Heroes Roll Call: Patrolman Samuel H. Kilbane, #235

The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.

Patrolman Samuel H. Kilbane, #235, EOW 4/19/1923

Samuel Henry Kilbane was born in Northern Ireland in 1875 and came to Cleveland in 1897. On October 20, 1910 Samuel became a member of the Cleveland Police Department and was assigned to the Mounted Unit.

On April 19, 1923, after completing a tour of duty in the downtown area, Officer Kilbane was riding his horse Sporty Rex at the rear of a column of fifteen Mounted Policemen.  As was their custom each day at the end of their duties, they would assemble at East 9th Street and Prospect and ride in a double column to their barn on Woodland Avenue at East 22nd Street.  Nearing the barn Sporty Rex bolted toward the head of the column.  He stepped in a hole in the pavement throwing Officer Kilbane to the street.  Patrolman Joseph Kennedy’s mount Newton stumbled over Sporty Rex throwing his rider.  Officer Kilbane sustained a severe head injury and Officer Kennedy suffered a fractured ankle. 

Patrolman Kilbane was transported to Charity Hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.  The accident occurred in front of 1100 Woodland Avenue, where one month earlier another mounted Officer was injured after his horse stumbled into a hole in the street. 

A rut in the roadway was blamed for causing Kilbane’s death.  This triggered a demand to repair the mass of ruts, holes and breaks in the roadway by repaving Woodland Avenue.

Officer Kilbane was one of the best-known Mounted Officers in the downtown district.  He was 46 years old was survived by his wife Christina, son Samuel and daughter Mary

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