Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 13 years, 6 months, 21 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 1-A - Harrison

District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Explosion - Bomb

Age at Time of Death: 41


Date of Birth: 31 Aug 1884

Date of Appointment: 19 Apr 1912

Date of Incident: 001 - Central

End of Watch: 09 Nov 1925

Date of Interment: 13 Nov 1925


Interment Details

 Cemetery: St. Boniface Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
 Grave Location: Lot 103, Section QU
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-9

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 3

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 15

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 56-W: 9

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman Frederick M. Schmitz, Star #1253, aged 41 years, was a 13 year, 6 month, 21 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 1-A – Clark Street Station South.

On November 9, 1925, at 8:35 p.m., Officer Schmitz had just returned home after working his shift and was tending the furnace in the basement of his home located at 5233 West Van Buren Street. While his three children played on the first floor, he went downstairs to work on the furnace. Someone had planted six or seven sticks of dynamite in the front basement window. Shortly after he went downstairs the dynamite detonated. The children, startled by the explosion, called down to their father but received no response. The eldest child then called for the fire department. Officer Schmitz body was discovered downstairs, a victim of the explosion he lost his life.

On November 25, 1925, the unknown person or persons arrest for murder was recommended by the Coroner. It was suspected that the bomb was intended for Captain Ira McDowell, Officer Schmitz next door neighbor. McDowell was known as a strict enforcer of the law and had driven the gamblers and bootleggers from the district.

Officer Schmitz was laid to rest on November 13, 1925 in St. Boniface Cemetery, 4901 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave –, Lot 103, Section QU.

Patrolman Frederick M. Schmitz, born August 31, 1884, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 19, 1912.

Officer Schmitz was survived by his wife, Eleanor M. (nee Murphy) and children: Catherine, Fred and Richard F.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #8993.