Nearly 90 years after his death, Deputy Game Warden for Idaho Fish and Game, Ellsworth Arthur Teed, was accepted into both the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Idaho Peace Officers Memorial. The honors are significant and certainly well-deserved, especially given the unusual circumstances surrounding his death in 1934.
Deceased Deputy Game Warden Ellsworth Arthur Teed accepted into two law enforcement memorials
Ellsworth Arthur Teed, lost in the line of duty in 1934, was recently honored for his dedicated service to the State of Idaho.
The days following August 28, 1934 laid claim to the largest recorded search effort in Shoshone County history, involving three states, bloodhounds, airplanes and thousands of civilian search hours.
Teed was due back by early afternoon on August 28, 1934 for the funeral of a young neighbor; a funeral he would not have missed. When he didn’t return by the morning of August 29, 1934, Alma contacted local authorities who quickly mobilized a search party.
Teed‘s Model A Ford coupe was found just past the upper Mullan cemetery, near Boulder Gulch, where he had said he would be headed in on foot to investigate the illegal harvest of game. The day prior he had found evidence to suggest that poachers had illegally harvested multiple deer and game birds out of season.
Teed’s car was found locked with his lunch and coat left inside. No additional evidence found was confirmed to be linked directly to Teed. Evidence of unlawfully killed deer was found when searchers located three shallow graves containing the deer. Feathers in the area also confirmed the likely harvest of game birds during closed season.
City, county, and state officials eagerly began coordinating the search and rescue of Teed, and later the investigation of his likely death. These efforts were assisted by Washington Walla Walla Penitentiary, who brought bloodhounds over in an attempt to track Teed’s movements.
Airplanes and ships were used from Spokane, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho to fly the area south of Mullan and the St. Joe district towards Montana, as well as south to the St. Joe River. Boys from the Civilian Conservation Corps camps volunteered, mines were closed for days so workers could join the search as well as hundreds of local volunteers.
“Hot clews” were reported by papers on multiple dates; however, those were never revealed to the public and may never be known. Sightings of Teed were also reported and covered by the papers, but authorities discounted the likelihood of their merit. Shoshone Sportsman League and family had monetary rewards offered for the return of Teed dead or alive.
The search continued for well over a month until the weather no longer permitted. Teed was never found nor heard from again. Shoshone County Court documents state that Ellsworth Arthur Teed was officially declared dead on February 6, 1942.
While the particular events that unfolded on August 28, 1934 may never be known, all evidence points to Teed being lost that day while pursuing his duties as a State of Idaho Deputy Game Warden for Shoshone County district. As such, his recognition by and acceptance into both the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial honor his life and service to the State of Idaho. The Idaho Peace Officers Memorial will be unveiled in Boise on May 18, 2023.
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Research for this story was collaboratively produced by Fish and Game, Shoshone County Sheriff's Office and Bison Media Collaboration.