Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 9 months, 18 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 10, 27th Precinct - Desplaines
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Accidental
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: 1865
Date of Appointment: 23 Apr 1888
Date of Incident: 001 - Central
End of Watch: 10 Feb 1892
Date of Interment: 03 Mar 1892
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 27, Block 64, Section P
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 30
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 12-W: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Jasper H. Cole, Star #1703, aged 27 years, was a 3 year, 9 month, 18 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 10, 27th Precinct – Desplaines.
On February 10, 1892, while processing arrest paperwork in the station located at No. 19 North Desplaines Street (present day 120 North Desplaines Street), Officer Cole and Officer William Welbasky were having a conversation about a recent homicide case whereupon Welbasky stated his arrestee, Frank Henderson, had murdered his mother and sister with a revolver, which Officer Welbasky had, in his overcoat pocket. Patrolman Cole while sitting on a windowsill then asked to see Henderson’s weapon. Officer Cole reached into Welbasky’s coat pocket to remove the weapon while Welbasky’s hand was still in the pocket. The revolver accidentally discharged. The bullet struck Patrolman Cole in his right eye and lodged in the back of his head. The revolver was being inventoried by Officer Welbasky because it was evidence in the homicide.
The wounded officer collapsed to the floor unconscious. The sound of the gunfire alerted Captain Mahoney and he ran into the room in an instant. Patrolman Cole was carried into the drill-room. Doctor Bausman was summoned and reported that the bullet wound was fatal; Officer Cole did not regain consciousness and died a few minutes before 6:00 p.m. His remains were taken to the Klaner’s Milwaukee Avenue Morgue. An investigation resulted in no charges being filed against Officer Welbasky.
Patrolman Jasper H. Cole was waked at his residence located at No. 73 Vedder Street (present day 648 West Scott Street). He was laid to rest on March 3, 1892 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 27, Block 64, Section P.
Patrolman Jasper H. Cole, born in 1865, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 23, 1888. He was issued Star #1692, but after the switchmen’s strike the previous fall, he had fallen into some trouble and was temporarily relieved of his police powers. He was later reinstated, issued a new star number, demoted to second-class patrolman and assigned to the Plaines Street Station. Officer Cole was considered an officer of untiring diligence and exceptional bravery by his superiors.
Patrolman Jasper Cole was survived by his wife, Maggie and three children: Thomas.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #123 and Case #2811.
In February 1958, Officer Cole’s star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O’Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Cole’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.