Patrolman Anthony Schaefer | Cincinnati Police Department

Age: 54
Served: 8 years
1873 to April 3, 1881


Anthony Schaefer, born in Germany during December 1827, immigrated to the United States. During 1858, he was elected to represent the 9th Ward on Cincinnati City Council for a term ending in 1860. His fortunes seemed to decline after the Civil War and by 1873 he found it necessary to take a position within the Police Department. He survived a couple political changes in City Hall, but when Mayor Jacob took office, he suspended Patrolman Schaefer about February 1881 for being a Democrat. The suspension was to have lasted three months, but based on Patrolman Schaefer’s reputation as a good and temperate officer the Mayor reinstated him near the end of March 1881.

Days later, on a cold morning during one of the coldest Aprils ever in Cincinnati, about 4 a.m. on April 3, 1881, Patrolmen Schaefer and newly appointed Jacob Hohnecker, of the Bremen (now Republic) Street Station, were patrolling the area of Sycamore and Abigail Streets. Patrolman Schaefer went inside the Gambrinus Brewery to get warm. The younger Hohnecker stayed outside. When he became uneasy about the amount of time Patrolman Schaefer was inside, he entered and found his partner had fallen off an elevated walkway at a location where the safety bar had broken.

Patrolman Hohnecker and some employees of the brewery carried Patrolman Schaefer to his home at 371 Broadway where he died five hours later at 9 a.m. The Coroner found that he died from a fractured right temporal bone fracture of the skull.

Patrolman Schaefer left a wife, Maria Agnes Schaefer, who bore him seventeen children. Those that survived him were Maria Josephine (Henry) Buckmann (27), Maria Catherine Schaefer (25), John H. Schaefer (17), and four still at home, Frank X. Schaefer (13), Frederick Schaefer (9), George Bernard Schaefer (7), and Reuben Joseph Schaefer (1¼). He was buried in St. John Cemetery in Saint Bernard. His wife received $300 from the Police Relief Association. Patrolman Hohnecker left the department.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at

Notes: The officer’s names have been reported in news accounts and official records variously as Anton, Antony, Anthony, and Tony and Shaffer, Schaeffer, and Schaefer, et al.

The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum is currently housed in what was the Gambrius Brewery Stable building one block south of what was Abigail.


This narrative was revised April 3, 2014 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, with burial information from Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward W. Zieverink III, Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Historian. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.