Chief Nathaniel Jefferson (Jeff) Hutson

Police Chief Nathaniel Jefferson (Jeff) Hutson, age 49, died in the line of duty on October 7, 1922, after he was shot to death with five or six bullets from a suspect's gun after entering the man's home at 409 William with an arrest warrant.  Patrolman Curtis Childs, who was with Chief Hutson, and Patrolman H.F. Wickham returned fire on the suspect, killing him almost instantly.

Chief Hutson began his police work in 1907 when he was appointed patrolman of the "Haarig" beat, recognized at that time as the worst in Cape Girardeau. He reportedly brought the bad characters within the law to make it one of the best behaved communities in the City. He served that beat for eight years, being elected Chief of Police in the spring of 1915 by an overwhelming vote.

As Chief, he established reform measures that had a telling effect. Although Cape Girardeau was Republican by 800 or 900 at that time, Hutson was elected Sheriff two years later; his fine record as a Cape Girardeau Patrolman causing the voters to lay politics aside and vote for him. As a Sheriff he could not exceed himself in office under the law. Hutson retired from that office January 1, 1921 and returned to Cape Girardeau. When James A. Barks was appointed Mayor of the City, following the appointment of H.H. Haas as Postmaster, one of the first acts of the new Mayor was to appoint Hutson Chief of Police. He assumed his duties March 1, 1921.

Chief Hutson had also served as the City’s Marshall from 1913 to 1916. Chief Hutson was born near Millersville, Missouri. He grew up there and then went west, spending several years in New Mexico and Colorado . He visited the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904 and, before starting back west, came through Cape Girardeau on a visit and liked it so well that he remained here. Chief Hutson was survived by his wife and six children: Mrs. Bessie Wilson, of Jackson; Jessie Hutson, a teacher in Bridges, Montana; Mrs. Linus Mouser, of Oran; Nita Hutson, a teacher in training school; and Glenn and Lynn, of the home.