Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 4 years, 8 months, 21 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 13, 41st Precinct - Sheffield
District of Incident (Present Day): 019 - Town Hall
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 29
Date of Birth: 08 Jul 1860
Date of Appointment: 09 Jan 1890
Date of Incident: 019 - Town Hall
End of Watch: 30 Sep 1894
Date of Interment: 01 Oct 1894
Cemetery: Old St. Mary's Cemetery - Port Washington, Wisconsin
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 19
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 60-W: 29
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Andrew Mathias Hauswirth, Star # Unknown, aged 29 years, was a 4 year, 8 month, 21 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 13, 41st Precinct – Sheffield
On September 28, 1894, at 12:30 a.m., Officer Andrew Hauswirth and his partner, Patrolman Patrick Moore, while on patrol heard two shots fired. As they ran to investigate near the corner of Ashland Avenue and Dunning Street (present day Altgeld Street), they saw two men emerge from a yard on Ashland Avenue. Officer Hauswirth and his partner ordered them to halt, but the suspects fled northbound on Ashland Avenue and the officers gave chase. During the pursuit one offender, a footpad (a highway man operating on foot rather than riding a horse), stopped and turned to open fire on the officers. The footpad, whose last name would later be identified as Reisenbach, fired two rounds. Officer Hauswirth was shot once in his left groin, the other round missing him and Officer Moore. Officer Hauswirth returned fire with several rounds and eventually collapsed to the pavement. Reisenbach was struck in his back on the left side by a round fired from Officer Hauswirth’s revolver. He too collapsed and was apprehended and disarmed by Officer Moore. The other footpad continued to flee and turned down a side street and made good his escape. When Officer Moore saw that the second footpad had made good on his escape, he ran to a patrol box located at Diversey and Ashland Avenues and sent calls in for an ambulance and a description of the second footpad.
Officer Hauswirth was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead two days later on September 30, 1894 at 8:00 p.m. from blood poisoning. Reisenbach was taken to Alexian Brothers Hospital where his condition was considered doubtful. In a disjointed statement, the seriously wounded Reisenbach admitted to hospital personnel that he fired his revolver, but said, “that he himself had just been held up by robbers and with his companion opened fire upon the police, believing them to be [armed robbers.]“ Reisenbach’s identity could not be fully discovered and he died a few hours later after giving his statement.
Further investigation revealed that just before the shooting the cries of a man calling for help had been heard by citizens. The man’s identity was discovered to be Oscar Johanes and he had just been robbed by three men. It was believed that the men Officers Hauswirth and Moore encountered were two of three men who robbed Mr. Johanes. A detail of policemen was immediately tasked to hunt for the fugitive but the manhunt resulted in negative results. Messages were sent over the north side to arrest all suspicious characters. Patrolmen Broderick and Lang arrested Carl Neike and Oscar Janietza, who was employed by Mr. Johanes at his beer bottling establishment located at 236 Clifton Avenue (present day 2337 North Clifton Avenue). Both men were taken to the Sheffield Avenue station and it is not known if they were ever charged.
Officer Hauswirth was waked at his residence located at No. 850 Lincoln Avenue (present day 2939 North Lincoln Avenue). He was laid to rest on October 1, 1894 in Old St. Mary’s Cemetery, 510 West Beutel Road, Port Washington, Wisconsin, 53074.
Patrolman Andrew Mathias Hauswirth, born July 8, 1860 and received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 9, 1890.
Officer Hauswirth was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Susan (nee Gethen) and five children: Alice M., Ellis, Mary. His wife died eight years later and the children were left orphaned.
Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database case not found for this incident.
On May 24, 2005, Officer Hauswirth’s star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.