Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 3 years, 3 months, 6 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: 3rd Precinct - Desplaines Street Station

District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 24


Date of Birth: 17 Mar 1860

Date of Appointment: 16 Apr 1881

Date of Incident: 018 - Near North

End of Watch: 22 Jul 1884

Date of Interment: 25 Jul 1884


Interment Details

 Cemetery: St. James Cemetery - Toronto, Iowa
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-1

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 6

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman Patrick N. Mulvihill, Star # Unknown, aged 24 years, was a 3 year, 3 month, 6 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 3rd Precinct – Desplaines Street Station.

On November 29, 1882, Patrolman Clarence E. Wright was murdered by William ““Bill““ Allen, a gunman who went into hiding shortly thereafter.

On December 3, 1882, Officer Mulvihill received information where Allen was hiding. The off duty, uniformed officer searched for the offender, assisted by other officers. It was said that Allen was hiding out in a ranch on North Halsted Street near Hubbard Street. When the officers approached the location Allen fired. Officer Mulvihill was shot in in his thumb. In a strange twist of events, the bullet ricocheted and then hit him in the forehead, fracturing and lodging in his skull. Allen then fled the scene and headed for the Northwestern Railroad tracks and hid in a coal box. The officers pursued and while searching for him in the rail yard, he was discovered hiding in the coal box at Kinzie and Green Streets by one of the officers. Without wasting any time Detective Sergeant John Wheeler fired five shots into the coal box. Allen was killed and his body taken to the Desplaines Street Station.

At the time, thousands of citizen’s joined in the hunt for Allen. The excitement was so great at the news of his death; police were compelled to put his body on display in order to satisfy the people that he was actually dead.

Following the incident, Officer Mulvihill underwent surgery to remove the bullet from his skull. The bullet was successfully removed and it appeared that he was recovering. He eventually returned to full duty at the Desplaines Street Station. He was back to his old self running up the stairs and cracking jokes with his coworkers about his appetite. In January of 1883, his health began to decline. His doctors believed that he was suffering from an abscess in the brain, which was causing his health to decline. After much consultation he underwent a complicated brain surgery, which was remarkable for its technical nuance during this time and was the subject of medical journals. The surgery was a success and he again quickly recovered. He again appeared to be on the road to good health. However, an infection set in and eighteen months after the surgery he passed away at his home located at No. 150 North Halsted Street (present Day 432 North Halsted Street). He was pronounced dead at 8:00 p.m. on July 22, 1884.

Officer Mulvihill was waked at his residence located at No. 152 North Halsted Street (present day 440 North Halsted Street). His funeral mass was held in Requeim at St. Stephan Church located at Ohio and Sangamon Streets. He was laid to rest on July 25, 1884 in St. James (Toronto) Cemetery, City of Wheatland, Clinton County, Iowa.

Patrolman Patrick N. Mulvihill, born March 17, 1860, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 16, 1881.

Officer Mulvihill was survived by his father, Cornelius and siblings: Catherine, Cornelius, Elizabeth, Jeremiah N., Margaret, Mary A. and William. His brother Jeremiah became an Alderman in Chicago’s 17th Ward in 1887 and was shot at 11:55 p.m. on January 25, 1894 in a saloon located at 140 North Sangamon Street (present day 338 North Sangamon Street). He was taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he died at 8:00 a.m. on January 26, 1894.

Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database case not found for this incident.

On May 24, 2005, Officer Mulvihill’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.