Regarding the line-of-duty death of Night Watchman David Nathan Morehouse of the City of Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California on Wednesday, May 7, 1919.
The Board of Trustees of the City of Paso Robles appointed Night Watchman Morehouse on December 16, 1918 at a salary of $85.00 per month. Morehouse was the sole law enforcement presence for Paso Robles during the nighttime hours. Morehouse was shot and killed about 5:00 a.m. on May 7, 1919, while investigating two suspicious persons fleeing across a vacant lot next to the Mercantile corner. The two suspicious persons had just stolen $200.00 worth of firearms, ammunition, razors, knives and two hats from the Mercantile store.
The Fowler City Marshal, John Ford, arrested Edwin Langdon and Hugh Moore in Fowler, Fresno County. Edwin Langdon confessed to the murder of Night Watchman Morehouse to Assistant District Attorney F.W. Docker, Fresno Police Department Inspectors Enos and Merritt, Marshal Ford and Court Stenographer James W. Gearhart on May 23, 1919. Langdon was tried and convicted of the first-degree murder of Morehouse in San Luis Obispo County Superior court on August 28, 1919, and sentenced Saturday, May 30, 1919, to the State Prison of the State of California, at San Quentin, for the term of his natural life.
Langdon made the following statements during his confession retarding the shooting of Morehouse: “There was no other way out. He had us covered and it was his life or ours.” When asked if he was scared, he replied, “Scared? Hell. I stayed there and shot all of my bullets.” Speaking of Morehouse he said, “I’ll hand it to him. It takes a pretty brave fellow to walk into chaps loaded with rifles.”
A local newspaper reported that Morehouse fired his revolver three times at his assailants.
David Nathan Morehouse, 58, was born in Healdsburg, Sonoma County on August 4, 1860 and spent his youth growing up on his father’s homestead in San Luis Obispo County. On May 27, 1885, Morehouse married Flora Cotter of Healdsburg. Their union produced four children, two boys and two girls.