John Kavanagh

b. circa December 1843, d. 9 November 1904

John Kavanagh, c1843-1904
  • John Kavanagh was born circa December 1843 in Ireland.
  • He married Ann McEvoy.
  • John Kavanagh and Ann McEvoy appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in New York, New York, at 201 East 107th Street. Other members of the household included Doreta (?). Also in the household were children Mary (age 4 months) and Annie M. (2.)
  • He was a policeman, according to the 1880 census.
  • He married Lucy Fitzsimmons, daughter of Michael Fitzsimmons and Ellen Comber.
  • John Kavanagh and Lucy Fitzsimmons appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Manhattan, New York, at 963 Columbus Circle. Other members of the household included Lucy M. Kavanagh and Josephine K. Kavanagh.
  • He was a policeman, according to the 1900 census.
  • John Kavanagh died on 9 November 1904 in Manhattan, New York.
  • Lucy Fitzsimmons became a widow at his death.
  • The following appeared on 10 November 1904 in The World: John Kavanagh, fifty-nine years old, a patrolman attached to the West One Hundredth street station, was found dead in a clump of bushes within ten feet of the New York Central tracks at Ninety-ninth street to-day.
         His body was badly mangled, both legs being broken and twisted. It is believed he was killed by a train while pursuing freight thieves.
         Kavanagh had the early tour, and was warned by his captain to keep a sharp lookout for the thieves who have been plundering the frieght cars of late.
         He made one tour from One Hundred and Tenth street to Ninety-Sixth street, making a thorough search of the yards for thieves. It was on his return trip that he was evidently killed. He did not show up at midnight for the rollcall and policemen were sent in search of him. They did not find him.
         Engineer John Harvey, who was riding on a train, saw the body lying in a clump of bushes and pulled the bell cord, stopping the train.
         Policeman Hickey was summoned, and Dr. Westoott, from the J. Hood Wright Hospital, said Kavanagh had been dead some time. His head was smashed badly, both legs were broken and there were other bruises indicating injuries that undoubtedly killed him.
         Kavanagh had a splendid record on the force, having been appointed in 1873. He lived with his family at No. 85 West One Hundred and Fourth street.
         He was married twice, and leaves, in addition to his second wife, eight children. Two of these are by his second wife, a boy of nine and a girl of six. The other six are older, and are by his first wife. One of the girls is married to Policeman John Mullen, of the same station.
         Kavanagh got honorable mention and a medal from the Police Board of 1883 for jumping overboard from a steamer and saving the life of a boy on July 22, 1883.
         He wore a silver plate in his skull as a souvenir ofhis fight with burglars in a butcher shop twelve years ago. In this case he found two burglars at work in a butcher shop and tackled them single-handed. One of them struck him on the head with a cleaver, but he held on to him and blew his whistle until help arrived. The second crook got away. Kavanagh went to the hospital, and was there for several months.
  • The following appeared on 10 November 1904 in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: The body of Patrolman John Kavanagh of the West One Hundredth street police station, Manhattan, was found about 2 o'clock this morning lying near the railroad track of the New York Central Hudson River Railroad at Ninety-ninth street and North River. He had been struck by a train, his legs broken and skull fractured. Kavanagh was 59 years old and lived with his wife and children at 85 West One Hundred and Fourth street, Manhattan.
  • The following appeared on 11 November 1904 in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Police Commissioner McAdoo talked to the reporters this morning on a number of questions. . .
         Commissioner McAdoo expressed his regret at the death of Policeman John Kavanagh, who was killed on the New York Central tracks at West Ninety-ninth street early yesterday morning, by a train, while pursuing thieves. Kavanagh was 60 years old and had served thirty-two years on the force. He was a familiar character because of his long service and was called "Old John" by His brother officers.
         "I have arranged that the widow will get $1,000 without delay from the police fund, and the full pension," said the commissioner. "If I find that she is in need of it, I shall give her a place making beds or something like that, in one of the station houses, so she may add to her income. I have given permission for the police band and Kavanagh's platoon to attend his funeral as is the custom where policemen lose their lives in the performance of their duties."
         The commissioner was told that there was much criticism of the police officials for keeping such an old and faithful policeman out on post and not giving him an easy detail, while hundreds of strong and healthy young policemen fill these "soft snaps."
         "Had I known of Kavanagh's case, I should certainly have given him an easier place," he said, "but now that he is dead I can only see that his widow and children are cared for as best I can."
  • Last Edited: 28 Apr 2017

Family 1: Ann McEvoy b. circa 1850

Family 2: Lucy Fitzsimmons b. November 1863, d. 11 January 1933