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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Oran"Nanny"Pape, outstanding athlete and local hero, became the first member of the Iowa State Patrol to be killed in the line of duty. Honoring his memory are (left to right) Virgil Stammeyer, Richard Bakey, and Stan Kuch--members of the Iowa State Patrol. Years after this photo was taken, Stammeyer became the third officer shot. Just days short of retirement when he was wounded, he recovered. Photo credit: Richard Bakey.

STAMMEYER, Virgil. (Waucoma, IA, February 26, 1926--Dubuque, IA, May 17, 2008). Member, Iowa State Patrol. Appointed to the Patrol on August 15, 1951, Stammeyer was originally stationed in Elkader until his transfer to Dubuque in 1956.

On June 22, 1990 Stammeyer became the third officer from Dubuque shot in the line of duty. Then within days of retirement, he was in pursuit of a suspect driving north from Maquoketa. Robert and Lynda Douglas, of Springfield, Ohio were suspected of committing a grocery store robbery in Maquoketa, Iowa. The pair left Maquoketa with Stammeyer pursuing them. The chase, which reached speeds of 90 mph took the suspects and the following officers through Jackson and Dubuque counties. (1)

During the course of the pursuit Stammeyer was shot in the throat and shoulders, but continued to follow until the suspect's vehicle spun out near Key West, Iowa. Robert Douglas killed his wife before officers shot and arrested him. Douglas was later convicted of murder. Stammeyer retired on July 1, 1990. (2) In 1992 after forty years of service, he became only the second Iowan ever to receive the Commissioner's Certificate of Valor. (3)



1. "Virgil F. Stammeyer," Wikipedia. Online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgil_Stammeyer

2. Ibid.

3. Japsen, Bruce. "Iowa Trooper Cited for Valor," Telegraph Herald, November 19, 1992. p. 1