Chicago Police Officers from Kentucky, 1900-1930sWritten by Reinette F. Jones, April 21, 2022
Cornelius Wilson, 1890-1919, from Campbellsville, KY, is one of the more recognized African Americans from Kentucky who was a Chicago police officer. He served from 1915-1919 and was the first African American police officer killed in the line of duty in Chicago. Two months later, there would be another to die in the line of duty. His name was John Simpson and he was born in Winchester, KY. Kinzie Blueitt from Bowling Green, KY, was one of the first African Americans to become a captain in the Chicago Police Department. More than 20 African American men from Kentucky were Chicago Police Officers in the early 1900s-1930s. Some of their names have been added below. In addition to providing the names, this entry is meant to give recognition to more African Americans from Kentucky being employed in the Chicago Police Department during the first three decades of the 1900s than in any one city in any other state, including Kentucky.
No indications have been found that the Chicago Police Department was recruiting African American officers from Kentucky. There is the suggested theory that there was a Kentucky connection between the persons doing the hiring and those applying to the Police Department. Added to that suggestion is the fact that the police officers listed below did not have prior law enforcement training before joining the Chicago Police Department. Some of the officers served in the military. Some may have known each other as fellow Kentuckians and encouraged each other to apply to become police officers. Much more research is needed to fully understand and explain how and why the number of African Americans from Kentucky were hired as police officers in Chicago.
These were not the first African Americans hired by the Chicago Police Department, though John Ender and Rodney Long, both from Kentucky, were among the first African American detectives hired by the Chicago Police Department. That claim can also be made in other cities, such as Los Angeles, CA, where Robert William Stewart from Lancaster, KY, was one of the first two African Americans to join the police department. There was also Detective James A. Allen in Cincinnati, OH; Officer Joseph S. Ballew in Omaha, NE; Sheriff William H. Furbush in Lee County, AR; Officer Henry Clay Smith in San Antonio, TX; and Officer Hagar Tucker in Fort Worth, TX. There were also African Americans from Kentucky who joined police departments much earlier than those in Chicago. Three African American men from Kentucky were on the police force in Indianapolis, IN, in the early 1870s: Joshua Spears, Sr., Edward Harris, and Carter Temple. Also in the 1870s, in Kentucky, Burrell Sneed was the elected marshal in Harrodsburg, KY. All who have been mentioned so far were men, but there was also Mayme Gaines Burney from Louisville, a policewoman, and a matron of the courts in Chicago.
[For more information about the men mentioned above, see their names/links at the bottom of this page. John A. Ender, Rodney C. Long, John Simpson, and Mayme G. Burney have brief entries listed below.]
AFRICAN AMERICANS FROM KENTUCKY EMPLOYED IN THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT (police officers, detectives, a matron of the court, and a misidentified employee)
Kinzie Blueitt, 1900-1971, was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Thomas and Angie G. Blueitt. The family was living in Bowling Green when they were enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census, and they were living at 1719 Belden Avenue in Chicago when enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Census. Thomas Blueitt supported his family by working as a porter at a storage company. Nineteen years later, his son Kinzie Blueitt was a police officer and would become the third African American to obtain the rank of captain in the Chicago Police Department. Kinzie joined the police force in 1929 and served for 34 years before retiring in 1963. He was with the detective bureau in 1935 when he served as the bodyguard of boxer Joe Louis at his training camp. In 1949, Police Commissioner Prendergrast named Kinzie Blueitt the Acting Captain of the Wabash Avenue Station. John H. Sengstacke, the publisher of the Chicago Defender, supported the appointment. There are many articles about Blueitt in the Chicago Daily Tribune and other newspapers. He had been the acting captain at the Wabash Avenue Station for three years and was denied promotion to captain again in 1952. Edgar Brown, a Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress, said the denial was "wholesale discrimination." Kinzie Blueitt was finally named a police captain in 1954. Available on YouTube is the radio program Destination Freedom - The Fifth District Crime Fighter (Captain Kinzie Blueitt): WMAQ - Destination Freedom. Sunday 10-10:30a.m. Written by Richard Durham. Kinzie Blueitt died in Chicago in 1971.
Jerimiah "Jerry" Richard Bowers, 1875-1932, was born in Kentucky, the son of Jerry Bowers and Mary Anderson Bowers. He was the husband of Fannie E. Keyes. The couple married in Chicago on July 28, 1914, according to the Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index (Ancestry). Jerry Bowers was a police officer at the Deering Street Station. He had been a police officer as early as 1910. In 1920, Jerry Bowers was recognized (with degradation) for bringing in Roy Charlton after Charlton fired four shots at Bowers hitting his wristwatch, the steel case for his eyeglasses, and two shots angled through his uniform not hitting his body. Jerry Bowers was not injured and he returned fire striking Roy Charlton who was captured and arrested. Jerry Bowers continued as a police officer. He was ill when he died in Kankakee, IL, in 1932. He is buried in Portsmouth, OH, where he had once lived with other family members.
