Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Francis M. Doyle

Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia

End of Watch Friday, December 29, 1871

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Reflections for Officer Francis M. Doyle

Born in Limerick, Ireland son of Peter & Catherine (Nash) Doyle. Prior to his police service, Private Doyle was employed as a blacksmith at Washington's Navy Yard, in the 1850's and early 1860's. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in Captain Robert Clarke's Company of DC Infantry, on April 24, 1861. serving a three month enlistment and being discharged on July 24, 1861. He reenlisted in the Navy on March 2, 1865, serving as a firemen on the Man-O-War Wabash until his discharge on April 18, 1867.

*Captain Robert Clarke's Company" is "Major Robert Washington Clarke" who is Francis Michael Doyle's Uncle Michael Nash's 2nd Wife's (Ann Maria (Clarke) Nash) Brother."

*Francis brother, Peter George Doyle lived in Richmond before the war & fought for the Confederacy (Yes brothers on Both sides!) their father was beaten while bookkeeping at Tredegar Foundry 19 Oct 1861 & family story handed down was that he went to NY looking for work, we have found no sign of him after the violent assault (The family never mentioned he was assaulted)

22 Feb 1860 National Intelligencer lists "Special Police" Francis' cousin William Nash was listed & maybe when the family started serving..

On February 15, 1868, Francis Michael Doyle was appointed as a member of the Metropolitan Police Department, and would serve continuously until his untimely end.

Private Doyle's funeral was held On December 31, at his home, 340 K Street SW, with Reverend Father Call officiating. Following the service, a funeral cortege was formed with fifty-two police officers under the command of Lieutenant Gessford, conveying his remains to Congressional Cemetery for interment.

not sure where 16 Oct 1858 came from but I have the newspaper clipping that states the 18th that Francis & Ellen Married

* His son Robert Emmet Doyle was born 24 Feb 1871 grew up to become a Captain DC Policeman like his father...
*WALT WHITMAN Was Present at his Funeral & wrote his mother about it

Please take the time to look at Francis Michael Doyle's Memorial on Find a Grave I have also added quite a bit of info to that. & if anybody would like to read the Full Story from the Evening Star 30 Dec 1871
Here is my Cousin in our family tree with lots of supporting records see the Gallery for more newspaper Clippings, you are more the welcome to use everything!

I know you don't want website addresses so you don't have to post this but the sites I have left you have Francis Michael Doyle's Bio & would really fill in the gaps you have here.... Take Care & Have A Nice Day! :)

Jen Hill
Cousin 4x Removed & Genealogist

November 14, 2016

Rest In Peace


May 20, 2015

To "Related to Maria Shea" posted on March 27, 2013, I am interested in receiving the 8 page report regarding the death of Officer Francis M. Doyle. Mrs. Shea was my great grandmother and I am interested in learning more about this terrible incident.

Eternal rest grant unto Office Doyle and let perpetual light shine upon him.


October 14, 2014

I wrote the book and history on all the officer killed in the line of duty for MPD in 1995 and am retiring next year and want to update records before I leave.
Please email with any additional info on Officer Doyle.
Thank You. [email protected]

Ofc Arechiga

May 31, 2014

Officer Francis M. Doyle - Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

To "related to Maria Shea" - I am interested in receiving the 8 page copy of the incident with Officer Francis Doyle. Mrs. Shea was my great grandmother.


January 1, 2014

Rest in Peace Officer Doyle.


September 22, 2013

I have an 8 page story on Francis M. Doyle on his untimely death and court documents for Mrs. Maria Shea. Mrs. Shea was my great great great grandmother. There is more to the story than you think. If you would like the 8 page copy of the whole incident, please send me an email and I will gladly send it.

no rank
related to Mrs. Maria Shea

March 27, 2013

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Deputy Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

January 17, 2013

While cleaning out my Uncle Richard A. Gabriel's house after he passed away last year (he was a D.C. police officer in the 60s) , I found a picture of Francis Doyle in his police uniform. My Grandmother, who lived with my Uncle, was Charlotte Doyle (Waple) Gabriel. Francis Doyle was an Uncle to my Grandmother. "Doyle" was my Great-Grandmother's maiden name, my Grandmother's middle name and my Father's first name. I found notes written about Francis Doyle's death with the picture. Thank you for the refelections.

