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William C. Warren (Los Angeles City Marshal)

William C. Warren (Los Angeles City Marshal)

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William C. Warren was the first regularly employed law-enforcement officer in the city of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...


William C. Warren was born on a farm in southwestern Michigan in 1836. He migrated to California. by June 1860 Warren was the deputy of City Marshal Thomas Trafford and was living with him. In December 1860 he married Juanita Lopez a daughter of the Paredon Blanco settler Jose Francisco Lopez. The couple had three daughters. The eldest, Ida, became the mother of the later Los Angeles County Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz.

As a Deputy City Marshal, at the end of 1861, Warren assisted J. E. Pleasants, overseeing one of William Wolfskill
William Wolfskill
William Wolfskill was a cowboy and agronomist from Los Angeles, California, who was highly influential in the development of California's agricultural industry in the 19th century.-Valencia orange:...

's ranches, to pursue and capture several horse thieves, who were sent to the penitentiary.

Warren, a Republican, was elected Los Angeles City Marshal
Los Angeles City Marshal
The Los Angeles City Marshal was the chief law enforcement officer of Los Angeles in the city's early years.The City Marshal was an office created in 1850 upon the city's incorporation. The title was City Marshal, Tax and Licence Collector. The title of Chief of Police was added in 1871. In 1876...

 from 1865 to 1869 with the help of the Californio
Californio is a term used to identify a Spanish-speaking Catholic people, regardless of race, born in California before 1848...

 voters in this Democrat dominated city. As City Marshal once again in 1869, Warren also served as the first head of the local police force
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 of six officers in a city that had about 5,600 residents. The city granted Warren $50 to furnish his headquarters and $25 a month for rent. He also was dog catcher and tax collector, being paid 25% of all the tax money he collected. However the following year:
"During the second marshalship of William C. Warren, when Joe Dye
Joseph Franklin Dye
Joseph Franklin Dye , teamster, alleged member of the Mason Henry Gang, lawman, rancher and oilman.-Early life:Joseph Franklin Dye was born in Union County, Kentucky in 1831 as one of 16 children in a family that later settled in Texas. In 1849, he and two of his brothers came west in the...

, was one of his deputy officers, there was great traffic in Chinese women, one of whom was kidnapped and carried off to San Diego. A reward of a hundred dollars was offered for her return, and she was brought back on a charge of theft and tried in the Court of Justice Trafford, on Temple Street near Spring. During the trial, on October 31, 1870, Warren and Dye fell into a dispute as to the reward; and the quarrel was renewed outside the courtroom. At a spot near the corner of Spring and Temple streets Dye shot and killed Warren; and in the scrimmage several other persons standing near were wounded. Dye was tried, but acquitted." Dye won an acquittal but the disposition of the reward is unknown.


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