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James W. Finn

Appointed April 30, 1884
End of Tour Tuesday, June 3, 1902

Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota
[Minnesota Death Certificate No. 1905-44-608]

Fatally injured after his horse stumbled and fell.


Photo of James Finn

At about 1800 hours (6:00 p.m.) on Monday, June 2, 1902, Mounted Patrolman James W. Finn1, Badge No. 18 and 23, was fatally injured when his horse stumbled and fell at Lynhurst and University Avenues in the City of Saint Paul as he was returning to the Prior Avenue Substation.

He stopped at a watering trough where he saw an acquaintance and leaned slightly to talk to him. At the same time his horse slipped on a smooth stone and Finn was thrown forward and off his mount. He struck his head on the curb in the fall. The horse in regaining its feet, rolled over on its unconscious rider. The officer was taken to Cobb Sanitarium but never regained consciousness, succumbing to fatal injuries the following afternoon, Tuesday, June 3, 1902.

Although police personnel records do not include a date of birth, several other records indicate that James W. Finn was born on July 4, 1858, in New York State. He moved to a farm in Minnesota at one-year of age, living most of his youth in Rose Township (now the City of Roseville), Ramsey County. Forty-four year old Finn had been with the Police Department since April 30, 1884 (eighteen years), and excepting his first year at the Central Station, spent the rest of his career as a mounted officer working out of the Prior Avenue Substation, when his life was taken. Finn was a member of the “Territorial Pioneers” as well as the “Workmen & Foresters”, and enjoyed a wide acquaintance throughout the Twin Cities. He was survived by his second wife, Teresa (first wife, Mary, died 4 July 1892), and eleven children, Ellen, William, Thomas, James, Michael, Roger, John and Edward, from the first marriage, along with Joseph, Stella and Louisa from the second marriage. Patrolman Finn’s funeral was held on Thursday, June 5, 1902, at Saint Mark’s Catholic Church, and he is buried at Calvary Cemetery, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

1 James W. Finn was appointed Patrolman April 30, 1884; was promoted to Mounted Patrolman in 1885; was fatally injured after his horse stumbled and fell June 2, 1902, and died on Tuesday, June 3, 1902.