MORRIS – As residents and visitors drive down Route 47 in Morris over the Illinois River Bridge, a new sign is visible dedicating the road to Patrolman Clarence Roseland, and igniting memories and thoughts of Morris’s fallen officer.
On Sept. 7 State Representative Welter and Senator Sue Rezin held a ceremony dedicating Route 47 from Pine Bluff Road to Washington Street as Patrolman Clarence Roseland Memorial Road. Welter, Morris Police Chief Alicia Steffes, and grandson Keith Roseland all shared comments. Following their words the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry held a ribbon cutting for the new road name.
“It was truly a privilege to celebrate the dedication of the Patrolman Clarence Roseland Memorial Road with the Roseland family and the dozens of local residents who joined us to honor his memory,” Welter said. “Even though it has been nearly nine decades since he lost his life in the line of duty, our community still remembers Clarence Roseland, and now with this road, future generations will not only know his name but hopefully be able to learn his story and be inspired by his service.”
Roseland died in the line of duty on Feb. 3, 1935. Chief Steffes told the crowd Roseland and his partner, Patrolman Ed Garrity, were making patrol rounds in downtown Morris. As Roseland walked the streets checking on stores, he reached Gable’s Grocery Store and found the door open. When he entered he was confronted by a man with a gun. Three men robbing the store forced Roseland at gunpoint to return to his patrol vehicle. When Garrity returned to the squad car he found Roseland had been shot and killed. After several months, Louis Lutz was apprehended and given a long sentence in the Joliet Penitentiary where he later died.
“Since my first day with the Morris Police Department I was told the history of Clarence Roseland. I was also told that it was our job, as his law enforcement family, to make sure our future department and this community remember him and the sacrifice he made, because in remembering, we honor him and his family,” Steffes said in her remarks.
Welter sponsored House Joint Resolution 46 designating the road and Rezin sponsored it in the Senate. The ceremony was attended by many members of the Roseland family, local officials, and past and present law enforcement members.
For more information contact State Representative David Welter’s office at 815-416-1475.