St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara asks county residents to honor the memory of Sheriff Daniel S. Carlton killed in the line of duty May 22, 1915 — 98 years ago
St. Lucie County Wednesday faces the sad occasion of the 98th anniversary of the murder of Sheriff Daniel S. Carlton, who was killed on May 22, 1915, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
"Sheriff Carlton, the first elected Sheriff of St. Lucie County, died at age 43 after a gunfight in downtown Fort Pierce," Sheriff Mascara said. "I am asking all county residents to honor his memory on the 98th anniversary of his death in service to the people of our county."
Sheriff Carlton is one of six members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office to lose his life in the line of duty, including two St. Lucie County Sheriffs who were killed in office: Sheriff Carlton and Sheriff William Robert Monroe, our county's fourth Sheriff, who died March 25, 1921.
The most recent was Sgt. Gary Morales, 35, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Feb. 28. A few minutes later, deputies arrested Eriese Alphonso Tisdale, 25, of Fort Pierce, who subsequently was indicted for murder and is awaiting trial.
Sheriff Daniel Stephen Carlton was born on Feb. 6, 1872, near what is now Arcadia, Florida. His family later moved to St. Lucie County, and he married Theresa Molly Hilliard on April 30, 1904.
Sheriff Carlton was a cattleman, citrus grower and butcher. In 1907 he became the first elected Sheriff of St. Lucie County.
The year Carlton became Sheriff, an amusement park manager from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, named John D. Flournoy was in Florida looking for a new attraction for his park when he became aware of the many Indian graves in the St. Lucie County area.
Flournoy helped himself to the bones of Tom Tiger, a Seminole Indian Chief. This angered the Indians. Then-Chief Billy Bowlegs threatened an uprising unless the bones were returned.
After a great deal of negotiation, Flournoy returned the bones to Sheriff Carlton, who returned them to his friend, Chief Bowlegs. Perhaps that is why Sheriff Carlton was often described as "Friend of the Seminoles."
Sheriff Carlton died the night of May 22, 1915, in a downtown Fort Pierce shootout with the city's Night Marshal, James M. Disney. Sheriff Carlton was 43. The Sheriff died shortly after the shooting. Disney, who was shot three times, was treated by a doctor in Fort Pierce and was going to be put on a train so he could be taken to a hospital in Miami for further treatment when a mob seized Disney and began beating him.
Deputies rescued Disney, and was sent to a Miami hospital for treatment. Disney had been in town for three months before the shooting.
His first trial ended in a mistrial. His second trial was in Orlando. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison. He was paroled after serving half of his sentence.
On May 28, 1915, the Governor of Florida appointed William Jones to complete Sheriff Carlton's term of office.
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