(March 19, 1855 - February 25, 1925)
Stoughton Police Chief 1884-1925
Obituary notice from The Stoughton News-Sentinel
Chief Richard Vanston Gone To His Final Reward. Was the best Known Man in Stoughton and Probably the Best Known and Highly Respected 
Police Official Hereabouts --Beloved by all men, women and Children.  His Position as chief will be  one hard to fill -- Town and County Officials Deeply
affected by his demise -- 41 years Chief of Police, and also Chief of Fire Dept.

Chief of Police Richard Vanston, 69, the town's oldest official in the years of service, passed away very suddenly late Wednesday afternoon in Franklin, Mass., where he stopped to make a call at the home of his nephew, Richard M. Vanston, formerly of this town. He was taken suddenly ill, and medical aid was summoned but death came before the physician arrived. This came indeed as a sudden shock to his nephew, Tobias Vanston, who had accompanied him on the journey, and to his other relatives who were present. News was received here a few moments later, and as the news spread about town deep sorrow prevailed in the hearts of the townspeople for he was one of the most popular and best Loved men in the town.

The townspeople suffered a great shock Wednesday evening, as news of the sudden death of Chief of Police Richard Vanston was received here.

The Chief, accompanied by his nephew, Tobias Vanston, had been to Worcester on a business trip, and returning through Franklin, stopped to visit another nephew, Richard M. Vanston. As the Chief stepped from his machine, he collapsed and expired before medical aid could reach him up the reins which had been so suddenly left without a head. 

For 45 years Mr. Vanston was connected with the Stoughton police department, having been appointed to the force in 1880. His ability was soon recognized and in 1884 he received the appointment of Chief of Police, being the first and only Chief the town has had.

As court officer in the District Court of Southern Norfolk, Chief Vanston has served with Judge Oscar A. Marden for 27 years. He enjoyed high regard in Superior Court and other official circles.

Chief Vanston has figured prominently in public life. He began his early career as a torch boy in the local fire department on July 16, 1870. He received several promotions, and in May, 1883, became Chief of the Fire Department. He held this position until May, 1906, when he declined re-appointment. He has on many occasions served as judge at the various firemen's musters.

For many years he has been the local representative of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to children, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. For 40 years he served as truant officer. He was highly regarded in official circles and enjoyed an extensive acquaintance.

He was born in Stoughton, March 19, 1855, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Vanston. He received his education in the schools of Stoughton, later securing employment with the Daniel French Company.

He was a member of Stoughton Court, M.C.O.F., Stoughton Veteran Firemen's Association, Post 72, G.A.R. Associates, a director of the Stoughton Co-operative Bank and the Massachusetts Police Chiefs' Association.

He is survived by his widow, Mary A. (Kelley) Vanston, two sons, Thomas of Malden and Frederick J. of this town; four daughters, Mrs. Frank Noonan of Roslindale, Misses Helen B., Elizabeth G., and Stella V., all of Stoughton; a sister, Mrs. Catherine Atkinson of Braintree; two grandchildren Richard of Stoughton and Paul Singer of Roslindale. Funeral services will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church Saturday morning at nine thirty.


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