Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 8 months, 26 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 15, 29th Precinct - Warren
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 29
Date of Birth: 07 Oct 1879
Date of Appointment: 09 Apr 1906
Date of Incident: 012 - Near West
End of Watch: 04 Jan 1908
Date of Interment: 07 Jan 1908
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot N6, Block 35, Section Y
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 11
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 38
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 14-W: 4
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Michael D. Callahan, Star #2842, aged 29 years, was a 1 year, 8 month, 26 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 15, 29th Precinct – Warren.
On January 3, 1908, at 8:00 p.m., Officer Callahan was on patrol with his partner, Patrolman James Monohan. The two officers were on the lookout for the man who had just shot Detective Sergeant William R. Mooney. As was their customary practice when on the lookout for criminals, the two officers would walk a half a block apart. The Officers were walking Southbound on Hoyne Avenue with Officer Callahan in the lead. At Washington Boulevard two pairs of young men, one on either side of the street, caught the attention of Officer Callahan. The young men, as was later learned, were held up all day in a room they had rented located at No. 356 West Madison Street (present day 1137 West Madison Street). They had been planning an evening of robberies and when Officer Callahan spotted them they were looking for a victims.
The four youths were David Anderson age 20, of No. 493 Park Avenue (present day 2510 West Maypole Avenue) was a paroled prisoner from Pontiac Reformatory, John Dennin of No. 333 Washington Boulevard (present day 1140 West Washington Boulevard), Joseph Lemke of No. 870 Grand Avenue (present day 2355 West Grand Avenue), Bert McCagg a teamster of No. 454 North Ridgeway Avenue (present day 931 North Ridgeway Avenue). Anderson and McCagg were on the same side of the street as Officer Callahan, while the other two were across the street. Officer Callahan approached and grabbed Anderson by the arm and asked to give an account of himself. In response Anderson fired striking Officer Callahan in the abdomen once. Hearing the gunfire, Dennin and Lemke fled the scene. Anderson Then turned to flee as Officer Callahan drew his revolver and returned fire. McCagg also turned to flee and as he turned around fired by Officer Callahan struck him. As Anderson fled he fired two more times, one of those rounds striking McCagg in the abdomen. Officer Callahan’s shots missed Anderson as he ran. McCagg was struck a second time and fell to the ground as he attempted to flee. In an instant Officer Callahan was on him and the two men began to grapple on the sidewalk.
Meanwhile Officer Monohan seeing what had just transpired began to chase Anderson. Also hearing the commotion, Patrolman Jerry Lynch who was standing at Madison Street and Hoyne Avenue ran to assist. Upon arrival Officer Lynch observed Officer Callahan with his knee resting on McCagg’s chest. Officer Callahan asked Officer Lynch to summon a Patrol Wagon. When the Patrol Wagon arrived the two officers and McCagg got inside. Officer Callahan said, “I got this fellow, but I Guess the other fellow got me.” It was at this time that Officer Lynch realized he was shot and Officer Callahan was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital where he died from his wounds the next day on January 4, 1908. McCagg was taken to Cook County Hospital where he died from his wounds on January 6, 1908.
Following the shooting, Captain Healy from the Warren Avenue Station went to the Cook County Hospital to question McCagg. McCagg gave up his companion’s name and address. Captain Healy with Detectives Fitzgerald, Murphy, O’Keefe and Shea relocated to the address and found Anderson in bed, Anderson denied any connection with the shooting, but a black hat and a muffler similar to those described by Officer Callahan were found in his room. A short time later, Patrolman Reed of the Warren Avenue Station and Patrolman O’Neill of the Desplaines Street Station apprehended Dennin and Lemke at Madison Street and Central Avenue. During questioning the two men confirmed McCagg’s statements about the shooting and to be on the lookout to commit robberies.
On January 6, 1908, David Anderson was arrested and held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner for murder. John Dennin and Joseph Lemke were also arrested and held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner as accessories. Dennin and Anderson were tried, convicted and on July 1, 1908 sentenced. Dennin received 14 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet and Anderson was to hang on October 16, 1908. On May, 19, 1909, Lemke’s case was stricken off the record. Anderson, who was sentenced to hang, was granted a stay of execution pending the hearing of an appeal to the Supreme Court, it is unknown what the outcome of the appeal was.
Officer Callahan was waked at his residence located at 1349 West Congress Street (present day 3027 West Congress Street). His funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Sorrow Church located at 3121 West Jackson Boulevard. He was laid to rest on January 7, 1908 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot N6, Block 35, Section Y.
Patrolman Michael D. Callahan, born October 7, 1879, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 9, 1906.
Officer Callahan was a member of Division 1 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Katharina (nee Barton); daughter, Margaret and sister, Mrs. Kearins.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #469.
On October 14, 1910, Officer Callahan’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 Callahan’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.