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Fallen Trooper Theodore R Chambers

Theodore R Chambers

Theodore R Chambers
1900 - 1945

Born on November 7, 1900 in Prairie City, Oregon to Henry P. and Sarah Mack Chambers, Theodore Roosevelt "Ted" Chambers was raised in Eastern Oregon along with his three brothers and three sisters. He graduated from Prairie City high school and attended Purdue University for a short time. He worked in road construction for several years before joining the State Traffic Division in 1929 and was assigned to the Ontario area for most of his career. Sergeant Chambers was the fourth and last officer killed in the line of duty who had been a member of the old Oregon State Traffic Division. He joined the Oregon State Police when it replaced the Traffic Division in August of 1931. He served the State of Oregon for over 16 years.

Two ex-convicts, Kenneth Bailey and Ronald Duffy, who were wanted for armed robbery in Nampa, Idaho and who had on Friday, April 27, 1945 escaped from Nampa city police were suspected of fleeing through the area of Arlington, Oregon. On Saturday the 28th Oregon State Police Troopers R. N. "Dick" O'Brien and William "Bill" Bones located their car and contacted Sergeant Chambers. On Sunday morning footprints in the snow lead Sergeant Chambers, State Police Private Richard O'Brien, Weiser Police Chief Clarence Saunders and Malheur Co. Deputy Al Walters to an abandoned schoolhouse where the foursome conducted a search. They proceeded with guns at the ready. All seemed in order until Sergeant Chambers opened a storage closet in the basement where Duffy was hiding. Duffy fired hitting Sergeant Chambers in the leg and then Bailey shot him twice killing him.  Private O'Brien was shot in the back, but he was pulled to safety by Deputy Walters. Chief Saunders was taken hostage by the suspects who then climbed out of a window and made their way across a nearby field.  From 150 yards away, a volunteer shot Duffy in the head killing him instantly. Kenneth Bailey, wounded and bleeding, gave up and was convicted of first degree murder. He was the only man in history to be executed for murder of a State Policeman. After his recovery, Bill Bones continued on with the Oregon State Police for many years. Theodore Chambers was married to Jewell Timms, and they had twin sons. Sergeant Chambers is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario. He was survived by his wife, his 16-year-old sons, two step-daughters, three brothers and three sisters.

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