Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: South Park Police Department
Served: Length of Service Unknown
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Motorcycle Division
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Crash - Motorcycle (Pursuit)
Age at Time of Death: 38
Date of Birth: 28 Aug 1895
Date of Appointment:
Date of Incident: 10 Sep 1933
End of Watch: 10 Sep 1933
Date of Interment: 13 Sep 1933
Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery - Evergreen Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 20
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 36
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 39-E: 12
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Park Policeman Willard Emil Hoard, Star #223, aged 38 years, was a veteran of the South Park Police Department, assigned to the Motorcycle Division.
On September 10, 1933, Officer Hoard was on patrol with his partner, Park Policeman Denis Osborne, when they observed a motorist speeding. They officers began to pursue the speeding vehicle on their police motorcycles. They were traveling at more than 70 mph as they approached the entrance to the 1933 World’s Fair, the “Century of Progress,” located at 23rd Street and Outer Lake Shore Drive. A car was exiting a parking lot and attempted to cross the road directly in front of them. Officer Osbourne, noticing the car in time, was able to avoid colliding with the car after skidding more than 40 feet. Officer Hoard, however never saw the car and continued at 70 mph after the speeding car. Officer Hoard collided with the car and sustained life threatening injuries in the crash. Officer Hoard was rushed to Chicago Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The vehicle Officer Hoard hit was driven by Sterling Peacock, of Evanston, and Vice-President at N. W. Ayer and Sons, INC. Mr. Peacock was in the company of his wife and two other couples. No one in the car was injured during the crash.
Officer Hoard was waked at the home of Lillian Mearns located at 5817 South Spaulding Avenue, his funeral mass was also held at the home of Lillian Mearns. He was laid to rest on September 13, 1933 in Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Park Policeman Willard Emil Hoard was born on August 28, 1895.
Officer Hoard served in the U.S. Army from June 14, 1918 thru (discharge sate unknown) in Company 501, 422nd Supply Train, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Corporal. He was also a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion, Post No. 8 American Legion and Post No. 40 American Legion. Officer Hoard was survived by his mother, Madaline (nee Brummer) and siblings: Edward, Lillian Mearns and Voila A. Hanson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marie Helen (nee Keenan), age 37.
The South Park Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on April 30, 1934. On May 1, 1934, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Park District Police Department, which was organized on the same date. Three park District police departments, Lincoln, West, and South were consolidated into the Chicago Park District Police Department. Fallen officers of the South Park Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.