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Milwaukee Police Department remembering officers killed in 1917 bombing

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Milwaukee Police Department is remembering those killed in a bomb blast at a police station 100 years ago.

The Department says nine officers and two citizens were killed when a bomb exploded inside the assembly of the Central Police Station at Oneida Street (now Wells Street) and Broadway on November 24, 1917.

The bomb was first discovered by the 10-year-old daughter of a church cleaning lady in a passageway between the Italian Evangelical Church at 3555 North Van Buren Street and a neighboring mission house. The bomb was later brought to the police station where it detonated as it was being investigated.

Ten officers were in the station assembly room at the time of the explosion, eight of which were killed and two were injured.

The names of the eight men killed are: Detective Stephen H. Stecher, Detective Charles Seehawer, Detective David O’Brien, Detective Albert Templin, Detective Paul Weiler, Detective Fred W. Kaiser, Detective Frank Caswin and Station Keeper Henry Deckert.

Detective Louis Hartman and Detective Herman Bergin were also injured and one of the men later died. 

A switchboard room operator, Edward Spindler, was killed by shrapnel and another woman, Catherine Walker, was killed near the entrance as she was making a complaint against an ex-boyfriend.

It’s believed the bomb was put in the church by sympathizers and anarchists who were arrested in connection with the Bay View riot of September 9, 1917.

Police say prior to September 11, 2001 the bombing was the single deadliest event in national law enforcement history.

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