Patrolman Anthony “Tony” Schaefer | Cincinnati Police Department

Age: 54
Served: 6 year
1873 to January 1879; January 1881 to April 3, 1881

Tony was born as Anton Schaefer on December 3, 1826 in the village of Lohne in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg in Germany. He immigrated to the United States and to Cincinnati between 1840 and 1850. He married Maria Agnes (Gausepohl) Meyer on October 26, 1850 in St Paul’s Church (at the time a new and one of the first German Catholic churches in Cincinnati at Abigail and Spring Streets). Tony made venetian blinds and later helped his wife’s relatives in manufacturing lard oil. During 1858, he was elected to represent the 9th Ward on Cincinnati City Council for a term ending in 1860.

By 1873 he joined the Cincinnati Police Department. He survived a couple political changes in City Hall, but when Mayor Jacob, a Republican, took office, he dismissed Patrolman Schaefer, a Democrat, when he took office in 1879. Based on Patrolman Schaefer’s reputation as a “good officer and a man of temperate habits,” Mayor Jacob reinstated him about January 1881.

Three months later, during one of the coldest Aprils ever in Cincinnati, at about 4 a.m. on April 3, 1881, Patrolmen Schaefer and newly appointed Jacob Hohnecker were assigned from the Bremen (now Republic) Street Station, were patrolling the area of Sycamore and Abigail (now 12th) 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. He died five hours later at 9 a.m. from a fractured right temporal bone of the skull.

Patrolman Schaefer was predeceased by at least six of his children. He was survived by his wife, Agnes Schaefer, and eleven other children; including five still at home: John H. Schaefer (16), Frank Schaefer (13), Frederick Schaefer (9), George Schaefer (7), and Reuben Schaefer (1). He was buried in Saint John Cemetery in Saint Bernard. His wife received $300 from the Police Relief Association.

Patrolman Hohnecker left the Department.

Note:    The officer’s names have been reported in news accounts and official records variously as Antony, Anthony, Shaffer, Schaeffer, Schaefer, et al. We believe we have the most accurate account possible.

If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at

This narrative was revised November 24, 2018 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Vice President, with burial information from Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward W. Zieverink III (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Historian. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.