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West Virginia State Trooper

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Travel and Highway Signs261 of 280Stop Sign ?found co hwy 10 sign
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    Posted 11 years ago

    (1 item)

    I am a State Trooper in West Virginia and in our Archives there is a wooden Trooper. I will post the history of this item below but first I will describe how I found one. I was working and had taken an alarm call at a residence in the county I am assigned to. When I arrived, I look at this persons garage and see a wooden Trooper standing guard there. Needless to say I was blown away due to how rare it is to see them as you will understand after reading the history. Long story short I asked the owner if he would be willing to sell it and he thinks for a minute and says he will take $25.00 for it. I was extremely happy and after getting off work went back and picked it up. Not that I would ever sell it but I was wondering if you could tell me what it could possibly be valued at. Also the history you will read talks of a picture being taken, I will post this picture along with the pictures of the one I purchased.

    On June 13, 1938, Trooper Paul Ebbert was told to go home, put on a dress uniform and return to the Capitol as soon as possible. He thought he was to escort Governor Holt on an out of state trip. Instead, because at 6'3", he was West Virginia's tallest trooper, he was to be photographed.

    From this photo image, plywood troopers were made, painted and distributed in pairs to elementary schools in all 55 counties of West Virginia. These wooden troopers had lettering on the front that said, "SLOW, SCHOOL ZONE" 15 m.p.h.. The back had black and white stripes and said, "RESUME SPEED, THANK YOU, THE STATE ROAD COMMISSION OF WV."

    To the bottom of each of these wooden troopers was affixed a metal pipe that would either fit over another pipe or into a hole drilled into the center of the highway. Morning and evening, and sometimes at noon, a wooden trooper was placed by a Patrol Student at each end of the school zone facing upcoming traffic. These wooden sentinals stood guard, advising motorists to drive slowly and with caution. When not in use, the troopers were stored in the school house, usually in what was called the "cloak room".

    Trooper Ebbert patrolled Rt. 21 from Charleston to the Jackson County line and made friends, especially with children.

    In 1957, Trooper Ebbert was promoted to First Sergeant and transferred to Company A, Shinnston, West Virginia, where he had a massive heart attack and died at the age of 50. He is burried in the McGuire Cemetery, Weston, West Virginia.

    Thanks, Mike

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    1. ebbtide1944, 10 years ago
      Wow! I Googled to see if I could find any information on this sign from West Virgina School zones that was used in the 40's and 50's and find this wonderful account of the actual happenings surrounding its coming to life by another WVA State Trooper. To think that another State Trooper would have the interest to research it makes me very proud of the department that my father was a part of until his untimely death in 1957. You may have guessed by now that the Trooper shown on this sign was my father Paul Edward Ebbert and to this day I can still identify with people my age (67) from West Virginia by mentioning this. I am so happy that you feel you have a keepsake that will stay in your family for a long time. I remember when Christmas came aroung Daddy would always go to the Marx Toy Company in Clarksburg and get toys to give out to children that were poor and not going to get anything for Christmas. I was young and really did not understand a lot of that then but looking back I now realize that my personality was being formed by my fathers actions and neither of us knew it. (Well maybe one of us did.) Thank you for the heart warming story about my father and the respect you are showing his image on the sign. Greg Ebbert/Sorrento, Florida
    2. dwburge, 9 years ago
      I am a WV State Police officer, and collect many memorabilia items due to my love of history and of the WV State Police. You have truely found a great piece of history, and i as well have found one of these signs. Their are few left, Yours, the one in the state police archives in Institute, a retired member whom recently moved to Daytona FL, a couple others the other troopers at in-service has said they found like we did in garage areas, and my great wooden trooper. I as well have no plan of ever selling my wooden trooper, and have kept it proudly for the last nine years. I found my wooden trooper in Tucker County, WV during my first tour in Tucker County, and found that it had been under water two times 1989 flood, and again in the mid 90's. The trooper was covered in mud in the back of an antique vehicle body shop. The owner at the time belonged to the same fraternal organization as me, and after i seen it and inquired if it was for sale, the owner while i was off work, delivered it to my office. You can imagine my supprise when i walked in to my office and the wooden trooper was so proudly holding his hand up as to tell me I am home at the office. I traveled to the owners residence, and he advised me that the wooden trooper was home, and he know it would always have a good home. My wooden trooper is not as in good shape as yours or others due to water and mud damage, but I have cherished my wooden trooper and researched it as much as possible. I am glad to see the posts on here, and the letter post here from 1st Sgt. Ebberts family.
    3. dwburge, 9 years ago
      I don't know for sure how many are still around, but i would like to know. I think i would be safe to say less than thirty. I know one sold last year for over $750.00 in great shape.
    4. jaybirdmurphy, 8 years ago
      Yes, very rare indeed. However, I personally know of three (3) in the Clarksburg, WV, area. One (1) is for sale and the other two (2) are in personal collections. Two (2) of these three (3) have been restored and I just got a split second view of the third one.
    5. nebbert74, 7 years ago
      Sgt. Ebbert was the grandfather of my children. They have been taught to have great pride in him. I have one sign in perfect condition. One day I will find more for my four children.
    6. jaybirdmurphy, 7 years ago
      nebbert74......Send me an email and I can give you the name of a local retiree that just might part with his since you are family. (

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