which elaborates further, and it includes the findings of Detective Luke Grant, revealing that Rye wasn't "just the night watchman": (visit link)

Detective Grant found that on February 28, 1920 at about 04:45 hours Plano Night watchman Green W. Rye was finishing his rounds at Plano National Bank when two shots rang out. One of the .45 slugs hit Rye in the abdomen and lodged in his spine. Rye staggered about 20 feet and was able to shoot five rounds at the burglars as they climbed a fence at the rear of the bank and made their escape. It is unknown whether Rye hit any of the suspects but blood was found on the fence adjacent to a bullet hole from Rye’s pistol. Captain Charles Gunning, Chief of Detectives with the Dallas Police and Sheriff Ed Blakeman of Collin County were called to investigate. Sheriff Blakeman organized a posse. Rye’s wife, Minnie and 10 year old daughter, Annie were summoned to the house that Rye had been carried to but arrived too late. Rye died without being able to describe his attackers. Rye's last words were "my poor wife, my poor children". It was discovered that Plano National bank had been burglarized by a group of at least four people who had chiseled into the vault and made off with approx. $10,000 in WWI Victory bonds.

In March of 1921 a career criminal, Alfred Gonia, was arrested in Durant, Oklahoma during the burglary of a boxcar. Gonia had earlier escaped from a Columbus, Kansas jail where he had been incarcerated for the burglary of a jewelry store. Gonia claimed to the newspapers and everyone else who would listen that he had information about the killing of Rye. CaptainGunning and Sheriff Blakeman went to Durant to interview Gonia. Gonia claimed to have been a lookout during the burglary and shot one time in an attempt to scare Rye. Gonia maintained that he did not fire the fatal shot. Gonia attempted suicide in the jail after the last meeting with Sheriff Blackman and Captain Gunning. Gonia was sentenced to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for four years for the offense of burglary and escaped about six months later. He was recaptured in 1927 while serving time in the Wisconsin State Penitentiary under an alias. Gonia was then sent back to the Oklahoma Penitentiary to finish his sentence. Gonia was then transferred to the Kansas State Penitentiary to serve five years for the burglary of the jewelry store in Columbus, Kansas. Gonia was released in 1935. Gonia was never charged in Rye’s murder.

Detective Grant was able to find Rye’s two granddaughters who have graciously donated Rye’s 1920 badge and his 1889 Colt revolver caliber .41 (made in 1892) to the Department for display. The Plano Police Department has on display this memorabilia in the secured area of the Police Department. Rye was inducted into the Texas Peace Officer Memorial on the weekend of May 4th and 5th 2003, in Austin, Texas and will be inducted into the National Police Memorial in 2004. Rye was also honored at the Plano Police Department's Peace Officer Memorial Service in May, 2003.

Detective Grant also found out that the title "Night watchman" was what the Deputy City Marshall was called because he worked the night shift. Rye was a peace officer with powers of arrest and a true hero to the City of Plano.
Website pertaining to the memorial: [Web Link]

List if there are any visiting hours:
It is in a public area, viewable twenty four hours a day, but not well-lit at night.

Entrance fees (if it applies):
No fees

Type of memorial: Plaque

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