Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 13 years, 4 months, 1 day
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 38th District - Town Hall
District of Incident (Present Day): 019 - Town Hall
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 41
Date of Birth: 07 Jan 1890
Date of Appointment: 13 Dec 1917
Date of Incident: 14 Apr 1931
End of Watch: 14 Apr 1931
Date of Interment: 17 Apr 1931
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 9, Block 5, Section B
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 12
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 30
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 45-E: 16
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Patrick James Gallagher, Star #4966, aged 41 years, was a 13 year, 4 month, 1 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 38th District – Town Hall.
On April 14, 1931, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Officer Gallagher was on patrol with his partner Patrolman Carl Johnson. They went to the Windsor-Wilson Hotel, located at 915 West Wilson Avenue, in response to a complaint from the night clerk, John Pendrick, that there was a drunken party in progress with excessive disturbance. They proceeded to Room 328 where they met an intoxicated Frederick Guy Sprague, age 59, owner of the Grain Traders Company. Sprague and his friends, two men and two women, were celebrating Sprague’s birthday. Sprague promised to send his friends home and quiet down. As the officers left, the noise began again and they returned to knock on the door. According to Officer Johnson, Sprague opened the door and fired two shots, one striking Officer Gallagher in the abdomen. In response, Officer Johnson quickly disarmed Sprague and placed him in custody. Officer Gallagher was transported to Lake View Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m. on April 14, 1931.
Following his arrest, Guy Sprague retained the services of Attorney Barrett O’Hara. On April 15, 1931, Sprague was held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner for murder. Sprague, a retired millionaire grain broker, claimed his pistol went off accidentally. On November 20, 1931, Sprague was found not guilty by a jury in the court of Judge Rush.
Officer Gallagher was waked at his residence located at 1042 West Waveland Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Mary of the Lake Church located at 4200 North Sheridan Road. He was laid to rest on April 17, 1931 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in the Northwest corner of Lot 9, Block 5, Section B.
Patrolman Patrick James Gallagher, born January 7, 1890, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on December 13, 1917. He was awarded The Chicago Tribune Award for Police Heroes during his career.
Officer Gallagher served in the U.S. Army from May 24, 1918 thru April 1, 1919 in Company H, 331st Infantry, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private 1st Class. He was also a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion and the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. Officer Gallagher was survived by his wife, Ellie (nee Burke) and children: Irene, James, John and Thomas.