Jesse Louden
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Officer Jesse Louden - Died June 18, 1923

Jesse Louden

Officer Jesse Louden, 49, was shot by a burglary suspect in a corridor adjoining Deal’s pharmacy, at the southwest corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street, on June 14, 1923.  Officer Louden was taken to Methodist Hospital where he died at 9:30 am on Monday, June 18.

Officer Louden and his partner, Frank J. Seifert, went to the drug store in the dark early morning hours of Thursday, June 14, in response to information a burglar had been seen attempting to enter the store.  Officer Seifert was driving the small automobile in which the officers were riding.  Arriving at the scene, Officer Louden, flashlight in hand, jumped out of the car, telling Officer Seifert he intended to look in the corridor adjoining the store.

Officer Seifert stopped the car and went to the front door of the drug store to look into the building when he heard a shot fired.  Officer Seifert turned in time to see the suspect running across Central Avenue and east on 16th Street.   Officer Seifert drew his revolver and ran after the suspect, firing three shots.  The suspect returned fire.

Officer Louden called out he had been shot, and Officer Seifert returned to him.   The bullet had hit Officer Louden in the abdomen and ranged downward, striking his spinal column and lodging below the right kidney.  He was taken to hospital where he died on June 18.

Neighbors who had heard the shooting telephoned police headquarters, and an emergency squad responded.  All available police officers were assigned to the case and started an intense search of the north side.  Several suspects were arrested during the day.

In February 1924, Charles Edward Henry was arrested and made a signed a confession after interrogation.   His trial in the spring of 1924 was held in Shelby Circuit court on a change of venue out of Marion County.   A defense was made that Henry was insane as a result of his service in France during WWI.   After lengthy deliberation, Henry was found guilty of murder in the second degree.  The verdict carried a sentence of life imprisonment.

Officer Louden had been a member of the police department for eleven years.  The major portion of his work in the department was as a motor policeman.  

He was survived by his wife, Susie, and a married daughter and a son.  Having no pension at the time of his death, Officer Louden’s wife and 15-year old son were left with little money for support.  His small life insurance policy was almost entirely exhausted to pay funeral and hospital bills.

Officer Louden was planning to buy a home just prior to his death.  His wife told that “every evening or so he would read the ads about the little bungalows that were for sale, out in the edge of town and wonder whether we could manage to add a bit to what we were paying out in rent and buy a place like that.  But it takes so much just to live and buy a few clothes that we never seemed to get anything ahead."

Funeral services were held at the residence, with burial in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Sources:  Indianapolis Star June 15, 19, 23, 1923; June 3, 7, 1924.