Local Bridge Honors Only Iowa State Trooper Murdered On Duty
By Mark Carlson, Reporter
CEDAR COUNTY, Iowa - The first of ten bridges that will honor state troopers killed in the line of duty has been officially dedicated in Cedar County. The Interstate 80 bridge over the Cedar River became the "Trooper Oran Pape Memorial Bridge" late Thursday morning.
"We really feel it's fitting that for those officers that spent their lives patrolling these highways now to have a bridge that will memorialize what they did," said Colonel Patrick Hoye, chief of the Iowa State Patrol. "All of these sites were picked because they were close in proximity to where the officers lost their lives."
Oran Pape died after being taken hostage along Highway 61 in Muscatine County on April 28, 1936. Pape had pulled over a stolen vehicle being driven by Roscoe Barton. Barton demanded Pape get into the vehicle with him after holding him at gunpoint. A short time later a struggle ensued, which resulted in Pape being shot in the abdomen and Barton in the head. Barton died shortly after arriving at the hospital while Pape died more than a day later.
"He was from this area, he was a great role model as a person as an athlete as a public servant," said senior Trooper Dan Loussaert.
Prior to joining the State Patrol, Pape was a star football player at the University of Iowa and Dubuque Senior High School. He later went on to play football for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League where he was a part of the 1930 NFL championship team.
"Great history at the University of Iowa, when he was a young man he was a life guard credited with saving lives in Dubuque, so he truly was what we in the Iowa State Patrol like to think of as a (servant) to the citizens of Iowa," said Hoye.
Later this month the Interstate 80 bridge over the Iowa River in Johnson County will be named in honor of former Trooper Allen Nieland. That same day will also mark the dedication of the Iowa River bridge on Interstate 380, which will be dedicated to former Trooper Harold DeGear. Dedications across the state will continue through October.
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