Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 6 years, 9 months, 2 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 20, 25th Precinct - Shakespeare

District of Incident (Present Day): 014 - Shakespeare

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly

Age at Time of Death: 41


Date of Birth: 19 Nov 1876

Date of Appointment: 04 Mar 1911

Date of Incident: 014 - Shakespeare

End of Watch: 06 Dec 1917

Date of Interment: 10 Dec 1917


Interment Details

 Cemetery: St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery - Niles, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-4

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 18

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 52

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 9-W: 1

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban, Star #518, aged 41 years, was a 6 year, 9 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 20, 25th Precinct – Shakespeare.

On December 4, 1917, at 5:35 a.m., Detective Sergeant Urban was on duty investigating burglaries in the community. Detective Sergeant Urban entered a closed store, the National Tea Company, located at 2830 West Armitage Avenue. At the same time Patrolman Charles Weinecke was walking his beat and observed Detective Sergeant Urban inside the store. Officer Weinecke mistook Urban for a burglar and in the confusion Weinecke fired a shot, striking Detective Sergeant Urban. Detective Sergeant Urban was taken to a St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he died two days later on December 6, 1917.

Patrolman Charles Weinecke was exonerated of all responsibility for Detective Sergeant Urban’s death by the Coroner’s Jury.

Detective Sergeant Urban was waked at his residence located at 2244 South Powell Avenue (present day Campbell Avenue). He was laid to rest on December 10, 1917 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave –, Lot 36, Block B, Section 3.

Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban, born November 19, 1876, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 4, 1911. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career. On November 12, 1913, he was promoted to the rank of 2nd Class Detective Sergeant, becoming effective on November 13, 1913 and his title being officially changed by order of the city council on January 11, 1915. Prior to Detective Sergeant Urban’s promotion he was issued Star #149 as seen in the accompanying photo.

Detective Sergeant Urban was survived by his wife, Rose B. (nee Pubantz) and children: Loretta Edna, Richard V. and Virginia Kathryn Schlader.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #5385.

Ironically, Sergeant O’Connell’s star number was reissued after his death to Sergeant Walter J. Riley, who was also killed in the Line of Duty on October 26, 1926.

Note: The photo of Sergeant Urban is of him wearing his previously assigned star number #149. At the time of the incident his assigned star number was #518.