Constable James S. McElligott

Constable James S. McElligott

Lake Township Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, December 9, 1877

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James S. McElligott

Constable James McElligott succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four days earlier while attempting to serve a writ of replevin to seize furniture from a woman's home on Rush Street.

He knew of the woman's tendency towards violence so he employed a ruse to gain entry to her home. Once inside the woman recognized him as a constable and went into her basement as he began reading the warrant. She returned from the basement holding a revolver. As he continued to read the warrant the woman shot him once in the abdomen.

Constable McElligott was taken to a local doctor's home for treatment. He was then moved to his own home where his wife and the doctor tended to his wound for the next four days as his condition worsened. He passed away as a result of his wound four days after being shot.

The woman who shot him was acquitted of charges as it was determined the ruse Constable McElligott employed to serve the warrant was considered trespassing.

Constable McElligott had served as the elected constable of Lake Township for only eight months. He was survived by his wife.

Lake Township was annexed by the city of Chicago in 1889.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, December 5, 1877
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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Constable McElligott"s story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 2-20-17 to honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan

February 20, 2017

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