Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 6 years, 9 months, 2 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 20, 25th Precinct - Shakespeare
District of Incident (Present Day): 014 - Shakespeare
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly
Age at Time of Death: 41
Date of Birth: 19 Nov 1876
Date of Appointment: 04 Mar 1911
Date of Incident: 01 Dec 1917
End of Watch: 06 Dec 1917
Date of Interment: 10 Dec 1917
Cemetery: St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery - Niles, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 18
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 52
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 9-W: 1
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban, Star #518, aged 41 years, was a 6 year, 9 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 20, 25th Precinct – Shakespeare.
On December 4, 1917, at 5:35 a.m., Detective Sergeant Urban was on duty investigating burglaries in the community. Detective Sergeant Urban entered a closed store, the National Tea Company, located at 2830 West Armitage Avenue. At the same time Patrolman Charles Weinecke was walking his beat and observed Detective Sergeant Urban inside the store. Officer Weinecke mistook Urban for a burglar and in the confusion Weinecke fired a shot, striking Detective Sergeant Urban. Detective Sergeant Urban was taken to a St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he died two days later on December 6, 1917.
Patrolman Charles Weinecke was exonerated of all responsibility for Detective Sergeant Urban’s death by the Coroner’s Jury.
Detective Sergeant Urban was waked at his residence located at 2244 South Powell Avenue (present day Campbell Avenue). He was laid to rest on December 10, 1917 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois.
Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban, born November 19, 1876, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 4, 1911. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career. On November 12, 1913, he was promoted to 2nd Class Detective Sergeant, becoming effective on November 13, 1913 and his title being officially changed by order of the city council on January 11, 1915. Prior to Detective Sergeant Urban’s promotion he was issued Star #149 as seen in the accompanying photo.
Detective Sergeant Urban was survived by his wife, Rose B. (nee Pubantz) and children: Loretta Edna, Richard V. and Virginia Kathryn Schlader.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #5385.
Ironically, Sergeant O’Connell’s star number was reissued after his death to Sergeant Walter J. Riley, who was also killed in the Line of Duty on October 26, 1926.
Note: The photo of Sergeant Urban is of him wearing his previously assigned star number #149. At the time of the incident his assigned star number was #518.