Cindy Parker

August 6, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Doyle. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 5, 2012

Officer Doyle,

I joined the MPDC in 1969 and retired in 1991. Next week I’m retiring for good from the FAA, which incidentally is located in the area where you were killed so many years ago. Somehow, this is hard to explain, but throughout the years I have felt a connection with you. The first time occurred in 1979, I came across a police document that had your signature on it. It dates from 1868. I still have it safely tucked away. It will be passed on to my son; he's a Detective with Fairfax County. The second occurred in 1986, I was fortunate enough to win one the events at the Heroes Incorporated golf tournament, my name is engraved on the trophy, and the trophy is named after you. The third was intentional, after some research I found your grave site at the old Congressional Cemetery. It was an emotional experience… I will not forget. Your monument is small and not easy to find. That does not matter.......your fellow brothers are aware of your legacy.

I hope your spirit is at well.

Special Agent
Federal Aviation Administration

June 24, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 138th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

December 29, 2009

Officer Doyle,... I enlisted in the Metropolitan Police Department, DC, just under one-hundred years after you did. (Class #191) Thanks to this ODMP, I know the circumstances of your death. And, thanks to PFC A.M. Attardo, MPDC - 4th Dist., I know a little of your life. Like most cops, you have a military background and you were always doing your job. I know this because you had the newspaper guys in a flurry over the arrest of an egg thief. They always get upset when we do our jobs. So, like all good law officers I am certain you were giving the tax-payers their money's worth. Ultimately, though, you gave your life. Doing your job. Arresting thieves and confronting those who would kill you. Over one hundred years later we remember you. I remember you. None of us who wear a badge should ever forget you. What you did a century ago is still being done today. Your courage, your determination and your accomplishments provide today's law officers a proud and strong foundation from which to launch their careers. We all salute you --starting with Officer Attardo and me!

Cpl. Ralph D. Fiorenza (Ret.)
Pennsylvania State Police

February 26, 2008



December 29, 2007

Officer Francis M. Doyle
135 years has passed. But your name carries on by this site, and I'm thankful, as I would never have known your story. The woman that killed you was freed, but I believe that she stood at the gates and was held for her actions, by a higher authority. May God continue to Bless you. Terri Doyle

Ret. Fairfax County Police. Va

June 21, 2007

"My Brother"

Although I never met him, I knew him.
He was idealistic and believed he could make a difference.
He was immensely proud of the uniform and the badge and what they represent.
He felt privileged to be of service to his department, his community and to his country.

He was a cop.

Although I never met him, I knew him.
He was friendly, courteous, and polite, yet firm.
He laughed and joked, but was serious when necessary.
He was competent, trained, and professional.

He was a cop.

Although I never met him, I knew him.
He had a strong sense of right and wrong and became
frustrated when true justice became sidetracked.
He felt the sharp criticism that goes with the job, but he
never wavered.
He stood by and for his fellow officers.

He was a cop.

Although I never met him, I knew him.
He longed for his family during the long hours.
He worried about them during his shifts and the lonely
weekends, holidays and midnights when they were apart.
He felt guilty about the lost time, but knew his calling
and prayed they would understand.

He was a cop.

Although I never met him, I knew him.
He was a good son, a loving husband, and a devoted father.
He was dedicated to the profession and cared about the
people he served.
He wanted to do the best job that he could and strived to
be the best he could be.
He was a good citizen and a good neighbor.

He was a cop.

Yes, I did know him.
He was a cop, he was my Brother.


