Stone speaks to memory of Mt. Pleasant's Denver Braden Pore
When Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association President Tom Milliron learned of the tragic death of late borough Police Chief Denver Braden Pore, he made it his mission to help right one of the story's hallmark wrongs.
That mission was accomplished Saturday with the dedication of highly visible, stone marker commemorating the life, death and sacrifice of Pore, who is purported to be the only borough officer ever slain in the line of duty.
Etched in the 400-pound block of Barre gray granite: “In honor of Denver Braden Pore, Mt. Pleasant Chief of Police, Shot April 5, 1906, in the line of duty; died April 7, 1906.”
The stone, delivered from Barre, Vt., rests just inside the main entrance to the cemetery along Braddock Road on a hillside to the right of the archway, said Milliron — who since 2002 has served as the association's leader.
“Now he will be more noticeable, and people will wonder who this guy is, then the story can explain the rest,” he added.
Earlier this year, Milliron was saddened to discover that Pore, who at age 25 was shot on April 5, 1906, and died two days later, was buried in the cemetery beneath a rather nondescript and awkwardly-placed headstone.
“Chief Pore's headstone faces away from the walking path, so no one will ever see where the stone is,” Milliron said. “You would have to be looking for it specifically, and that's not right.”
Especially considering the circumstances surrounding Pore's demise.
“In our records, we didn't have a clear explanation on anything that happened there,” Milliron said.
Pore was gunned down in the line of duty while attempting to arrest Andrew Lindsay Jr., a 22-year-old man who reportedly was intoxicated and firing off the weapon indiscriminately about town while accompanied by his friend, Thomas Wilson, Meason said.
More than one full day later, following emergency surgery, Pore died at the local hospital a few minutes after 8 a.m. on April 7, 1906. The cause of his death was said to be “the effect of the terrible wound” inflicted at the hands of Lindsay.
Rick Meason, president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society, uncovered the story through research and continues to champion the cause of establishing a statue of Pore for placement in front of the borough's municipal building at 1 Etze Ave.
“Tom read the Journal story on Chief Pore, and he'd never heard of him, and he thought it might be nice to have a more fitting monument at the cemetery,” Meason said.
After a donor who chose to remain anonymous stepped forward with the funding to pay for the stone, Milliron and Meason approached Joe Sandzimier of Sandzimier Memorials in Scottdale.
“It's an honor to do something like this,” said Sandzimier, adding that he and his wife, Valerie, helped Milliron and Meason devise the structure of the stone's message.
“With Rick, he's so involved with this and the history of the town. It's great to see people do this, memorialize our fallen heroes; and then to have an anonymous donor step forward makes it all the better,” he said.
Cindy Stevenson, Mt. Pleasant Borough councilwoman and a society member, lauded the efforts of all involved.
“I think it's a great idea,” Stevenson said.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.