John T. Brooks, 1847-1931, was born in Louisville, KY. He was a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, having served with Company D 29th U.S. Colored Infantry in 1865, according to the Database of Illinois Veterans Index (Ancestry). He was the husband of Elizabeth M. Hattison. The couple married in 1868 and was living in Chicago when they were enumerated in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records. John Brooks was employed as a machinist. He was listed in the 1910 U.S. Census as a police officer in Chicago. By 1920, he was no longer a police officer but was a barrel maker at a factory according to the U.S. Census. John T. Brooks died in Chicago and he is buried in the Rest Vale Cemetery in Alsip, IL.
Albert Nelson Buckner, 1862-1928, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Alexander and Mary Buckner. Albert Buckner was a police officer with the Chicago Police Department. His start and end dates are not known at this time. He was the husband of Amanda Buckner and the couple had three children when they were enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census. He later married Amanda S. Crabtree and the couple had one daughter. Albert Nelson Buckner died in Chicago and he is buried in Mount Greenwood Cemetery.
Mayme Gaines Burney, 1894- , was from Louisville, KY. She was the wife of Joseph Henry Burney, and the mother of Charles Howard Burney who was born in Kentucky in 1913. Joseph and Mayme married in Chicago on May 9, 1919, according to the Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index (Ancestry). The entire family was enumerated in Chicago in the 1930 U.S. Census. In 1936, Mayme G. Burney was an assistant at the newly opened Democratic headquarters for African American women in the 3rd Ward of Chicago. She is listed in the 1940 U.S. Census as a policewoman. In 1943, she is named in the newspaper as a matron at the Wabash Avenue Municipal Court. Mayme G. Burney is credited with suggesting that rather than have defendants pay fines, allow them to contribute to the African American Service Men's Center on East 49th Street. The center was said to be visited by 2,100 soldiers each week.
Samuel A. Duncan, 1866-1904, was from Winchester, KY, the son of John Duncan, a horse jockey, and Nancy Duncan, according to the 1870 U.S. Census. Samuel was the husband of Anna Long Duncan. The couple married in 1892. Their 5-year-old daughters were born in Chicago, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Samuel A. Duncan was appointed to the police force on September 19, 1901, at the 27th Precinct. He and Officer Martin V. French, also from Kentucky, worked together at the Cottage Grove Avenue Police Station. Samuel A. Duncan died of consumption and he is buried in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery in Illinois.
John A. Ender, 1848-1918, was born in Kentucky. He and John Long were two of the early African Americans who were employed in the Detective Unit of the Chicago Police Department. Ender and Long were both from Kentucky, had served together in the Army, and they worked together in the Chicago Police Detective Unit. The Detective Unit was established in 1860. John Ender had been in Chicago since at least the 1860s. He was a Civil War veteran and was living in Chicago when he enlisted in the Union Army in 1864. He served with Company B, 29th USC Infantry. He was discharged in Brownville, TX, in 1865. John Ender was married when he became a detective in the 1870s. In 1879, Detective Ender was credited for identifying fugitive Guy Horton who was wanted in Missouri. He was also credited for the capture of a young watch thief, and the capture of George O. Banyon who was turned over to the marshal in Bloomington, IL. John Ender was mention in the newspaper numerous times from 1878-1883. He was recognized again and again for the capture of African American men and boys who were said to possess stolen items. He also gave evidence about the location of African American gaming houses, he assisted other police officers with disturbances in African American neighborhoods, and he assisted those in need, such as his attempt to save a woman from a fire in her apartment. Ender was said to attend to the colored folks. In 1882, there was a newspaper story about John Ender swallowing and later retrieving a silver half dollar. By 1890, John Ender was no longer a detective with the Chicago Police Department, though he did help with the Decker murder case. In the year 1900, John Ender was admitted to the Home for Disabled Veterans in Danville, IL. He was in the home when he was enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Census. He was a widow and his parents were from Pennsylvania. John Ender died at the veterans home in 1918 and was buried in the Home Cemetery [source: see John Ender on p.1291 of the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (Ancestry)].
