Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 10 months, 6 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 14, 35th Precinct - Attrill
District of Incident (Present Day): 014 - Shakespeare
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Accidental
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: Feb 1866
Date of Appointment: 27 Feb 1890
Date of Incident: 02 Jan 1892
End of Watch: 02 Jan 1892
Date of Interment: 04 Jan 1892
Cemetery: Graceland Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 25
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 20-W: 1
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman William Henry Schnell, Star #2188, aged 27 years, was a 1 year, 10 month, 6 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 14, 35th Precinct – Attrill.
On January 2, 1892, Officer Schnell was off duty at home, No. 124 Heine Street (present day 357 North Francisco Avenue), cleaning his service revolver when he became the victim of an unanticipated discharge. Tragically, Officer Schnell was struck and died as a result of that unfortunate incident.
Officer Schnell’s funeral mass was held at his residence located at No. 124 North Heine Street (present day 357 North Francisco Street). He was laid to rest on January 4, 1892 in Graceland Cemetery, 4001 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman William Henry Schnell, born in 1866, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 27, 1890.
Officer Schnell was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association and the Court Benevolent No. 30 Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was survived by his mother, Caroline.
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
In February 1958, Officer Schnell’s star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O’Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Schnell’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.