February 20, 2007

Officer Doyle,

Sadly, not much is known about your life other than your unfortunate passing. I decided to research you online so that others would know more about you. May you rest in peace always Sir.

The following information was found on the internet and taken (in parts) from: "Pete the Great": A Biography of Peter Doyle by Martin G. Murray.

Francis was the brother of Peter Doyle. Peter was a close friend of Walt Whitman who also knew Francis.

Francis Michael, born on September 29, 1833;

Initially, Pete lived with his brother, Francis Michael, and Francis' wife, Eleanor (or Ellen). Francis was nearly ten years older than Peter. Standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, Francis had gray eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion, with a roguish scar on his left cheek. 35 Unlike the rest of the Doyles, Francis never lived in Virginia. He had settled immediately in D.C. Francis married Eleanor Branzell, a Maryland native, on October 16, 1858. Reverend L.F. Morgan, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, performed the marriage in Washington, DC.36 Like his father, Francis was a blacksmith. He worked at the Washington Navy Yard in the late 1850's and early 1860's.37

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Francis had enlisted in Captain Robert Clarke's Company, of the D.C. Military Infantry. 38 He joined the Union forces on April 24, 1861--just one day before his brother Peter enlisted as a Confederate soldier in Virginia. Francis served his full three-month term of enlistment. He was mustered out on July 24, 1861. Francis and Eleanor had a daughter Emma, born on July 31, 1864. Francis again joined the military in the War's closing months, enlisting on March 2, 1865, in the U.S. Navy. He served as a fireman aboard the Wasp until his discharge on April 18, 1867. After his military service ended, Francis joined the Metropolitan Police force, on February 15, 1868. He and his wife, Eleanor, had two more children: Mary born on June 12, 1868, and Robert Emmet (named after the Irish patriot), born on February 24, 1871. The children were brought up in their mother's church.

In addition to Peter and the Francis Doyles, the house at 62 M Street, South (which would have been situated between 4th and 5th Streets, SW in today's grid) also was home to brother, James Doyle, and Robert Branzell, who I assume was Eleanor's brother.39 James Doyle married in 1866.40 His wife, Charlotte, gave birth that same year to a boy, James, and to a daughter, Kate, in 1869.

In the spring of 1871, Whitman joined the Doyle family as it rallied around its eldest son, patrolman Francis Michael. His arrest and incarceration on May 12 of a young boy for stealing eggs was sensationalized in the D.C. press, as an egregious instance of police brutality.75 Most of the local press was not satisfied with Doyle's reprimand by the Police Board, and demanded his removal from the force. Pained at the public humiliation of Peter Doyle's eldest brother, Whitman drafted an editorial in Francis Doyle's defense. Whitman commended Doyle as "an energetic officer...[who] bears an excellent repu[ta]tion, and served the Union cause, as soldier or sailor, all through the war" (NUPM, 2: 783). He lambasted the press for its "attempt to make martyrs and heroes of the steadily increasing swarms of juvenile thieves & vagabonds who infest the streets of Washington." Although this editorial was not published, Whitman's behind-the-scenes lobbying apparently kept editors Crosby Noyes of the Evening Star and D.C. Forney of the Sunday Morning Chronicle--the District's two largest circulation newspapers--from excoriating Doyle in print. Eventually, the other newspapers lost interest in the story. Francis Doyle kept his job on the police force.

Later that year, Pete and his family were shocked by the murder of Francis Michael Doyle. On the afternoon of December 29, 1871, Policeman Doyle was attempting to serve a warrant to search the house of John and Maria Shea, who were fences for stolen goods. Mrs. Shea shot him in the chest with a Remington-type six-shooter, killing the policeman immediately. Whitman attended the funeral for Francis, held on New Year's Eve (Corr., 2: 148-149). According to the report in the Evening Star, thirty of Doyle's fellow officers escorted the policeman's remains to a grave in Washington's Congressional Cemetery.

PFC. Attardo, A.M.
MPDC 4th District

February 14, 2007



December 29, 2003

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