Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: South Park Police Department
Served: 15 years*
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Motorcycle Division
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Crash - Motorcycle (Pursuit)
Age at Time of Death: 36
Date of Birth: 18 Jun 1880
Date of Appointment: 1901
Date of Incident: 002 - Wentworth
End of Watch: 07 Oct 1916
Date of Interment: 10 Oct 1916
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 19
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 48
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 23-E: 10
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Park Policeman John Francis Maher, Star #215, aged 36 years, was a 15 year veteran of the South Park Police Department, assigned to the Motorcycle Division.
On October 6, 1916, at 5:30 p.m., Officer Maher was on motorcycle patrol, his primary responsibility was to enforce traffic rules and regulations. Officer Maher was in pursuit of a speeding vehicle on his police motorcycle. The officer was traveling between 40 mph and 50 mph when he struck a vehicle at 37th Street and Michigan Avenue. Officer Maher was thrown from his motorcycle and sustained severe internal injuries. The driver of the auto, Mrs. Modie J. Spiegelman, wife of the Treasurer of Spiegel Home Furnishing Company, was uninjured. Her auto was severely damaged in the crash and Officer Maher’s police motorcycle was almost completely wrecked. He was transported to Mercy Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries in the early morning hours on October 7, 1916.
Officer Maher was laid to rest on October 10, 1916 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Park Policeman John Francis Maher, born on June 18,1880, received his Probationary Appointment to the South Park Police Department in 1901.
Officer Maher was survived by his wife, Elizabeth (nee Hilton), age 34 and daughter, Helen E., age 12.
Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database case not found for this incident.
The South Park Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on April 30, 1934. On May 1, 1934, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Park District Police Department, which was organized on the same date. Three park district police departments, Lincoln, West, and South were consolidated into the Chicago Park District Police Department. Fallen Officer of the South Park Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.