Remember Our Heroes

Let us take a moment to remember and honor our fallen heroes, reflecting on their stories and the sacrifices they made. Their unwavering commitment and brave deeds have left an indelible mark, and their legacies continue to inspire and guide us as we work towards creating a safer and more just community for all.

Robert B. Woodall.

Patrolman Robert B. Woodall

Patrolman Robert B. Woodall, a dedicated three-year veteran of the Oberlin Police Department, was serving during the midnight shift when he was last seen at approximately 4:30 a.m. on March 10, 1971.

Concerns among the force grew when Patrolman Woodall did not respond to radio calls. An ensuing search by his fellow officers led to the discovery of his cruiser at approximately 6:23 a.m. The vehicle had veered off an icy roadway and suffered significant damage upon striking a tree at 45089 East Hamilton Street. Tragically, Patrolman Woodall was found deceased inside the vehicle.

Reacting to the loss, Oberlin City Manager Edward Smith expressed, “Woody is gone, and there are feelings of regret, shock, remorse and concern. Robert certainly performed his duties conscientiously. He was a good officer.” Woodall’s colleagues remembered him as both brilliant and aggressive in his role. Upon his appointment, he had enthusiastically shared, “I have been looking forward to this for a long time and intend to make police work my career.”

Woodall was not only close to serving his community but was also on the brink of academic achievement, set to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin College in May 1971. He left behind his wife, Christine, as well as his father, sister, and grandmother. Today, he rests beside his wife at Oberlin Westwood Cemetery in Section R, Lot 036.5, Grave #2. His name and legacy are also etched on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., specifically on Panel 51, West Wall, Line 8, serving as a steadfast reminder of his service and sacrifice.

End of watch: March 10, 1971
View Patrolman Woodall’s biography on the Officer Down Memorial Page
Constable Franklin Stone's grave.Constable Franklin Stone's badge.

Constable Franklin Stone

Recently elected as a Constable of Russia Township, Oberlin resident Franklin Stone was serving as Oberlin Village Marshal, following the sudden resignation of former Marshal Frank Hovey just six days prior at a council meeting.

On May 12, 1881, Constable Franklin Stone was tragically wounded by a gunshot during a foot pursuit in downtown Oberlin at approximately 7 p.m. This pursuit involved a subject he was attempting to arrest. The day before, Constable Stone had arrested a man by serving an assault warrant. Initially cooperative, the man agreed to accompany Constable Stone to the marshal’s office but hesitated upon passing a blacksmith shop where his father and brother were working. This hesitation prompted the family members to attack Constable Stone, facilitating the prisoner’s escape.

In response, Constable Stone swore out warrants for the father and brother, attempting to serve them the following day. During the attempted arrest of the brother, a foot chase ensued, with Constable Stone discharging his firearm. A round wounded the man, who then fled to his home at 26 Mechanic Street (now known as Locust Street). As Constable Stone approached the home, the man’s father emerged and shot him in the chest with a rifle while he was reloading his weapon. Severely wounded, Constable Stone was taken to his residence on South Professor Street, where he ultimately passed away on June 5, 1881.

Constable Stone’s death is notably the first recorded law enforcement fatality in the history of Lorain County, Ohio. He left behind his wife, Huldah, and their four children. Today, he rests alongside his family at Oberlin Westwood Cemetery, specifically in Section K, Lot 045, Grave #02B. His sacrifice and service are forever commemorated with his name inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., Panel 6, West Wall, Line 31.

End of watch: June 5, 1881
View Constable Stone’s biography on the Officer Down Memorial Page