Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 7 years, 1 month, 3 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 13, 41st Precinct - Sheffield
District of Incident (Present Day): Lake County, IN
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 33
Date of Birth: 22 Jul 1870
Date of Appointment: 29 Oct 1896
Date of Incident: Lake County, IN
End of Watch: 01 Dec 1903
Date of Interment: 04 Dec 1903
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot N11, Block 42, Section S
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 34
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 15-W: 12
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Joseph D. Driscoll, Star #2774, aged 33 years, was a 7 year, 1 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 13, 41st Precinct – Sheffield.
On November 26, 1903, acting on a tip in the investigation and manhunt for Patrolman John Quinn’s murderers, Officer Driscoll, acting under instructions from the Superintendent’s office was dispatched to Indiana along with a contingent of men: Detective Sergeants Mathew Zimmer and James Gleason, and Officers Martin J. Qualey, Joseph Baumer, John Sheehan, and Joseph Hughes.
On November 27, 1903, at 5:00 a.m., the seven officers assigned to track down Officer Quinn’s killers, Niedermeier, Roeski and Van Dine, saw smoke curling from a dugout alongside the railroad tracks some distance from Pine, Indiana at Millers Station. Suspecting that they had found their quarry they approached the hut with drawn revolvers and commanded those inside to surrender. A slanting door was thrown open and one of the bandits showed himself, discharging his revolver at the same time. Officer Driscoll was mortally wounded in the first volley of shots that belched from Niedermeier’s automatic gun, and Detective Sergeant Zimmer was the next to fall a victim with dangerous wounds in the head and right shoulder. All three suspects were able to make good their escape in the confusion. Officer Driscoll died of his wounds four days later on December 1, 1903 at Mercy Hospital in Chicago.
VanDine, Roeski and Peter Niedermeier were located by a large posse and arrested one week later. On December 5, 1903, the Coroner held them. On March 26, 1904, Niedermeier, VanDine, Marx, were convicted of the robbery and murder of railway employee Frank W. Stewart and sentenced to hang by Judge Kersten. On April 22, 1904, the 21-year-old offenders were executed by hanging at the Cook County Jail. The third suspect, Roeski, was convicted of one of the saloon murders and sentenced to life in prison.
Officer Driscoll was waked at No. 423 Lincoln Avenue (present day 2478 North Lincoln Avenue). His funeral mass was held at Mount Carmel Church. He was laid to rest on December 4, 1903 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot N11, Block 42, Section S.
Patrolman Joseph D. Driscoll, born on July 22, 1870, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 29, 1896.
Officer Driscoll was survived by his wife, Julia (nee Curtis) and his two brothers.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #593.
In 1963, Officer Driscoll’s star was retired by Superintendent Orlando Winfield Wilson 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 Driscoll’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.