Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 6 years, 11 months, 19 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 3, 3rd Precinct - Twenty-Second Street
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 29
Date of Birth: 04 Feb 1869
Date of Appointment: 15 Oct 1891
Date of Incident: 10 Oct 1898
End of Watch: 10 Oct 1898
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Graceland Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 349, Section M
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 11
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 28
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 62-E: 14
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Bernard August Kuebler, Star #238, aged 29 years, was a 6 year, 11 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 4, 11th Precinct – Twenty-Second Street.
On October 10, 1898, at 12:20 a.m., Officer Kuebler and his partner, Patrolman John J. O’Brien, were walking their beat. As the two officers walked on Wentworth Avenue, they encountered two young men, William Bolard, age 22 and Edward Kelly, who were shabbily dressed and stared at them intently. The officers had investigated a burglary earlier in the night and were on the lookout for suspicious characters. The officers said nothing to Bolard and Kelly as they passed. When the men had walked about fifteen feet, Officer Kuebler turned his head to take a look at them. Without warning Kelly fired a shot and Officer Kuebler was struck in his nose and collapsed to the sidewalk. Officer O’Brien, taking a minute to realize what had just occurred, gained his bearing and took off after the two men who had already began fleeing Southbound. Approximately 80 feet behind the men, Officer O’Brien drew his revolver and fired, the round missing the men. The bandits ducked into an alley between 23rd Place and 24th Street and stopped. They fired two rounds at Officer O’Brien, both missing him. The bandits then ran through the alley with Officer O’Brien in pursuit firing the remainder of his rounds. As Officer O’Brien exited the alley onto Princeton Avenue, the bandits were nowhere in sight. He discontinued the chase and returned to his partner’s side.
By this time word had reached the 22nd Street Station and a Patrol Wagon was dispatched. The wagon arrived shortly after Officer O’Brien’s return and they loaded Officer Kuebler into the wagon and rushed him to Mercy Hospital. Before they arrived at the hospital, a physician who was in the patrol wagon pronounced Officer Kuebler dead. Officer Kuebler was then transported to Schroeder’s undertaking located at No. 2128 Archer Avenue (present day 2128 South Archer Avenue), bypassing the hospital.
A manhunt for the fugitives was begun. Sergeant Farley returned to the mouth of the alley at Princeton Avenue where the men were last seen hoping to find some trace of them. Near the alley, Sergeant Farley discovered Bolard lying face down in the gutter with blood pouring from a wound in his back. Bolard was shot twice, once in the back and once in the leg. Sergeant Farley summoned an ambulance and Bolard was taken to Mercy Hospital. Bolard was conscious when found and gave his name. He also said he resided at No. 2007 5th Avenue (present day 2007 South Wells Street) and offered no explanations for the shooting and whether he or his companion fired the fatal shot before falling unconscious.
On October 10, 1898, Owen Bolard was arrested and held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner. He was later discharged by the October 1898 Grand Jury. On In April 1899, Edward Kelly was arrested in Hammond, Indiana and extradited back to Chicago. On July 12, 1899, Kelly was found guilty and sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Stein.
Officer Kuebler was laid to rest in Graceland Cemetery, 4001 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 349, Section M.
Patrolman Bernard August Kuebler, born February 4, 1869, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 15, 1891.
Officer Kuebler was survived by his wife, Amelia (nee Thole); mother, Louise Marie (nee Losehand) and siblings: Fred and Louise Kuebler Matthel.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #1169.