Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 9 years, 9 months, 9 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 8, 19th Precinct - Stock Yards
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 36
Date of Birth: 04 Feb 1905
Date of Appointment: 18 May 1888
Date of Incident: 27 Feb 1898
End of Watch: 27 Feb 1898
Date of Interment: 02 Mar 1898
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 8
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 28
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 16-W: 16
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Probationary Patrolman Patrick Fenton, Star #1169, aged 36 years, was a 9 year, 9 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 8, 19th Precinct – Stock Yards.
On February 27, 1898, at 10:00 p.m., Officer Fenton and his partner, Patrolman Daniel Carey, responded to a disturbance at No. 413 West 42nd Street (present day 313 West 42nd Street). The residence was a boarding house operated by Mrs. Ellen M. Cleary.
The day prior Mrs. Cleary informed Michael Clark, a boarder, that she would be needing his room and that she would like him to pack his belongings and leave the following day. Michael Clark was a sheep butcher employed at the Stock Yards and had recently lost his job. Ever since then he had become disagreeable and Mrs. Cleary no longer wanted him to stay there. He seemed to have no objections, but when Mrs. Cleary went to remind him the next day he appeared to be having a mental episode. Mrs. Cleary left his room without pressing the issue out of fear for her safety. It wasn’t until Clark’s brother, Frank arrived to visit that she informed him of his brother’s strange behavior and that he needed to vacate the room. Frank went to see his brother who refused to open the door. Frank then went to get their oldest brother, Thomas, who had more influence with Michael. They returned and again attempted to talk to Michael. Michael opened the door and threatened to shoot his brothers if they didn’t leave. Thomas and Frank then went downstairs and discussed the situation with Mrs. Cleary. Mrs. Cleary stated that she was afraid to have Michael in the house. The two brothers promised to remedy the situation quickly and said they would bring back police to escort their brother to the asylum.
Officers Carey and Fenton arrived and proceeded to Clark’s room located on the second floor. Officer Fenton headed up the stairs first with Officer Carey second and Mrs. Cleary taking up the rear. Officer Fenton banged on the door and demanded admittance. The officers received no response from Clark. The officer continued to bang on the door with negative results. It was at this time that Officer Fenton attempted to kick the door in. He stepped back and put his full weight against the door with no success. Clark had sufficiently barricaded the door to prevent entry. Officer Fenton then attempted one more time. This time the lock broke and the chair that had been used to barricade the door flew across the room into the corner. The momentum of Officer Fenton’s force sent him into the room headfirst. As Officer Fenton attempted to regain his balance, Clark fired a shot and he collapsed to the floor yelling, “Come in Dan, I’m shot!.”
Mrs. Cleary ran down the stairs screaming for help. Frank and Thomas Clark then aided Mrs. Cleary in summoning help. Meanwhile, Officer Carey entered the darkened room with his club drawn and attacked Clark. As Officer Carey raised the club to strike Clark, Clark leveled his revolver and fired again, striking Carey in the side. Officer Carey quickly regained his footing and grabbed for the gun as Clark attempted to fire again. The two men struggled to gain control. With the guns muzzle to Officer Carey chest, Clark pulled the trigger again. The gun however, didn’t go off as Officer Carey’s thumb had blocked the hammer from firing the round. Officer Carey then threw Clark onto the bed and wrenched his hand sufficient enough to send the gun into the corner of the room. Becoming weak from his gunshot wound, Officer Carey became too exhausted to maintain control over Clark and he broke free. Clark then ran to the window jumping through it without opening the sash. He fell to the ground in a pile of snow, his hands and feet being severely cut by the glass. Clark then ran to St. Cecilia’s Church where he banged on the door. Father Kelly opened the door and admitted him into the parish house where Dr. Cleary treated him. Just as soon as the doctor bandaged up Clark, Patrolman Keating arrived and took Clark into custody.
Officer Fenton died on scene from his wound and was taken to Thomas McInerny & Son undertaking establishment located at No. 5050 State Street (present day 5050 South State Street). Officer Carney was taken to a drug store located at Root Street and Wentworth Avenue. His wound was dressed and he was then taken to his residence for recovery which was believed to
Clark was taken to the station and refused to cooperate. He answered all of his questions with bloodcurdling screams and stated he fled to the church to the church to seek forgiveness for what he had done. He also said, “I am not a bad man. I just resented an attempt to encroach upon my room.” Michael Clark stood trial and was declared insane. On June 30, 1898, he was committed for life in the Chester State Hospital Asylum for Insane Criminals by Judge Waterman. On February 14, 1900, Clark hanged himself inside the asylum.
Officer Fenton was waked at his residence located at No. 1408 51st Street (present day 1306 East 51st Street). He was laid to rest on March 2, 1898 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Patrick Fenton, born in 1862, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 18, 1888.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #723.