Recollection: Lima’s first “female police officer”

“Does it look like you’re pinched by a female police officer?” Lima News asked readers in June 1923. “Some residents of Ottawa Township (Lima) will enjoy this novel experience after January 1, 1924, if police candidate Gertrude Miller is nominated and elected this fall. I can do it.”

She was, and a man named Hob Millsap, whose news described as a “husky Westerner,” had suspicious pleasures of being her first arrest. On January 2, 1924, her first working day, News wrote that Miller was “instructed to arrest him on statutory charges by a 15-year-old girl he was dating.”

“Miss Miller weighs 95 pounds and is short. Millsap tilts the beam at 175 and is 6 feet. Knowing that he works for Ohio Power, the girl officer went to his office. Walking to Millsap, she read him a warrant. Surprised to talk, the prisoner was handcuffed and allowed to be taken away, “the newspaper wrote.

Millsap was the first of 579 men and 25 women arrested before Miller resigned on January 1, 1932, the news wrote in 1954.

Known in the newspaper as “Girl Police Officer,” Miller, about five feet tall, was reelected three times and served as a court police officer for Ottawa Township’s Justice of the Peace Ernest Botkin and Robert Bennett for eight years. ..

Miller was born on July 4, 1902 in Henry James and Burna Cynthia Miller in Mercer County. In June 1923, when she was working as a clerk in Botkin’s office, she was not yet 21 years old, but decided to run for the police officer’s office.

“For the past two years, Miss Miller has been a quick reporter at the office of Justice of the Peace Ernest Botkin,” the news reported on June 10, 1923. .. She is a skilled jockey and loves dancing, swimming and fishing. Miss Miller tilts the beam for just £ 101, but is confident in her ability to arrest the most desperate offenders. “

Miller was also convinced she would win the election.

“Miss Miller made his last effort on Monday,” the news wrote on November 5, 1923. Plants in the city. “

“Do you want to win?” She asked. “You must win me,” she declared.

In October 1927, when Miller called for a third term, the Remaster and Republican Bulletin said: One way around here, and in Lima, to lead other cities in the United States is to have the Women’s Consulate, Miss Gertrude Miller. “

“It’s not new for women to take office. There are very few female sheriffs, but there are female clerk in court, police officers, and female officers in juvenile court, but Lima was elected by voters. There was a female police officer left. “

Newspapers frequently featured the novelty of Miller, who holds the position of police officer, but two other Allen County women were elected to that position in the same election. On November 17, 1923, the Republican Bulletin called the women’s consulate a “product of constitutional amendment” (which gave women the right to vote in the 19th amendment), and women “have their own ideas about law enforcement. There are. “

The newspaper Miller wrote, “I promised to reinforce 90 pounds with a practical gun,” but Mary Lausch, elected by the bus township, “looks at the farmer next door. She. If he was still making moonshine when he took office, the first act would be a raid on his place, January 1. “

Elida’s third woman, Ninna Haffer, was elected as a police officer in American Township, even though she hadn’t run for office.

“Since no one was looking for an office, almost every voter filled in the name of a friend and Miss Haffer won four in her credit,” the Republican Bulletin wrote. It is unknown if Haffer has ever taken office.

Miller did, and the story about “Girls Constable” became a staple of the newspaper.

“On Thursday, when JE McClelland, the manager of the McClelland Institute, an occult school, wasn’t overwhelmed by spiritual implications, the spiritual wave was short-circuited. Civil lawsuits. He said all the cases were wrong. The girl’s police officer suggested leaving. She was stranded under the auspices of two strong court officers, “the news reported on June 19, 1924.

Two months later, in mid-August 1924, Miller led the attack by Prohibition.

“In recent weeks, state bans who have given Lima a large berth have been here on Friday by helping a group led by Ottawa Township Girl Consul Gertrude Miller attack in the westernmost private housing section. Congratulations on returning to. ”The news was reported in an article on the top page of August 16, 1924.

According to the newspaper, the assault on Bryce Avenue’s house seized a “large copper distiller” and a 13-gallon “finished product” that was eventually washed away into manholes on North Street and Main Street.

The assault and arrest of violent criminals under the abstinence law was a hot topic, but the October 1927 Republican Bulletin said, “She was most often arrested by men charged with unsupported charges. There was. “

Nevertheless, Miller proved to be attractive to the media. She was included in Ripley’s “Maybe Incredible” and was filmed for Universal Weekly News Reel in December 1924. Under the headline “Our Midget Girl Cops Break into the News Reel,” News reports that Miller disarms Good (Lima Police Officer Earl Good, who plays the perpetrator) and handcuffs him. Showed her ability in front of the camera. ” “

A month ago, the news said she starred in Putty’s “Talkie Newsreel.”

“When Ottawa Township Constable Gertrude Miller attended the State Theater on Wednesday, it was a pleasant surprise to see and hear herself when others saw and heard her. I posed for a putty newsreel a week ago, “the news wrote on December 26, 1929.

In April 1931, Miller announced the candidacy of a clerk in the Lima City Court, which was to be established on January 1, 1932, on behalf of the Justice of the Peace in Ottawa Township. By then, Ottawa Township had been swallowed by Lima. Miller finished fourth in the election.

In 1935, she married Thomas J. Mitz of Oklahoma and eventually moved to California, where she worked as a bookkeeper for the Grain Producers Association. She died in 1954 in Brawley, California.

Gertrude Miller was a police officer in Ottawa Township in Allen County from January 2, 1924 to January 1, 1932. The Lima City Court has replaced peace and police justice. She joined Bath Township Mary Lausch and Elida Ninna Haffer as women elected as police officers in Allen County in 1923.

An article in Lima News on June 10, 1923 expresses Gertrude Miller’s interest in the elected position of police officer in Ottawa Township.

Contact Greg Hoersten at

Recollection: Lima’s first “female police officer”

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