An undated photo of LAPD officers from SkyscraperCity.com, which reposts images from all over the Internet (including mine), often without acknowledgement.
I recently learned that this photo, published in Capt. Art Sjoquist’s “History of the Los Angeles Police Department” as “The first Los Angeles Police Department, 1876” has been dated incorrectly.
Sjoquist’s “History of the Los Angeles Police Department,” published in 1984, is an outgrowth of Sjoquist’s 1972 master’s thesis “From Posses to Professionals: A History of the Los Angeles Police Department.” Both of these volumes are essential research tools but hard to obtain, particularly “History of the Los Angeles Police Department,” which is almost impossible to find at any price. (The Los Angeles Public Library index lists both books).
Glynn Martin, executive director of the Los Angeles Police Museum, has done more recent research that questions the traditional date of this photo. Martin notes that a copy of the picture is displayed at the museum with a plaque reading “LAPD First Paid Officers, 1869.”
In his 2006 blog post, Martin says that one of the officers in the photo has been identified as H.W. Marden, who wore Badge No. 21.
|Above, Officer Henry W. Marden in an image taken from the group photo. At right, Marden in a photo dated 1889, courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Museum.|
As best as I can determine, the photo of the six officers was taken between 1887 and 1888.
Here’s the first part of my research, which tells us the following:
First of all, the men are wearing the Series 1 badge. Sjoquist’s history indicates that the badge was in use from 1869 until it was replaced by the Series 2 badge in 1890. A collector says that they were in use from 1876 to 1890. Either way, the Series 1 badges indicate the photo was taken no later than 1890.
Now for Police Officer Henry W. Marden, whom we find in the 1894 Los Angeles City Directory, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library:
The Times reported on March 27, 1901, that Marden resigned from the LAPD after 14 years with the department:
He is mentioned in a Dec. 8, 1887, story in the Herald.
And further research reveals that he was a Civil War veteran who died in 1909 at the age of 68. He is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Veterans Administration records show that he was a private in Company B of the 25th Wisconsin Infantry.
To be continued.