Patrolman Conard Tolson
Conard Tolson was born on March 15, 1890, in Knoxville, Tennessee to John Milburn (Melvin) Tolson and Harriet Miller. (Note: Patrolman Tolson’s name is listed as both ‘Conard’ and ‘Conrad’ in historical documentation but it is thought that Conard was his legal name and Conrad was the more usual American pronunciation.) Conard was one of nine children.
The U.S. Army veteran married Hassie Lee Longmire, and the couple welcomed daughter, Brucie Lee in 1913. The family served as missionaries in China in the early 1920s before moving to Washington State.
Patrolman Tolson was commissioned with the Washington State Highway Patrol on November 12, 1928, under the command of Chief William Cole. The family was living in the Tacoma area with his brother, Thomas Clifton (T.C.) Tolson, who was also serving in the Washington State Highway Patrol.
Patrolman Tolson died on March 24, 1929, at the age of 39. He died from injuries sustained the previous day in a collision between his motorcycle and an oncoming automobile on the Seattle-Tacoma highway near the Pierce-King County line. At the time of his death, Patrolman Tolson had served four months with the Washington State Patrol.
Patrolman Tolson was survived by his wife and daughter. Hassie Tolson passed away in 1970, and has since been buried alongside Patrolman Tolson at the Tacoma Cemetery. His daughter, Brucie Lee, passed away in 1954. Patrolman Tolson’s father, John Milburn (Melvin), passed away in 1924. His mother, Harriet, passed away in 1933. His brother, T.C, passed away in 1975.
Patrolman Tolson's great-grandchildren, Gary, Cheryl, and Linda, all live in the Montesano area.
In May of 2016, Patrolman Tolson was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on March 24, 1929, by the Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor Committee.
Please take a moment to remember Patrolman Tolson and his family.