Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Rogers Park Police Department
Served: Length of Service Unknown
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Patrol
District of Incident (Present Day): 024 - Rogers Park
Location of Occurrence:
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 35
Date of Birth: 31 Aug 1856
Date of Appointment:
Date of Incident: 024 - Rogers Park
End of Watch: 22 Jun 1892
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Rosehill Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 5, Line 21
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 13-E: 29
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Clarence H. Bixler, Star # Unknown, aged 35 years, was a veteran of the Rogers Park Police Department, assigned to Patrol.
On June 21, 1892, at 2:00 p.m., Frank Doyle borrowed his brother’s bicycle without asking his permission and rode to Rosehill Cemetery. This angered William Doyle and he started in pursuit of his brother intending, as he said, “to take the wheel away from him by force, if necessary.” The two brothers met in the cemetery and William demanded the return of his bicycle. Frank replied, “I will give it to you when I am ready and not before.“ William then said, “We won’t settle it now, but we will when we get back to Rogers Park,“ as he turned and left the cemetery.
Frank Doyle rode back to Rogers Park, arriving there at 7:30 p.m. On the way he met several friends, and to one he remarked, “I am going to fix the first man who tries to separate me from my brother tonight.“ Subsequent developments proved that his prophesy was true.
Near the Police Station located at 7075 North Clark Street in the village of Rogers Park the two brothers met again. A crowd formed and urged the two to fight, it is said, but Frank Doyle showed no such inclination. He went to the home of a friend. It was there that Officer Bixler encountered him and said, “I understand you and William have been quarreling again,“ in a joking way.
Before he had a chance to utter another word Frank Doyle produced a revolver from his pocket and fired. Officer Bixler was struck in the head and collapsed to the sidewalk unconscious. Doyle quietly put the revolver back in his pocket and walked to his home four blocks away. At the front steps of his house he paused a moment as if hesitating whether to enter or not, suddenly he drew his revolver again and put a bullet into his right temple dying instantly. His mother summoned assistance and the remains were carried into the parlor of his home.
Two men found Officer Bixler lying on the sidewalk, and they carried him to the town hall, where a physician was summoned. He was very weak from loss of blood and it was not believed that he would survive overnight. The bullet had entered his forehead just over the right eye, lodging in his brain. All efforts to revive him were in vain and he died on June 22, 1892. The police did not arrest William Doyle.
The Doyle brothers always bore a bad reputation in Rogers Park, and were known to cause the police considerable trouble.
Officer Bixler was laid to rest in Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Clarence H. Bixler was born August 31, 1856.
Officer Bixler was unmarried and lived in Rogers Park.
Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database case not found for this incident.
The Rogers Park Police Department was absorbed into the Chicago Police Department after the Village of Rogers Park was annexed by the City of Chicago on April 4, 1893.
On April 29, 1878 Rogers Park was incorporated as a village of Illinois governed by six trustees. Early settler Philip Rogers bought this lakeside land in 1836 for $1.25 an acre. His son-in-law Patrick L. Touhy developed the area and started its rise to the bustling residential community that would eventually be incorporated into Chicago. It was bounded by Howard (7600 North) on the north, Devon Avenue on the south (6400 North), Lake Michigan on the east and Ridge Boulevard (1848-2100 West) on the west.