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Officer John McQuaide Schomaker
(June 28, 1896 Feb. 27, 1929)

Officer William Howard Marple
(June 13, 1893 Feb. 27, 1929)


In late February 1929, retired building contractor Burton O. Carr, 75, was a patient at the General Hospital in Los Angeles. Carr had been suffering from a lengthy illness and, when he took a turn for the worst on Wednesday, Feb. 27, it was decided that his relatives should be notified that the end was near.

LAPD Officers John Schomaker, 32, and William Marple, 35, of the Highland Park Division volunteered to notify one of Carr's relatives living on Eagledale Avenue in the Eagle Rock section of the city.

The officers were racing west on York Boulevard, approaching Avenue 45 on a slight downhill slope, when another car pulled out in front of them from a side street. The driver of the police car -- it isn't known which officer was behind the wheel -- hit the brakes, but the band on the right rear wheel failed to take hold, and the car started to skid.

Based on the skid marks at the scene, the police car slid sideways for about 200 feet before hitting a high curb near a driveway, then rolled over three times. Both of the left wheels were broken off at the hubs. Schomaker was found lying beside the overturned car, while Marple had been thrown about 20 feet from the wreckage. Both died at the scene.

Carr died later that evening.

William Howard Marple was born June 13, 1893, in Barberton, Ohio, the youngest of five children of English immigrants Joseph and Fanny Elizabeth Cyples Marple. The oldest child, Joseph, was born in England. The next three -- Fannie, Albert and Harry -- were born in New Jersey, while William was born in Ohio.

Joseph and Fanny Marple worked in the decorative pottery business, and all of their children worked in the family business while they were growing up. Shortly after the turn of the century, the family moved to the Los Angeles area, where Joseph Marple died in 1909, at the age of 58. He's buried at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale.

The following year, daughter Fannie married Charles Retts, a carpenter, and the couple moved to a house on Mariposa Street in Tropico (which was annexed by Glendale in 1918), while the other four children and their mother moved to a house on Palmer Avenue, just a few blocks away. Both houses were less than a mile north of Forest Lawn Glendale.

Gradually, the Marple boys married, moved into their own homes, and started their own families, although none of them moved out of Glendale. Joseph became a physician and osteopath, Albert was a newspaper writer and editor, and Harry worked as a plasterer. By 1920, William Marple and his mother were the only ones left in the house on Palmer Avenue. Fanny Marple died in June 1922, at the age of 68, and was buried with her husband at Forest Lawn Glendale.

William Marple worked as a mechanic and ran a poultry ranch in Glendale. He later worked as a motorcycle officer for the Glendale Police Department before joining the LAPD on Sept. 6, 1927. Marple was also preparing for his future. He purchased 350 acres of land near Hermosilla, in northwest Mexico, which he planned to develop and where he eventually planned to move.

Marple was buried near his parents at Forest Lawn Glendale. They were later joined by his brothers, Albert Marple (1883 1940), and his wife, Cora (1888 1973); and Dr. Joseph Marple (1877 1958), his wife, Mabel (1887 1972), and their son, Joseph Marple Jr. (1919 1950).

Fannie E. Marple Retts (1880 1960) is also at Forest Lawn Glendale, but in a different section of the cemetery. Harry Marple (1889 1949) is at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, along with his son, Harry Marple Jr. (1919 - 1949). Harry Marple's wife and Harry Jr.'s mother, Jessie Elizabeth Crouch Marple (1892 - 1985), is buried in Portland, Oregon.

John McQuaide Schomaker was born in June 28, 1896 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the second of eight children of Charles Frank and Martha H. McQuaide Schomaker. Schomaker's father, the son of German immigrants, worked first as a bookkeeper, then as a farmer. Schomaker's great-great-grandfather on his mother's side, Patrick McQuaide (1743 1820), fought with the Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Schomaker enlisted in the Army on April 1, 1918, and served in France as part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) during World War I, under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. Schomaker was wounded in action on Oct. 4, 1918, but remained in France until July 25, 1919. He returned to the U.S., and was discharged on Aug. 13, 1919.

After the war, Schomaker returned home to Pennsylvania, and worked with his father and siblings on the family farm in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. His mother, Martha Schomaker, worked as a teacher.

On April 5, 1922, Schomaker, 25, married 21-year-old Helen Gertrude Wagner in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Their first child, Charles Edward Schomaker, was born Jan. 13, 1923, followed by a daughter, Martha Francis Schomaker -- named after her grandmother -- born April 25, 1924. Martha died March 13, 1925, a month before her first birthday.

Shortly after Martha's death, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Schomaker joined the LAPD on Dec. 31, 1926.

Schomaker died two weeks after his wife's 28th birthday, leaving her and their 6-year-old son. He's also buried at Forest Lawn Glendale. Helen Schomaker remarried in 1933. She died in New Jersey in 1985, at the age of 84.

The memorial signs for Officers Marple and Schomaker are located on the northwest corner of York Boulevard and Avenue 45, directly in front of the Los Angeles Fire Department's Station 55.



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