Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 12 years, 0 months, 18 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 6, 15th Precinct - South Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Fall - Down Elevator Shaft
Age at Time of Death: 39
Date of Birth: 1866
Date of Appointment: 02 May 1893
Date of Incident: 001 - Central
End of Watch: 20 May 1905
Date of Interment: 22 May 1905
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 259, Section 40
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 22
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 35
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 62-E: 8
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Patrick E. Blackwell, Star #1235, aged 39 years, was a 12 year, 18 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 6, 15th Precinct – South Chicago.
On May 10, 1905, Officer Blackwell was regulating traffic in the rear of the Siegel, Cooper and Company Department Store located at No. 315 South Wabash Avenue (present day 438 South Wabash Avenue). There was located an elevator shaft in the street which allowed the local businesses to accept deliveries. The shaft was open and as Officer Blackwell was directing traffic, he stepped backward to permit an approaching wagon to pass. The officer was bumped by the wagon as it passed and he fell into the elevator shaft, which was very narrow. He fell 18 feet and sustained a fracture to the skull from which he died 10 days later on May 20, 1905.
Officer Blackwell was waked at his residence located at 6748 South Calumet Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Church located at 4541 South Wood Street. He was laid to rest on May 22, 1905 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 259, Section 40.
Patrolman Patrick E. Blackwell, born in 1866, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 2, 1893.
Officer Blackwell was a member of St. Thomas Court of the Catholic Order of Foresters. He was survived by his wife, Julia; children: John and Minnie and brother, John.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #2834.
On October 14, 1910, Officer Blackwell’s star was retired by General Superintendent LeRoy T. Steward and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 505, Office of the Superintendent of Police. Officer Shea’s star was one of fourteen stars added to the newly instituted memorial to preserve the memory of officers killed in the line of duty. The tradition of retiring a star number was born. In 1928, the star case was moved to the 4th floor Office of the Superintendent at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. The Honored Star Case was later relocated to the lobby of Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters again moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Blackwell’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.