Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 16:46:16 -0500 From: Greg Aymond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks to the efforts of a Marler descendant and the Alexandria Police Department, at the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Wall, located on Judiciary Square in Washington D.C., at Panel 43, E-20, one can view the name of Benjamin Garfield Aymond, an Alexandria, Louisiana police officer who was slain in the line of duty.
Benjamin Garfield Aymond, known as "B.G.", was born in Plaucheville, Louisiana in 1882 to Zenon Aymond (a Confederate veteran) and Lucinda Recouly. Ben's siblings were: Celoma (m. to Isaiah Fogleman); Edouard Metholomy Aymond (m. to Domicile Laborde); Amos Aymond; Helena Aymond; Alice Aymond (m. to Joseph Scroggs); Charles Edgard Aymond; John Peter F. Aymond; Cornelia Leona Aymond (m. to Baptiste Beauregard Broussard); Newtice Grant Aymond (m. 1- to Rosa Moreland and 2-to Marguerite Simmons, and who also served as an Alexandria Police officer and Rapides Parish Sheriff deputy); and Annette "Nettie" Aymond (m. to Martin L. Broussard, who was also an Alexandria Police officer).
On the night of November 10, 1904, after being on the Alexandria Police force for only a few weeks, Ben was on patrol with his brother-in-law, Officer M. L. Broussard, near the Alexandria railroad station. Shortly after the two went on their separate patrols, Ben heard gunshots nearby, and ran to investigate. Ben entered into a Negro boarding house to find Iretta Parker lying dead from a gunshot wound. Parker's cousin, Peggy Underwood, informed Officer Aymond that her estranged husband, Tom Underwood, had shot her cousin and that he had just gone through the window. Officer Aymond gave chase and confronted Underwood attempting to escape through the back courtyard. Office Aymond ordered Underwood to halt, but Underwood turned to face Aymond and fired his Colt 45, striking Ben Aymond in the abdomen. Officer Aymond's pistol, unfortunately had misfired. After Underwood made his escape, Officer Aymond's brother-in-law, Officer M. L. Broussard, arrived on the scene to find Aymond dying from his wounds.
Tom Underwood was well known to local police, and had been ran out of town previously by Alexandria Police Chief Roberts. Underwood fled town after murdering Officer Aymond. The City of Alexandria offered a $250 reward for Underwood's capture, followed by a personal reward offer of $100 from Rapides Parish Sheriff Kilpatrick. Rapides Parish Judge, Hon. W.F. Blackman, prompted the Alexandria City council to pay the remainder of Officer's Aymond's salary under his 3 month contract to Aymond's widow. The widow, Sidney Marler Aymond, had just buried her father a few days earlier and now buried her husband on the second anniversary of their wedding. The Alexandria Daily Town Talk started a fund for the widow, with Judge J.B. Thornton and Dr. C.J. Gremillion being among the first contributors.
On November 21, 1904, Underwood was captured by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff, Reid, while Underwood was riding a freight train from Leesville to Lake Charles. Rapides Parish Sheriff Kilpatrick and Deputy Francis David, escorted Underwood back to Alexandria, from Lake Charles. Justice being a bit swifter in those days, Tom Underwood, after being tried and convicted, was hanged on February 25, 1905, in Alexandria. Many of Officer Aymond's family attended the hanging. Now deceased members of the family reported that Deputy David turned Underwood over to friends and family of Officer Aymond for lynching, but there is no indication of anything other than a lawful execution in the newspaper articles of that time. Officer B. G. Aymond's brother, brother-in-law and a nephew continued his service to law enforcement in central Louisiana.
Sources: Interviews with Aymond family members; The Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Nov. 16, 1904; and The Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Sec. A, p. 1 (12/01/1997).