Superintendent Hilary Baker

Superintendent Hilary Baker

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, September 25, 1798

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Hilary Baker

Superindentent Hilary Baker died as a result of contracting yellow fever during an outbreak in the city. As the citizens fled the city due to the outbreak Superintendent Baker stayed to assist the watchmen he was in charge of and gave aide to those affected. While doing so he became ill and contracted the disease.

While acting as Superintendent he also served as mayor of the city of Philadelphia. While acting as mayor, Superindentent Baker was tasked by the city council to appoint a police force to protect the city from vandalism and looting. He created the city's first paid, uniformed watch through an Act of Assembly on May 22nd, 1797. He originally appointed 20 watchmen for day patrols and 15 for the night.

He was originally buried at Zion Church at Eighth and Race Streets, which is now the current location of Philadelphia Police Department headquarters. He was reinterred at Laurel Hill Cemetery

Superintendent Baker was a Continental Army veteran of the Revolutionary War. He had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for less than one 1-1/2 years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 1 year, 4 months
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness


Most Recent Reflection

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Much like the peace officers of America in 2020/2021, who have continued to serve every day during COVID—many of them dying as a result of their duty to others—Superintendent Baker stayed at his post, and in doing so, gave his life to carry out his duties during an epidemic. Thank you for your service to your community, state, and country.

Commander Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

April 20, 2021

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