Slain Mason City railroad officer getting name on national monument after 100 years

O’Brien was working at the Mason City Train Depot on South Pennsylvania Ave. when he was shot and killed by a hobo who was riding the rails.

Posted: May 15, 2019 9:07 PM
Updated: May 16, 2019 6:44 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa- A railroad officer killed while on duty more 100 years ago is now getting his name on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.

Timothy O’Brein was killed in 1893. According to the Mason City Police Department, O’Brien was working at the Mason City Train Depot on South Pennsylvania Ave. when he tried to stop 2 hobos who were riding the rails. One of them got away. The other was able to get a hold of O’Brien’s service weapon and fatally shot him.

The Mason City Police Department was the one heading up the effort because the company Officer O’Brien worked for no longer exists.

Police said they had to track the family down. None of them live in the area. This was just to get his name on the state monument. That work was then turned over to get on the federal monument a gesture his family appreciates.

“Being that this line of duty death happened in Mason City over 100 years ago and there hasn’t been any recognition, it is just the right thing to do,” said Captain Mike McKelvey of the Mason City Police Department.

Capt. McKelvey says this sort of recognition didn’t come around until around the 60’s. He says there are likely a lot of officers who are not on the memorial.

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