Posted 10 years ago
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.