Patrolman Anthony “Tony” Schaefer
Served: 16 years
1863 to January 1879; January 1881 to April 3, 1881
Tony was born as Anton Scheper on December 3, 1826 in the village of Lohne in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, Germany to Joanne Henrich and Catherine Hake Scheper. He was baptized two days later at St. Gertrude Church in Lohne. Tony immigrated to the United States on December 12, 1849 and to Cincinnati by 1850. Tony married a widow, Maria Agnes (Gausepohl) Meyer, on October 26, 1850 in St Paul’s Church. He worked making venetian blinds and later helped his wife’s relatives in the manufacturing of lard oil. During 1858, he was elected to represent the 9th Ward on Cincinnati City Council for a term ending in 1860. During 1859, his family was living at East Canal and 8th Street.
By 1860, they had two surviving children, Maria Josephine (born about 1854) and Maria Catherina (born about 1856).
By 1863 he joined the Cincinnati Police Department as a Patrolman living at 69 Spring Street.
By 1873, four more children, John Henry (born about 1864), Frank Xavier (born about 1868), Jon Frederick (born about 1871), and George Bernard (born about 1873) were born to Anton and Maria.
Partisan hiring, promotions, demotions, and terminations were the norm. He survived political changes in City Hall, but when Mayor Jacob, a Republican, took office, he dismissed Patrolman Schaefer, a Democrat, about January 1879. Also in 1979, Maria and Patrolman Schaefer had their last child, Reuben Joseph. The family was living at 364 Broadway.
Based on Patrolman Schaefer’s reputation as a “good officer and a man of temperate habits,” the Mayor reinstated him in about January 1881 and he continued as such until his death.
On one of the coldest Aprils ever in Cincinnati, April 3, 1881, about 4 a.m., Patrolmen Schaefer and newly appointed Patrolman Jacob Hohnecker, of the Bremen (now Republic) Street Station, were patrolling the area of Sycamore and Abigail (now 12th) Streets. Patrolman Schaefer went inside the Gambrinus Brewery (immediately behind where the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum is now located) 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 of the skull.
He was predeceased by six children, John Bernard Schaeffer (1854), Maria Mathilda Schaefer (1858), Johannes Franz Schaefer (1859), Maria Schaefer (1860), Christopher Anthon Schaefer (1862), and Maria Francisca (1870). Patrolman Schaefer was survived by his wife and seven children. He was buried in Saint John Cemetery in Saint Bernard.
Patrolman Hohnecker left the department.
Mrs. Schaeffer received $300 from the Police Relief Association. She continued to live on Broadway, and her son Frank with her, until at least 1892. By 1897 she was living with Frederick and George at 502 Hunt Street (now Short Reading Road) and stayed there until her death in February 1899. She is buried with her husband.
During 1890, John H. Schaefer joined the Cincinnati Police Department as a Patrolman. Joseph Schaefer (probably Rueben), by 1892, was appointed as a Deputy Marshal.
NOTE: The officer’s names have been reported in news accounts and official records variously as Anton, Antony, Anthony, Shaffer, Schaefer, Schaeffer, Schepper, et al.
If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or the incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was further researched and revised August 25, 2021 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, with much research product provided by Cincinnati Police Sergeant David R. Turner (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Researcher, and burial information provided by Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward W. Zieverink III (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Curator. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.