At approximately 2 p.m. on Oct. 5, 1928, Officer Massie E. Morris while on patrol and collecting dog licenses was at the Myrtle Avenue Santa Fe Railroad crossing when he was struck by a train. At the time of the accident, he had turned north on Myrtle Ave. from Duarte Road. He came almost to a dead stop, looked east, but failed to look west where his view was obstructed by a parked freight train.
The train, reportedly traveling more than 40 miles per hour, struck the Morris’ unit broadside killing him instantly. The unit, demolished, was carried more than 150 feet by the train, and Morris’ body was dragged on the cowcatcher of the engine three blocks before the train came to a stop.
Morris, known to all the children and his many friends as “Tiny,” was probably one of the most popular members within the history of the police force. He was well liked by all and always had a cheery word for those he met.
More than 400 attended funeral services for Morris at the First Christian Church in Monrovia with Rev. Frank Shaul officiating. Mayor A.J. Little closed City Hall during the services.
Morris, a member of the Monrovia Police Department for six years, was born in Tennessee near the Kentucky border on April 7, 1883. He had resided in Monrovia for the past eight years.
Morris, 45, was survived by his wife, Mai; daughter, Dorothy; son, James; and his mother and four brothers and a sister who all reside in the east.