James Payton “Pate” Jones, Correctional Officer
Oklahoma State Reformatory
End of Watch: February 17, 1935
On February 17, 1935, Correctional Officer James Payton “Pate” Jones was on duty in the main entrance tower. Two inmates led a mass escape attempt with two guns that had smuggled in to them.
Unfortunately, a group of women and children were taking a tour of the prison at the same time and the inmates took them hostage. As the group approached the main tower, Officer Jones was fatally shot by one of the inmates. Officer Jones’ wife was standing on a front porch of the officers’ barracks a short distance away and witnessed her husband’s murder.
Officer Jones had been with the agency for three years. He was survived by his wife and two children.