Dedication for Fallen Trooper William Rae Kellems
The Amick-Baker-Kellems FOP Lodge #156, the Scott County Sheriffs' Office, and the Indiana State Police Honors Trooper William Rae Kellems who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice
Scott County-On 7-27-2022, officers from the Amick-Baker-Kellems FOP Lodge #156, the Scott County Sheriffs' Office, and the Indiana State Police gathered at the Mid-America Science Park in Scottsburg to honor the sacrifice made by Trooper William Rae Kellems, killed September 30th, 1957 on South Gardner Street (US31) near Cherry Street in Scottsburg. The family of Trooper Kellems and the family of Trooper Dugald Pellot of the Michigan State Police, along with Michigan State Police Troopers, converged upon the community as a show of solidarity to honor the sacrifice made by these troopers and their families. Trooper Pellot was shot and killed earlier the same day in Michigan after another Michigan State Trooper was shot multiple times by the same criminals who ultimately murdered Trooper Kellems in Indiana. A ceremony was held at the Mid-America Science Park in Scottsburg, where Sheriff Goodin, Don Huffman (the nephew of Trooper Kellems), Clif Edwards (the author of the book "Heart Shots", which tells the story of the shooting deaths of Trooper Kellems and Trooper Pellot), Kay Pellot-Anderson (the widow of Trooper Pellot) and Mr. Melvin Ray, a lifelong resident of Scottsburg and the lone remaining witness to the murder of Trooper Kellems, spoke. Mr. Ray provided a recollection of the heartbreaking last moments he shared with Trooper Kellems as he passed away. Sheriff Goodin presented Mr. Ray with a "Scott County Sheriff's Outstanding Citizen Service Award" for his inherent bravery and compassion shown to the mortally wounded Trooper moments after he was shot. Local pastor Sonny Fugate provided opening and closing blessings, reflecting on the sacrifice and suffering of those left behind and the Indiana State Police Honor Guard Team posted the colors and provided a "formal overwatch" during the ceremony. Upon the conclusion of the observance, everyone loaded onto a bus provided by Scott County School District #2 for the short trip to the site of the memorial sign(s) unveiling, located at the intersection of South Gardner Street (US31) and Cherry Street. Officers with the Amick-Baker-Kellems FOP Lodge #156, the Scott County Sheriffs' Office, and the Indiana State Police (with the assistance of the City of Scottsburg Street Department) placed the two (2) memorial signs along the front side of the Santa Fe Restaurant, near the spot where Trooper Kellems was murdered. Traffic was halted momentarily on US31 while the signs were unveiled and the families were allowed to reflect on the moment at hand. Sheriff Goodin shared the following..."nearly 65 years ago, Trooper William Rae Kellems gave his life in service to our community. We are honored to have with us today his family and the family of Michigan State Police Trooper Dugald Pellot...on behalf of the people of Scott County, thank you for allowing us to honor their memory and your sacrifice, and know we will never forget what they forewent so that others may live".
Note: Sheriff Goodin wishes to thank the City of Scottsburg, specifically the City Street Department and the staff of the Mid-America Science Park, along with Mr. Scott Howser and Mr. Edgar Sumale of the Santa Fe Restaurant, and the Scott County School District #2 (bus driver Polly Higgins) for their support of this project.
Gardner Street (US31) where Trooper Kellems was killed (1957) Don Huffman (nephew of Trooper Kellems), Melvin Ray, Kay Pellot-Anderson (widow of trooper Dugald Pellot), a
Michigan State Police Trooper, and Sheriff Goodin with Deputies stand for a photo with the memorial signs.
Contact Sheriff Jerry Goodin at Scott County Sheriff's Office (812)752-8400.