Thomas Joseph Clark  | Star #3509

Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 1 year, 5 months, 20 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 16 - Maxwell

District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 26

Timeline


Date of Birth: 19 Mar 1896

Date of Appointment: 20 Nov 1920

Date of Incident: 10 May 1922

End of Watch: 10 May 1922

Date of Interment: 13 May 1922

 

Interment Details


 Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
       Grave Location: Unknown
       Interment Disposition: Burial

 

Memorial Details


Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-7

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 6

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 6-E: 12

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed

 

Service


 Military Service: U.S. Army

 

Incident & Biographic Details


Patrolman Thomas Joseph Clark, Star #3509, aged 26 years, was a 1 year, 5 month, 20 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 16 - Maxwell.

On May 9, 1922, Officer Clark was assigned to patrol the area around the Henneberry Printing Company, an old Ford Motor Company factory, located at 22nd and Jefferson Streets. The area had been experiencing labor disputes and recently had been bombed. He observed three suspicious men in an old model Ford parked nearby. As he approached to investigate, two men got out of the vehicle and began throwing bricks through the window of the factory. Officer Clark ran the vandals off the property and continued on his patrol in an effort to prevent more vandals from damaging the property. Hanneberry factory was under heavy guard because the management had recently become an “open shop” and many of the glaziers and other union workers were unhappy. Resentments simmered and reached a boiling point the night of May 9, 1922.

On May 10, 1922, at 12:05 a.m., Officer Clark observed the same old model Ford he had run off earlier parked a little further down the street. He went to question the men and as he approached the vehicle, the men opened fire, mortally wounding Clark. As the men watched Officer Clark collapse to the ground and then sped off Westbound on Jackson Boulevard, where fate would lead them to their next victim. They would soon encounter Sergeant Terrence Lyons of the West Park Police Department at 1726 West Jackson Boulevard where he would become their next murder victim. Officer Clark died shortly after the gunman sped off.

Shortly after Sergeant Lyons shooting General Superintendent Charles C. Fitzmorris went on record. He stated that he believed the violence that had taken the lives of two policemen could be traced back to labor agitators who were furious about the Landis Agreement. The Landis Award was named after federal arbitrator Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. It was a settlement designed to end a wage dispute between Chicago Building Contractors and the unions their workers were part of. Judge Landis handed down his judgment in January of 1922; it not to become effective until June 1, 1922. The judge ordered wage increases of 18% to 25% higher than those in place by a 1918 agreement. However, this increase was not enough to satisfy union leaders.

The union leaders and workers began to show their contempt of the award in early March. They began targeting contractors who had begun paying out wages according to the Landis Award with a campaign of harassment and persecution. In May a team of men were using dynamite and conducted some 20 bombings, their wages for such efforts coming from union dues. On May 9, 1922, two bombs had been thrown before Patrolman Clark spotted an old model Ford near the Hennebarry Plant.

The old model Ford was found abandoned the morning after Sergeant Lyons murder. A search of the auto turned up one clue. A bloody fingerprint left on the dashboard was traced back to John Miller, a local bartender, and well known muscle man for the unions. Based on the recovered evidence, Superintendent Fitzmorris ordered Millers arrest as well as the arrest of his wife and all representatives of the building trade unions. The number ordered arrested reached over 200. Over a dozen indictments were handed down as a result implicating various players. But in the end only two men were found guilty.

Ultimately, seven suspects were arrested in connection to the murders of the two officers. The May 1922 Grand Jury indicted all seven suspects: Timothy Murphy, Fred Mader, Cornelius Shea, Isadore Braverman, Daniel McCarthy, Jerry Horan and Robert McCloud, but they were not prosecuted. On May 24, 1922, all seven cases were Nolle Prossed by Judge Scanlan.

New indictments were returned against eight additional suspects. On August 2, 1922, Cornelius Shea’s case was nolle prossed by Judge Taylor. On August 19, 1922, Timothy D. Murphy’s case was nolle prossed by Judge Taylor. On September 9, 1922, Margaret Hoffert’s case was stricken off the Record by Judge Kavanaugh and Charles “Slim” Duschkowski’s case stricken off the record by Judge Hurley. On October 10, 1922, Stanley Bylook’s case was stricken off the record by Judge Hurley. On November 25, 1922, Fred Mader and Daniel McCarthy were acquitted by Judge Hebel. Also on November 25, 1922, John Miller was found guilty of Officer Clark’s murder and sentenced to 14 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Hebel. On May 26, 1923, Duschkowski’s case was reopened and he was found guilty of Sergeant Lyon’s murder and sentenced life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Hebel. Charles “Slim” Duschkowski’s life of crime did not end with his conviction. On May 5, 1926, he was part of a prison break that took the life of Illinois Department of Corrections Deputy Warden Peter Klein who was stabbed and beaten to death with a knife and scissors. Coincidentally he broke out with another inmate, Charles Shader, who was also sentenced to life for the murder of Park Policeman Harry J. Busse of the South Park Police Department on January 26, 1920. He enjoyed his freedom for only a short time before being caught. On July 2, 1927, he was hanged for his part in the murder of Warden Klein.

Officer Clark was waked at his residence located at 2323 West Warren Avenue. He was laid to rest on May 13, 1922 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.

Patrolman Thomas Joseph Clark, born March 19, 1896, received a Temporary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 5, 1919 prior to his Probationary Appointment to the Department on November 20, 1920.

Officer Clark served in the U.S. Army in Company A, 503rd Engineers and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his mother, Mrs. Arthur (nee Brady) and brother, John.

Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #7457.