P.O. Mathias J. Degan #648

Name: Degan, Mathias J.
Star: 648
Rank: Patrolman
District / Unit: Desplaines Street Station
End of Watch: 05-Apr-1886
Incident Details:

Police Officer Mathias Degan, 34, was a 17-month veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 3rd Precinct.

On May 4, 1886, union leaders, socialists, anarchists, and laborers gathered at Haymarket Square.  The group of approximately, 1,000 people was protesting work conditions and long work hours.  Between 8:00-9:00 p.m., the crowd burst into chaos briefly and nearly 200 police officers from the Desplaines Street Station were dispatched to maintain order.  Shortly after, an unknown assailant ignited a bomb in the crowd which led to gunfire and chaos.  Both police officers and civilians were injured and killed during the bedlam.

Officer Mathias Degan was struck by shrapnel when the bomb exploded.  The officer was carries back to the Des Plaines Street Station where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officer Degan was laid to rest in St. Boniface Cemetery.  He was survived by his wife and son.