Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 5 years, 9 months, 14 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 23rd District - Marquette
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Fall - From Building
Age at Time of Death: 35
Date of Birth: 13 Jul 1899
Date of Appointment: 01 Jul 1929
Date of Incident: 012 - Near West
End of Watch: 15 Apr 1935
Date of Interment: 18 Apr 1935
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 1, Lot 62, Block 1, Section 26
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-5
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4, Line 48
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4-E: 22
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: YES, Branch Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Edwin Emmet Peppard, Star #5967, aged 35 years, was a 5 year, 9 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 23rd District – Marquette.
On April 15, 1925, Officer Peppard was on duty and working with Patrolmen Joseph Carroll and Frank Janousek. After transporting a suicidal patient to Cook County Hospital, they were driving back to the Marquette District Station when they observed a four story apartment building located at 1207-09 South Damen Avenue on fire. Officer Carroll and Peppard rushed into the building while Officer Janousek remained with the squad car per Department regulation. The officers banged on doors and warned the residents of the fire. They were able to evacuate 15 families before they reached the fourth floor. Officer Carroll turned to Peppard and said, “We can’t stick it out up here any longer. We’re going to get burned either way so let’s make a break for it.“ Officer Carroll then through the collar of his coat around his face and started down the stairs. He was met by a solid wall of flames at the landing and dove through it. After that he took a couple of breaths and stumbled down the rest of the stairs. Just as he exited the building he heard Officer Janousek cry out and Officer Peppard’s body hit the pavement right beside Officer Peppard.
Officer Peppard became trapped by the flames on the stairwell and he retreated into a 4th floor apartment. Standing in the window Officer Peppard yelled for help and in an effort to escape the flames he climbed out of the window. He hung onto the window ledge with one hand while attempting to signal other officers with a flashlight in his other hand. As firemen lifted a ladder to rescue him flames burned his hand causing him to lose his grip. He fell to the pavement below just before the ladder could reach him. The entire time Officer Carroll believed his partner was right behind him as he came down the stairs. Officer Peppard was transported to Cook County Hospital where he was pronounced dead two hours later on April 15, 1925. His wife and newborn son were by his side.
Officer Peppard was waked at his residence located at 4817 South Cortez Street. His funeral mass was held at Our Lady Help of Christians Roman Catholic Church located at 822 North LeClaire Avenue. He was laid to rest on April 18, 1935 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 1, Lot 62, Block 1, Section 26.
Patrolman Edwin Emmet Peppard, born July 13, 1899, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 1, 1929. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $120.00 during his career.
Officer Peppard served in the Armed Forces. He was survived by his wife, Mary Cecilia (nee Monahan), age 25; son, John (Jack) C., age 3 months; mother, Katherine (nee Schulthers) and siblings: Donald, Harry, Leo, Mrs. James McManus and Roy.
On June 27, 2007, Officer Peppard’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.