Martin V. French, 1853-1929, was from Mt. Sterling, KY, the son of Martin and Martha Hiner French. He was a brother to John B. French. In September of 1920, Martin V. French resigned [retired] from the Chicago Police Force after 37.5 years of service. French was the oldest police officer on the force. He had come to Chicago with his family after the U.S. Civil War. It is not known at this time if the family had been enslaved. Martin V. French was a retail grocer in 1880, the same year that he married Ollie A. Lyathecome in Chicago, according to the Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index (Ancestry). Three years later, Martin V. French was appointed a police officer at the First Precinct. He was at the Cottage Grove Avenue Police Station when he retired. Martin V. French was remembered for his presence as a police officer at the 1886 Haymarket Riot. After his retirement from the Police Department, Martin V. French was working as a security guard, when he was killed in 1929 during a robbery of the Franklin Trust and Savings Bank. He is buried in Chicago.
William Butler Green, 1854-1909, was born in Kentucky. He was the husband of Peachie Mayo Green who was also from Kentucky. The couple married in 1885. William Butler Green was a police officer in Chicago. In 1908, he testified in the Collins-Comerford Trial. Collins was the Chief of Police and was accused of telling his police officers to go out and get votes for [Edward F.] Dunne. William B. Green died in Chicago and is buried in Oak Woods Cemetery.
Erney Stansbury Hall, 1876-1929, was born in Millersburg, KY, the son of Joseph and Lucinda B. Hall. The family lived in Carlisle, KY when they were enumerated in the 1880 U.S. Census. The family lived in Cincinnati, OH, in 1900. Erney S. Hall was with the Special Police unit in Chicago. He is thought to be the same Ernie Hall who on July 10, 1911, captured fugitive Will Barnett in Milwaukee, WI. Barnett was wanted for murder in Chicago. Erney Hall was the husband of Elizabeth Carpenter; they were married in Chicago on July 17, 1918, according to the Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index (Ancestry). The couple is enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census, and Erney's [Ernie's] occupation was a special police with the city. Erney S. Hall died in Chicago in 1929 and is buried in Cincinnati, OH.
Richard W. Hall, 1877-1916, was from Drews, KY. He was the son of James and Susan Miller Hall. Richard Hall was living in Kentucky in 1880. By 1900, he was living in Chicago and working as a porter on the railroad, according to the U.S. Census. Richard W. Hall was appointed a patrolman on February 4, 1907. He was assigned to Precinct 4. Patrolman Richard W. Hall was a married man when he died of illness on February 8, 1916. He and Mary E. Trotter Hall had been married in Louisville, KY, on December 24, 1908. Their marriage license is available online in Ancestry. Richard W. Hall is buried in Shelbyville, KY.
John Harris, 1896-1947, was born in Lawrenceburg, KY, the son of Henry C. Harris and Sarah Strother Harris. The family is enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census. John Harris served in the U.S. Army during WWI and he reenlisted in December of 1941 and was separated under honorable conditions in January of 1942, according to his Headstone Application for Military Service (Ancestry). He had served in the National Guard starting in 1924, according to the National Guard Register (Ancestry). John Harris was a police officer in 1917 and was still an officer when he enlisted in the Army in 1941, according to the 1917 Chicago city directory and his WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). He was a police sergeant in the 4th District when he died of illness in 1947. John Harris died in Proviso, ILL and he is buried in the Woodlawn Hills Cemetery in Lawrenceburg, KY. See Capt. John Harris at Find A Grave.
George Samuel Heiser, 1880-, was born in Kentucky, the son of Mollie Sawyer. George S. Heiser was a police officer in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). In 1920, he was a widower living with his daughter and his mother.
John Holloway, 1893 - , was born in Covington, KY, the son of John and Julia LaGrand Holloway. John Holloway joined the Chicago Police Force in 1925, starting as a foot patrolman and advancing to a squad car patrolman. He was on the police force when enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census and when he completed his WWII Draft Registration Card. In 1939, Roosevelt Hunter shot John Holloway twice while he was escorting a tavern employee home. Holloway returned fire, hitting the shooter twice. John Holloway retired from the Chicago Police Department in 1956. He had been on the police force for just over 31 years.
Young Elias Hummer, 1887-1947, was born in Russellville, KY, the son of James and Florence King Hummer. Young E. Hummer was a Chicago police officer as early as 1917 when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). Hummer was a police officer, single, and renting a place on State Street when he was enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census. In 1921, Hummer shot and killed Hubbard Boston during a chase. Hubbard Boston and three others were said to have been involved in the attempted stickup of Emil Klaas on Sherman Street. Patrolman Young E. Hummer was stationed at the Cottage Grove Avenue Police Station. By 1940, he had retired from the Police Department when he was enumerated in the U.S. Census. Young Elias Hummer returned to Kentucky and he died from a heart attack in Adairville in 1947 [source: Kentucky Death Certificate, State File #6770].
