Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Slain Chicago police officer remembered

New grave marker dedicated in ceremony

By Bruce Schreiner
The Associated Press

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - Mournful sounds of bagpipes cascaded across a tiny cemetery Tuesday as big-city and small-town police officers dedicated a new grave marker to honor the first black Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty, nearly 84 years ago.

Cornelius Wilson, a Campbellsville native who migrated to Chicago and joined the police force there in February 1915, was remembered with prayers, hymns and tributes as a contingent of Chicago police officers made the bus trip.

Chicago police bagpipers and drummers stood at attention as Wilson was remembered as a fallen comrade who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Another honor guard was formed by members of the Campbellsville police department, Taylor County sheriff's office and Kentucky State Police.

"We reach back, we march back to see that our forgotten heroes are remembered," said Officer John Ryan, president of the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department.

Wilson was headed home after a late-night shift when he was gunned down on a Chicago street during a shootout with robbery suspects on May 1, 1919. One suspect was fatally injured.

Wilson was about 29 when he died and had a wife but no children.

Wilson's family was represented by a niece and a nephew during the ceremony filled with pomp and attended by about 150 people. Chicago city flags were presented to Wilson's descendants and to the city of Campbellsville.

The Chicago police pipes and drums corps has raised money to replace or repair 63 missing or damaged grave markers for Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty.

Through the years, Wilson's old marble headstone had broken into three pieces. He is buried near several relatives in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

His new headstone was inscribed, "Cornelius Wilson, Chicago Police Department, Killed in the line of duty, May 1, 1919." A star bearing Wilson's badge number, 2902, was etched in the lower left corner.

Wilson's name also will be added to a memorial in a Campbellsville park that's named after slain state police Trooper Johnny Edrington, a Campbellsville native, said Campbellsville police Sgt. Terry Lile.

Erratic budgets let schools deteriorate
School built in 1876 near the end of its life
Tiny gym leaves team always the visitors
Old electrical systems stretched to capacity
Cramped quarters, crowded buildings
Wanted: a little grass, more room to play
Parents worry about lead paint in schools
History of inconsistency

Police want out of race accord
Agreement's yield: Contention
Settlements at a glance
Indian Hill to pool its power buys and save $
Drop gun suit, city advised
Morgue photos letter revealed
Football Classic lacking stadium
Bank One releases condo liens
Obituary: Austin M. Wright, 80, writer, teacher
Tristate A.M. Report

SMITH AMOS: A second chance
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

Health costs jump for Warren inmates
Time ripe for ammonia theft
Going Bananas
Levy would maintain buildings
Fernald to hold last tour for public
County seeks to preserve rare bridge

Ohio executes inmate 18 years after slaying
Ohio Moments

Gays win expanded rights coverage
Eatery reopens after slaying
Bob Woodward, 2 politicos to lecture at NKU this fall
Candidates endorse choice of care type covered by Medicaid
Slain Chicago police officer remembered
Police: Ex-boyfriend shot to death high school senior, self
Moonlite Bar matriarch dead at 83
Kentucky obituaries
Nunn wants to 'move on'
Police: 3 men shot to death, dumped in Kentucky River