Carlisle police seek kin of officer killed on duty in 1893

Carlisle/West Shore

It was 126 years ago this week that Officer George Martin was shot and killed on April 8, 1893.

Martin was only 26 years old and had served on the force for three years. 

“It was late in the evening on April 8. It was a Saturday evening. He was on foot patrol, specifically in the area of South Bedford and East South Street,” Sgt. Dave Miller said.

After reports of criminal activity in the area, Martin followed a suspicious man later identified as a burglar, Charles Salyards.

“At some point, Salyards was able to work his way around Officer Martin and shot him in the back,” Miller said. 

Carlisle police want to honor Martin with a memorial plaque hung in the department. 

“As part of the family that is ongoing here with the police department, we’re looking at him as an officer who deserves some recognition. We’re looking at just trying to honor him in ways that maybe haven’t been done over the years,” Miller said. 

They’re trying to find Martin’s family members to involve them in a ceremony later this year. 

“We have had a few different people that have expressed that they may be relatives. We’re following up with some of those folks. A few people that we initially thought might be relatives have turned out not to be,” said Miller

With public records more than a century old, it’s been challenging. 

One of the struggles we’re having is his name is George H. Martin. It turns out the last name of Martin and the first name of George were very common,” Miller said. 

The department is working with a local historian and hopes to honor Martin the best they can. 

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