King Jefferson, 1875-1936, from Russellville, KY, was the son of King and Sarah Jefferson. The family is enumerated in the 1880 U.S. Census. Twenty years later, in the 1900 U.S. Census, King Jefferson and his siblings were living in Chicago with their brother William Jefferson and his family. King Jefferson was employed as a porter in a store. He and his wife Marie Williams were married on July 17, 1909, according to the Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index (Ancestry). In 1920, King Jefferson was enumerated in the U.S. Census as an employee of the Chicago Police Department doing office work. He was actually a janitor. It is not known if the error was on the part of the census taker or Jefferson. In 1935, King Jefferson was hospitalized for what was said to be an attempted suicide; Jefferson was shot in the chest. The reason for his actions was said to be a pension denial. King Jefferson was receiving two pensions: one for the janitorial work that he had done during the day at the Chicago Police Department, and one for the work he had done as a night watchman at the main post office. For two years, Jefferson received a $50 a month pension from the city. He was told that he could not receive a third pension from the federal government. King Jefferson survived the shooting and died seven months later. He is buried in the Mt. Greenwood Cemetery in Chicago. King Jefferson was one of several African Americans from Kentucky who were employed as janitors in the Chicago Police Department.
Hymon Theodore Johnson, Sr., 1902-1987, born in Russellville, KY, the son of Sugg S. and Ada Mae Tyler Johnson. Hymon T. Johnson, Sr. was living in Chicago when enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census. He was married to Hazel M. Scott. The couple married in Chicago on May 14, 1919, according to the Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index (Ancestry). Hymon Sr. was employed as a laborer in a stockyard. By 1930, he was a policeman and there were three more children in the family. In 1934, Hymon Sr. was one of the seven policemen who were injured when a fellow officer lit a firecracker, as a practical joke, and in reaction to the firecracker, another police officer started shooting. Five of those injured were African American policemen. Hymon Sr. was cut on the leg. In 1940, Hymon T. Johnson, Sr. was no longer a police officer. In the 1950 U.S. Census, he had remarried and was a hotel manager. Hymon T. Johnson, Sr. died in Chicago in 1987.
Walter Clay Lackey, 1884-1924, from Lancaster, KY, was the son of David and Tiny Lotton Lackey. On January 2, 1908, Walter C. Lackey married Katie Lackey. The couple lived in Dayton, OH. They were granted a divorce in 1911. Walter C. Lackey had been living at Cornelia Roberts' hotel on Dunbar Street, according to the 1910 U.S. Census. Lackey was employed as a janitor. He was employed as a butler when he married Hattie Smith in 1914. Walter C. Lackey was working at a packing company in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). He returned to Ohio, and on June 30, 1921, he married Susie Majors from Canton, KY. The couple was living in Middletown, OH. A copy of their marriage license is in Ancestry. At some point after 1921, Walter C. Lackey became a police officer and was in Chicago when he died in 1924. He is buried in Middletown, OH.
Ernest Burdett Leavell, Sr., 1882- , was born in Garrard County, KY, the son of Lewis and Lydia Broaddus Leavell. In 1910, Ernest was married to Edna Overstreet Leavell and the couple had a son. The family was living in Bethel, KY, and Ernest was working at a distillery when they were enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Census. Ernest B. Leavell was a police officer in Evanston (Cook County), IL, when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card in 1918 (Ancestry). He and his family had moved to Evanston, according to the 1920 U.S. Census. Ernest B. Leavell, Sr. married Grace Leavell in Chicago on November 14, 1935, according to the Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index (Ancestry). Ernest Leavell had retired from the Chicago Police Department when he was enumerated in the 1940 U.S. Census and when he completed his WWII Draft Registration Card in 1942 (Ancestry).
