Off and on for nearly 30 years, author Jackie Boor gathered story pieces about the life and controversial death of her great-grandfather, three-term Nye County Sheriff Tom Logan, who was killed in the line of duty on April 7, 1906. The circumstances of that tragic event and the subsequent trial that led to the acquittal of his assailant have long been a mystery to family members and historians alike.
Boor’s book, “LOGAN: The Honorable Life and Scandalous Death of a Western Lawman,” was published by Cable Publishing and released in 2014. On May 13, the Midwest Independent Publishing Association awarded “LOGAN” first place in the history book category. The award recognizes creativity in content and execution, overall book quality, and the book’s unique contribution to its subject area.
Additionally, “LOGAN” recently placed in two categories of the annual Eric Hoffer Book Awards. It was selected as a da Vinci Eye finalist for superior cover artwork and also earned an honorable mention as a reference book, which encompasses traditional and emerging reference areas including history, psychology, biography, education, sports, recreation, training, travel, and how-to. The Eric Hoffer Book Award is one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses.
With nearly 100 photos and maps, and more than a dozen period poems, “LOGAN is Nevada history at its best,” noted historian Guy Rocha. “(Boor’s) rigorous research and engaging writing underscore her personal odyssey to find the truth for generations of her family confused and haunted by Logan’s controversial and untimely demise.”
“In the beginning,” says Boor, “I thought I would write a pamphlet for Logan descendants, but along the way I realized the story was much bigger, especially in regard to challenges faced by law enforcement transitioning from the Wild West to the 20th century.”
Recently in Washington, D.C., to sign LOGAN at various Police Memorial Week venues, as well as the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, Boor interacted with many law enforcement officers and family members from across the nation who had lost someone close in the line of duty.
She remembers one woman in particular whose father was killed nearly 20 years ago when she was nine. While standing at the memorial wall, the woman noticed a uniformed officer helping a young boy capture a penciled rubbing of his father’s name. She snapped a photo and asked how she might get that photo to him. Then she learned that the boy was nine years old. “That’s the same age I was,” she told him, “when I lost my daddy.”
The young woman described to Boor how a wide smile appeared on the boy’s saddened face and she knew she had helped soften his grief and look forward. They plan to stay in touch forever.
“One of the heartbreaks of Tom Logan’s death,” Boor says, “is that he left behind eight children, ages three to 22.”
Boor goes on to describe how the Logan children lived their entire lives under an unresolved cloud of mystery as to how their father had died and the trial that acquitted the killer. That confusion greatly overshadowed his years of service and accomplishment.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a total of 1,501 law-enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years.
In light of such statistics and the infinite number of impacts they generate, Boor stresses the importance of fully honoring those who pay the ultimate price at the time of their death as well as maintaining a justice system well-equipped to process that incident in a fair and balanced manner.
“Obviously, that attention matters at the time,” she says, “but it will also matter to history and future descendants of both the fallen and those responsible.”
On May 28, 2011, then Nye County Sheriff Anthony DeMeo posthumously awarded Tom Logan the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart.