Memorial Biographies

Police Officer Edward Dippel

     On July 13,1863, New York city saw one of its worse riots in history.  The Battle of Gettysburg had just been won by the Union, and there was considerable resentment aimed at President Lincoln's recently enacted Draft.  Men had been gathering from all around the City, from the Five Points and all started to converge on area Draft Offices like Tompkins Square Park, at the Draft Office at 46th and 3rd there were mass lootings and assaults going on.  The men from surrounding precincts were called in to help quell the riots.
     The members of the Metropolitan Police Department (now the NYPD) were understaffed.  They only had 1452 officers to cover the city because the rest were serving in the War.  The riots raged for days, when they were over, scores of people were dead, including for police officers, and numerous were seriously wounded.  The Superintendant of Police (today's Chief of Department) John A. Kennedy was so severly beaten that he was unrecognizable to the President of the Police Commission (today's Police Commissioner).  The Superintendant was ordered arrested.
     The men were stretched thinly, fighting throughout the City.  Police Officer Edward Dippel, 26 years old, of the 25 Pct Broadway Squad, (what is today the 10th Pct) was sent to clear the rioters and looters from sacking the Gibbons House on 29th Street and 8th Ave at approximately 5:30 PM when he was shot. This was the second day of the riot, July 14,1863.  Police Officer Dippel succumbed to his wounds on July 19,1863 and was buried in his home town of Monroe, in the Monroe Community Cemetery.  He left a 23 year old widow behind.  Mary Elizabeth Dippel died three years later on June 30,1863 and is buried next to her husband.  Police Officer Dippel's headstone reads, "Officer Edward Dippel who was shot in bravely resisting the riot in New York July 14,1863. Died July 19,1863 at age 26."
    Officer Dippel is buried in the Monroe Cemetery (across from Monroe Ford).
It has been brought to the attention of Lodge 957 by our Webmaster, Elisa Hirth, that PO Dippel is not mentioned on the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington DC.  The Lodge has already taken steps to correct this oversight and in keeping with one of the missions of this Lodge, no Law Enforcement Officer who has made the ultimate sacrifice will be forgotten.  Our research is continuing to uncover both Officer Dippel's family and to ensure that no officer in Orange County will be excluded.

Trooper Carl T. Wilder - New York State Police, Troop K
On September 7,1928, while on routine patrol on the Tuxedo-Greenwood Lake Highway (present day Route 17A),Trooper Carl T. Wilder was discovered laying on the road, next to his motorcycle .  The passerby, a Deputy Sheriff from New York County, had stopped to change his tire and observed Trooper Wilder injured.  He had been shot once in the back.  The Deputy Sheriff transported Trooper Wilder to the hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds, never identifying his killer.  To this date, the killer has never been found.  The only piece of physical evidence was a torn neck tie found eight inches from where Trooper Wilder was found. No photograph is known to exist of Trooper Wilder.
Trooper William V. McDonagh - New York State Police, Troop F, Monroe
    On December 14,1975, while on routine patrol, Trooper William V. McDonagh, assigned to the State Police Barracks, Monroe, was dispatched to a dispute in the Hamlet of Sugar Loaf.  Trooper McDonagh was responding to a pay phone to a female's call for help.  Before the Trooper's arrival, the female was shot and  killed by her boyfriend.  Upon Trooper McDonagh's  arrival, he was ambushed and shot and killed by the boyfriend.  Back up units arrived, shot, and killed      Trooper McDonagh's killer. Trooper William V. McDonagh was a two year member of the New York State Police and was 24 years old at the time of his death.

Patrolman John Mackechnie - Port Jervis Police Department

     On March 18, 1949, Patrolman John Mackechnie of the Port Jervis PD was assigned to watch a prisoner, he and his partner had just arrested, in the interogation room of Police Headquarters located in the basement.  The prisoner Harold Brundage, a Navy veteran who, accoording to the newspaper of the time was "acting queerly" when his mother called the police.  The EDP was brought into HQ and was awaiting the arrival of a doctor, when he attacked Ptl. Mackechnie with the butt of a double barrel shotgun and killed him.
    Mrs. Mackechnie was summoned to HQ and was informed that her husband had been killed,  Their children Kathleen age 6 and son John age 1 1/2   were left without a father.  Ptl John Mackechnie and his wife Kathleen had just celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary the day before.
    Ptl Mackechnie was a 38 year old 8 year veteran of the Port Jervis Police Department.

Police Officer Alexander Bodnar - NYC Transit Police (retired)
In the early  morning hours of August 3, 1990, Alex Bodnar, 49, of Blooming Grove, Orange County, and his wife were asleep when Ronald Cummings broke into their house.  Cummings, high on alcohol and crack, was apparently unaware that Alex was there, and was holding a knife above Alex's wife and  was slicing her pajamas while threatening to kill her.  When Cummings cut his hand, Alex's wife awakened Alex.  Cummings then demanded money from Alex while still holding the knife to his wife's chest.  Alex tossed a can containing some money to Cummings and was stabbed in the chest causing him to roll out of bed onto the floor.  Then, with Alex watching, Cummings attempted twice to rape his wife.  Alex, a retired police officer who had survived 22 years of duty in Harlem, crawled to the bathroom to retrieve his revolver.  Cummings let go of his wife and went after Alex stabbing him five more times, but not before PO Bodnar was able to shoot and kill Cummings.  PO Bodnar succumbed to his wounds received defending his wife, and died as he had lived, a Police Officer.