Rodney C. Long, 1843-1908, was born in Hopkinsville, KY. He and Detective John Ender were two of the early African Americans employed in the Detective Unit of the Chicago Police Department. Both Long and Ender were from Kentucky, had served together in the Army, and they worked together as detectives. The Chicago Detective Unit was established in 1860. Rodney Long had been in Chicago since at least the 1860s: he was living in Chicago when he enlisted in the Union Army in 1863. He served with Company B, 29th Infantry and mustered out in 1865 [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records, and U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles (both in Ancestry)]. He was married to Louisa Long. Rodney Long was a railroad employee in Chicago, according to the 1870 U.S. Census. In the next census, in 1880, Rodney Long was a detective. He had been a detective since at least 1877 when he captured Thomas Tyrell who was thought to have been involved in the Alex White silver robbery. There were also newspaper articles about Rodney Long being rough toward those he arrested. There was a complaint in February of 1877, and three months later, in May of 1877, Long had to pay a $2 fine for assaulting Mary Bell. In November of 1880, Detective Rodney Long was shot while using his billy club to break up a fight between Ollie Smith and James W. Flynn. Jack Butler disagreed with the way Detective Long was handling the situation and Butler fired two shots at Long with one bullet striking Long in the neck. It was not a life-threatening injury. James W. Flynn and Jack Butler were arrested and Ollie Smith escaped. In April of 1882, John Long was charged with subornation of perjury. Detectives John Ender and Rodney Long had worked the Hyman shirt factory arson case. The accused arsonist, John Levy, said that Detective Long used threats and terrified him into signing a written confession. John Levy was illiterate. The case was dismissed by Justice Brayton. Rodney Long was no longer a police detective in April of 1885 when he objected to the notary at Hickey's Saloon that there were Italians who did not have naturalization papers and should not be given affidavits to allow them to vote. Rodney Long was beaten and thrown out of the saloon. He was arrested and thrown in the Armory before being released on bail. In 1894, Rodney Long was one of the men appointed to the Chicago Police Force to do political work until the November election. The following year, 1895, Rodney Long was on the police force when he was charged with not arresting a thief and Long was docked 10 days of pay. In 1896, Rodney Long was admitted to the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Milwaukee, WI [source: U.S., National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (Ancestry)]. In 1902, he was released from the home at his request. Rodney Long died in Chicago in 1908 and he is buried in Blue Island, IL [source: see Rodney Long at Find A Grave].
James G. Majors, 1894-1938, was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Jack and Lisa Coleman Majors. He was a WWI veteran. In 1922, Patrolman James G. Majors joined the Chicago Police Department at the Stanton Avenue Station. He had only recently been hired and was on patrol when he approached N. C. Stringfield to question him. Stringfield pulled out his gun and fired five wild shots at Majors, then took off running. Majors was not hit by any of the shots. He chased Stringfield. When Majors caught up to Stringfield, he knocked him unconscious with the butt of his gun. Stringfield was jailed at the Stanton Avenue Police Station. In 1935, Officer Majors was looking for his estranged wife when he barged into the wrong apartment and was stabbed before he could pull his service revolver. Majors was rushed to the hospital. He survived the stabbing and spent weeks recuperating before returning to work. Two years later, in 1937, Officer Majors shot two men trying to break into a grocery store. Majors fired one shot, striking one in the left arm and the same bullet struck the second man in the abdomen. The following year, on Christmas Eve of 1938, James G. Majors and his wife Margaret had a disagreement and she shot Majors in the chest. Majors was taken to the hospital where he died. His wife was arrested. James G. Majors had been with the Chicago Police Department for 16 years. He was buried in Worth, IL.
Jesse McKinney, 1889-1928, was born in Fulton, KY. He was the husband of Inez McKinney. Jesse McKinney served with Company I 813 Pioneer Infantry and the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI. The Pioneer Infantry was nicknamed the "Bear Cats." McKinney enlisted in July of 1918 and was honorably discharged in July of 1919 [source: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. (Ancestry)]. Jesse McKinney was living in Chicago in 1910 and in 1920 when he was employed as a porter. In December of 1925, Jesse McKinney was a police officer at the Stanton Avenue Station. He and his fellow officer William Holmes were investigating a complaint the day before Christmas when the men they approached opened fire and killed Holmes. McKinney returned fire, hitting the gunman four times and McKinney was shot twice in the stomach. The gunman died. McKinney was seriously wounded. He survived the shooting. He received the Daily Tribune newspaper award of $100 for his bravery and heroism. Six months later, in June of 1926, Jesse McKinney shot suspect Henry Mason who was fleeing from McKinney. Henry Mason died a week later from the gunshot wound. Jesse McKinney died two years later and he is buried in the Mt. Glenwood Cemetery.
John H. Price, Jr., 1886-1917, was born in Kentucky, the son of John and Sarah Jackson Price. The family was living in Covington, KY, when they were enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census. The family was living in Chicago when they were enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Census. John Price Jr. was a Chicago policeman. He lived with his parents on Fulton Street. In 1909, John Price, Jr. was present when his partner arrested a white woman, Mrs. John McCarthy, wife of a policeman. John Price, Jr. was fined 20 days' pay and his partner was discharged from the police department. John H. Price, Jr. died in 1917 and he is buried in Lincoln Cemetery.
Asie Reed, 1887-1959, was born in Mt. Sterling, KY. In the 1900 U.S. Census, he was living in Chicago with his Aunt Emily Warfield and her family. In the 1910 U.S. Census, Asie Reed was working as a picture framer and he was married to Anna Reed. He would later marry Susan R. McCree. By 1920, Asie Reed was a police officer in Chicago, according to the U.S. Census. He was still a police officer when his family was enumerated in the 1940 U.S. Census and in 1942 when he completed his WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). In the 1950 U.S. Census, Asie Reed was an investigator for retail drug stores.
John W. Simpson, 1889-1919, was born in Winchester, KY, the son of Silas and Mariah Simpson. The family lived in Waco, KY (Madison County) when they were enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census. John W. Simpson never married. He was a police officer in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card in 1917 (Ancestry). Two years later, John W. Simpson was the target of a sting in July of 1919. It was reported in the newspaper on July 12, 1919, that Simpson had been acting as an agent and was helping saloon keepers get rid of their excess liquor. Simpson and another man were caught during the sting with 12 quarts of whisky. John W. Simpson did not show up on his court date. A little more than two weeks later, John W. Simpson was shot and killed during the "Red Summer" race riots in Chicago. He had shown up for duty despite being on suspension. John W. Simpson was the first of the police officers to die during the riot at 31st Street and Wabash Avenue on Tuesday, July 29, 1919. He was buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island, IL, on August 5, 1919.
Frank Smith, 1859-1942, was born in Paducah, KY, the son of John and Jane Smith. He was the husband of Emma Williams who was also from Kentucky. The couple married on December 6, 1885, in Jackson, IL, according to the Illinois Marriage Index (Ancestry). In 1900, Frank Smith was a patrol wagon driver for the Chicago Police Department (U.S. Census). He was stationed at the 1st Precinct. In February of 1912, the General Superintendent of Police brought charges against Frank Smith and ordered a trial. Frank Smith, Superintendent of Horses Roll, was dismissed from the Police Department. A petition for a rehearing was put forward in March and in May of 1912, and the rehearing was ordered in June of 1912. Frank Smith was reinstated to his previous job as Superintendent of Horses Roll. In 1920, Frank Smith was listed in the U.S. Census as a policeman. Frank Smith was retired when he died in Chicago in 1942. He is buried in the Mt. Glenwood Cemetery in Chicago.
Alonzo Lapieer Spalding, 1892-1977, was born in Henderson, KY, the son of William and Lizzie Smith Spalding. Alonzo was an elevator operator at Sears and Roebuck in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card in 1917 (Ancestry). He had a wife and child. Alonzo Spalding had married Christine Yarber on August 17, 1915. By 1920, Alonzo was a police officer and there was a second daughter in the family. Alonzo was an officer at the Des Plaines Street Police Station. He was shot in the hand while pursuing four men in a truck. Spalding and his partner Henry Miles were chasing the truck because it was full of stolen merchandise from freight cars at the railroad yard. It was estimated that 25 gunshots were exchanged during the chase. Motorcycle police officer Ralph Sheehy eventually stopped the truck and then allowed the four men to go on their way. Alonzo Spalding remained on the police force. He and his wife had a third daughter when the family was enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census. In 1932, Alonzo Spalding and his partner, Patrolman Robert Granger, were shot trying to break up a fight in an apartment on Prairie Avenue. Officer Granger was killed and Spalding was injured. In the return fire, the gunman was hit three times and was later captured. Another man was accidentally shot when it was thought that he was fleeing the scene. Both Alonzo Spalding and Robert Granger were from the Wabash Avenue Police Station. Alonzo L. Spalding had retired from the Chicago Police Department by October of 1955 when he was summoned to the federal grand jury investigating income tax evasion in the policy racket. Earlier that year, Spalding had been named as one of the three police officers who held up a report of a rape charge against a probation officer. Alonzo L. Spalding died in Chicago in 1977.
Charles Alford Thomas, 1880-1935, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Etta Paterson Thomas. He was the husband of Pauline Robison, the couple married on April 21, 1916, in Chicago, according to the Illinois Marriage Index (Ancestry). Charles A. Thomas was employed as a laborer when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). He was a police officer in Bremen, Cook County, IL, when the family was enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census.
Palmer Edward Walker, 1887- , was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Palmer and Lottie Walker. The family was still living in Louisville when they were enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Census, and Palmer E. Walker was employed as a chauffeur. He was employed as a janitor in Chicago when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card in 1917 (Ancestry). He had been a musician in the Army. The following year, 1918, he joined the Chicago Police Department at the Cambridge District Station. He was later at the Cottage Grove Station. In the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census, Palmer E. Walker is listed as a police officer. In 1920, he and his siblings were living together in Chicago. Palmer Walker was with the 2nd District Station. In 1922, he participated in the Cops Run for Prizes competition. In 1930, Palmer Walker was married to Hattie Walker. He was still a police officer when he completed his WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry). Palmer E. Walker had the reputation as a crack-shot policeman; by 1949, he was said to have shot eight fugitives, killing two of them. Though the snippet in Jet magazine says that he never shot or killed anyone. Walker E. Palmer retired from the Chicago Police Department in 1953. He had been a police officer for 35 years. He had been a member of the police band. In 1956, Palmer E. Walker was working as a security guard at the Federal Savings and Loans Association. There was a robbery and one of the gunmen struck Palmer in the head. Palmer was taken to the hospital for the cut on his head.
