Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Lake Township Police Department

Served: 8 months*

Unit of Assignment / Detail: Lake Township

District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 56


Date of Birth: 1821

Date of Appointment: 1877

Date of Incident: 018 - Near North

End of Watch: 09 Dec 1877

Date of Interment:


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Constable James S. McElligott, Star # Unknown, aged 56 years, was an 8 month veteran of the Lake Township Police Department, elected to Lake Township.

On December 6, 1877, at 2:20 p.m., Constable James McElligott was attempting to serve a writ of replevin to seize furniture from Miss Alvina C. McKee’s home at No. 30 Rush Street (present day 442 North Rush Street). He knew of the woman’s tendency towards violence so he employed a ruse to gain entry to her home. Once inside the woman recognized him as a constable and went into her basement as he began reading the warrant. She returned from the basement holding a .22 caliber revolver. As he continued to read the warrant the woman shot him once in the abdomen. Constable McElligott was taken to the home of a local doctor, Charles E. Davis, for treatment. He was then moved to his own home where his wife and the doctor tended to his wound for the next four days as his condition worsened. He passed away as a result of his wound four days after being shot on December 9, 1877.

The woman who shot him wes acquitted of charges as it was determined the ruse Constable McElligott employed to serve the warrant was considered trespassing.

Constable McElligott was waked at his residence located at No. 4039 Halsted Street (present day 4039 North Halsted Street). His funeral mass was held at the Church of the Nativity. He was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois.

Constable James S. McElligott, born in 1821, was elected Constable of Lake Township in 1877.

Constable McElligott was survived by his wife.

The Lake Township Police Department was absorbed into the Chicago Police Department after Lake Township was annexed by the City of Chicago on June 29, 1889.

Lake Township, also known as the Town of Lake, was a 42 square mile former civil township in Cook County, Illinois, which now forms the Southwest portion of Chicago. It was bounded by Pershing Road (present day Pulaski Road) (3900 South) on the north, 138th Street on the south (13800 South), State Street (0 East/West) on the east and Cicero Avenue (4800 West) on the west.