US Black Heritage, Chicago Race Riot of 1919

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
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Surnames/tags: black_heritage chicago
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US Black Heritage Project

The Chicago, Illinois race riot of 1919 was sparked by the murder of Black seventeen-year-old Chicagoan, Eugene Williams, who, with his friends, had drifted over to the informal white swimming area of the beach near 29th Street. George Stauber, a white young man, threw rocks at the swimmers, causing Eugene to drown. The police appeared and refused to arrest Stauber. He was later arrested, but acquitted.

What followed was a racial riot against Black Americans that began on July 27 and ended on August 3, 1919. 38 people died (23 black and 15 white). 537 people were injured and 1,000 to 2,000 lost their homes. The majority of the victims were Black citizens.

  • Mayor William Hale Thompson
  • Governor Frank Lowden
  • Chief of Police, John J. Garrity
  • State's Attorney Maclay Hoyne
  • Illinois Attorney General Edward Brundage
  • Police officer Daniel Callahan (wouldn't allowed swimmers to enter the water to save Eugene Williams and refused to arrest Staube)


Known Dead

  1. Henry Baker
  2. Samuel Banks
  3. Samuel Bass
  4. Theodore Copling
  5. James Crawford
  6. Oscar Dozier
  7. William H Dozier
  8. Henry Goodman
  9. Paul Hardwick
  10. B. F. Hardy
  11. Ira Henry
  12. John Walter Humphrey
  13. Edward W. Jackson
  14. Thomas Joshua
  15. Edward Lee
  16. Joseph Lovings
  17. John Mills
  18. Joseph Sanford
  19. John Simpson (police officer)
  20. Hymes Taylor
  21. Louis Taylor
  22. Eugene Williams
  23. Robert Williams

  1. Harold Brignadello
  2. George Flemming
  3. Stefan Horvath
  4. Nicholas Kleinmark
  5. Casmere Lazzerroni
  6. David Marcus
  7. Clarence Metz
  8. Berger Odman
  9. William Otterson
  10. Walter Parejko
  11. Morris I. Perel
  12. Joseph Powers
  13. Joseph Schoff
  14. Eugene Temple
  15. G. L. Wilkins

Known Wounded

  • George Evans
  • George White

Men Indicted

These men were indicted on charges of murder, assault, arson, and other charges

These 5 were charged with conspiracy, carrying concealed weapons, assault to kill Everett Martin, a Black man

  • Michael Drew
  • George Southwick
  • George Murphy
  • Edwin Neylon
  • Willim Baer

These 4 men were charged with conspiracy and arson in connection of burning the home of John Cappoge, a Black man

  • Harry Sherlock
  • Carl Johnson
  • Fred Brissa
  • William Geary

These 4 men were charged with assaulting with intent to kill Fedrico Gonzales, a Mexican man they had mistaken for a Black man

  • Charles Shuh
  • Stanley Holy aka Murphy
  • Frank Proszowski aka Kapula
  • Frank Melewic
  • George Stauber charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of Eugene Williams
  • Clarence Jones charged with assault with intent to kill Frank King, a Black man, in a restaurant
  • Joseph Quattrochi charged with assault with intent to kill Daisy Richardson, a Black woman
  • John Sheehan charged with assault to kill William Stewart, a Black porter in Heffernan's Saloon

These men were charged with assault with intent to kill

  • Alfred Kirk
  • William Brown
  • Alonzo Estling
  • Homer Ware
  • Arthur Alexander
  • Joseph Sanders (three charges)


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