Cazell V. Whitley, 1882- , was born in Stanford, KY, the son of George and Kate Givens Whitley. At the turn of the century, in 1900, the family was in Lexington, KY, and Cazell attended Russell School where he played baseball. In 1901, Cazell was a member of the LAMA Club, an African American organization. His name appeared in the Lexington Leader newspaper in September of 1902 when he was a guest at the Sam E. Johnson Ball held in Lexington at Kimball Hall. Earlier in the month, Cazell Whitley and Miss Birdie Carroll of Cincinnati, OH, had led the floor march at Sam E. Johnson's event for Lexington visitors. In the 1910 U.S. Census, Cazell V. Whitley was a police officer in Chicago and his wife was Sarah Whitley. He is listed as a police officer in The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago, 1913, p.1436. He was located at the Cottage Grove Police Station when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card in 1918 (Ancestry). In 1926, Officer Cazell Whitley shot and killed a man who was described as one of the two bandits who were attempting to hold up The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea store on the south side of Chicago. In 1930, Cazell Whitley was the husband of Bee Davis Whitley and she too was from Kentucky, according to the U.S. Census. Cazell V. Whitley continued his employment as a police officer until at least 1940 when he was enumerated in the U.S. Census. In the 1950 U.S. Census, he was employed as a janitor at a retail dry goods store and he and his family were living in Vicksburg, MI. He is last listed in the Vicksburg, MI, 1955 city directory.
Other African American Chicago Policemen from Kentucky, Enumerated in the U.S. Census
Alick Cromer 1900 U.S. Census
Buford Dean 1920 U.S. Census
Rosamond Fortson 1930 U.S. Census
Robert Harris 1900 U.S. Census
Report of the General Superintendent of Police of the City of Chicago to the City Council:
1. For Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 1904, published by the Department of Police 1905, p.90 (online at Google Books);
2. For the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 1911, published by the Department of Police 1912, p.54 (online at Google Books);
3. Annual Report, Year Ending December 31, 1916, published May 1, 1917, p.13 (online at Google Books).
Eighteenth Annual Report, Civil Service Commission, City of Chicago - Year 1912. Trials and Investigations, pp.147, 175, 296, 306, 308, 312. (online at Google Books); Cook County, Illinois, U. S. Deaths Index (Ancestry); "Colored Notes: Mrs. Phil Broadus," Lexington Leader, 02/09/1916, p.5; "Oldest Colored policeman quits after 37 1/2 years," Chicago Daily Tribune, 09/04/1920, p.8; High court affirms sentence of death," The Daily Journal-Gazette and Commercial-Star, 02/22/1930, p.8; Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930: Case Number 9924 [Martin V. French], provided by Northwestern University; "Marriage Licenses," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 02/06/1914, p.5; "Let wife do the work," The Dayton Herald, 09/14/1911, p.5; John Holloway in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index (Ancestry); "Policeman is shot twice; shoots assailant twice," Chicago Daily Tribune, 10/09/1939, p.8; "South side cop hangs up badge after 31 years," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 08/12/1956, part 3, p.8; "Hats off to Jerry Bowers," Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/15/1920, p.8; "Bullets just bounce off him," Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/14/1920, p.17; "Jerry Bowers to be buried here," The Portsmouth Times, 08/01/1932, p.6; "Colored cop goes home," The Portsmouth Daily Times, 10/04/1910, p.7; "At Democratic headquarters," Metropolitan News, 10/24/1936, p.11; "Municipal court fines add $35 to service center," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 01/17/1943, Part 3, p.1; "Two job man near death for self-inflicted wound," Chicago Daily Tribune, 11/30/1935, p.22; "Cops run for prizes," Chicago Daily Tribune, 09/13/1922, p.18; "Police crack shot wounds suspect fleeing robbery," Chicago Daily Tribune, 04/27/1949, p.7; "Patrolman Walker retired after 35 years as policeman," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 03/08/1953, p.5; "2 Bandits rob savings firm, 1 slugs guard," Chicago Daily Tribune, 