More than a hundred years after his death, Hotchkiss Constable Robert G. Lewis has been honored as a fallen peace officer.
In 2017 Hotchkiss Marshal Dan Miller was contacted by Keith Cameron, historian for the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial to verify the circumstances of Constable Lewis' death in the line of duty.
On May 4, 2018, Constable Robert G. Lewis was added to the memorial in Golden, Colorado. In ceremonies, Lewis and five other fallen officers were honored at the memorial. Currently, 312 names are listed on the memorial. Every May the Colorado State Patrol conducts the public ceremony.
Chris McDonald from the Hotchkiss Marshal's Office attended the event and received a framed proclamation by Gov. John Hickenlooper declaring May 5 Colorado Law Enforcement Day.
Hotchkiss Constable Robert G. Lewis was slain on Nov. 21, 1898, on Main Street by L.A. Harrison.
Harrison had been in a disagreement with R.T. Fluke about some lots in town. Harrison was forcing Fluke to march with a shotgun at his back to his home. Harrison wanted to duel Fluke. A witness ran to Constable Lewis and told him what was happening. Constable Lewis confronted Harrison and stood in between the two. Lewis told Harrison to turn over his weapon. Harrison fired, hitting Lewis in his throat. He was killed instantly. Fluke was able to run home and barricade himself. Harrison walked out of town and hid at Leroux Creek from a posse of Hotchkiss men. Later he gave himself up to Delta County Sheriff George C. Smith.
The trial on Valentine's Day 1899 ended with Harrison being set free. No trial records or newspaper accounts exist which explain the verdict.
Constable Lewis was survived by his widow Sarah Minerva Friday Lewis, daughter Edna and son Robert.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.