11/27/1956, p.27; "People Are: the two squad-car loads ...," Jet, 04/02/1953, p.44; "Marriage Licenses," News-Palladium, 06/25/1954, p.15; "Kill policeman, wound second in bandit battle," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 04/10/1932, p.10; "Policeman shot in hand as car pursues thieves," Chicago Daily Tribune, 08/30/1920, p.17; "U.S. Grand Jury hears 2 cops in policy quiz," Chicago Daily Tribune, 10/26/1955, p.25; "Charge 3 police held up report on rape story," Chicago Daily Tribune, 04/20/1955, p.26; "Ambush set for policeman nets load of whisky," Chicago Daily Tribune, 07/12/1919, p.5; "Police bravery in riots wins public praise," Chicago Daily Tribune, 08/01/1919, p.2; "Red Summer of 1919: How Black WWI Vets fought back against racist mobs, a History webpage; "Tries to shorten trial of Collins," Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/15/1908, p.5; "Death Notices: Sgt. John Harris," Chicago Daily Tribune, 10/20/1947, p.26; The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Volume M. Columbus, OH, USA: The F. J. Heer Printing Co., 1926 (Ancestry); "Police bullet kills suspect," Chicago Daily Tribune, 06/26/1926, p.6; "Courage in duel with murderer wins hero prize," Chicago Daily Tribune, 01/11/1925, p.3; "Obituaries: Kinzie Blueitt," Chicago Tribune, 11/24/1971, Section 1A, p.8; "Capt. Looney moved from Wabash Station; acting head named, Chicago Daily Tribune, 02/25/1949, p.14; "Defender publisher hails Blueitt choice for police command, Chicago Daily Tribune, 02/26/1949, part 2, p.4; "Brown lashes Negro police policy of city," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 05/04/1952, part 3, p.1; "Names 3 new captains on police force," Chicago Daily Tribune, 04/16/1954, part 2, p.13; "Gunman's shots wild; cop fells him after chase," Chicago Daily Tribune, 09/29/1922, p.6; "Majors enter wrong flat; razor quicker than gun," Chicago World, 03/02/1935, front page; "Policeman's shot wounds two burglars; both seized," Chicago Daily Tribune, 01/16/1937, p.8; "Policeman shot after row in home; wife arrested," Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/24/1938, p.2; "Colored policeman, shot by his white wife, dies," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 12/25/1938, p.4; "Zealous policeman discharged," Chicago Daily Tribune, 06/10/1909, p.3; "Fleeing robber slain in chase by police," Chicago Daily Tribune, 07/11/1921, p.17; "Officer kills bandit," Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN), 05/24/1926, front page; "Lama Club," Lexington Leader, 01/16/1901, p.2; see Cazell Whitley in "Colored Circles," Lexington Leader, 09/28/1902, p.3; see Cazell Whitley in "Colored Circles," Lexington Leader, 09/16, 1902, p.5; "Chandler own," The Daily Leader, 04/19/1900, p.7; "7 Police shot in "horseplay" of squadroom," Chicago Sunday Tribune, 11/25,1934, p.15; see Detective John Ender in "Criminal," The Chicago Tribune, 06/24/1879, p.8; "The City. General News.: An owner is wanted ...," The Chicago Tribune, 07/25/1879, p.8; see Dective John Ender in "Minor crimes," The Chicago Tribune, 07/31/1879, p.7; "The City: John Ender of the city detective force ...," The Chicago Tribune, 04/20/1882, p.8; "Fatally burned," The Daily Inter Ocean, 01/04/1883, p.5; "The City in Brief: Williams, the Negro suspected of the Decker murder, makes a confession," The Daily Inter Ocean, 07/04/1890, p.7; see Detective Rodney Long in "Criminal," The Chicago Tribune, 01/24/1877, p.8; "City Brevities: Detective Rodney Long ..., The Daily Inter Ocean, 02/01/1877, p.8; "City Brevities: From the South Side Police Court ..., The Daily Inter Ocean, 05/04/1878, p.8; "Police officer shot," The Chicago Daily Telegraph, 11/03/1880, p.4; "The Tables Turned: Long, the colored detective, charged with subornation of perjury," The Chicago Tribune, 04/20/1882, p.3; "The City: Ellis Hyman, the shirt manufacturer ...," The Chicago Tribune, 04/25/1882, p.8; see ex-Detective Rodney Long in "Appleton's Outrages," The Daily Inter Ocean, 04/08/1885, p.6; "City Pays for Votes: Heelers hired to support the Democratic ticket," The Chicago Tribune, 11/04/1894, p.2; see Policeman John Long in "Police on the Rack," The Chicago Tribune, 01/20/1895, p.3; "Others of old guard," The Chicago Sunday Tribune, 06/25/1911, p.15; "First prisoner makes comment," The Chicago Daily Tribune, 07/14/1911, p.20.