Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 973-975 transcribed on July 19, 2001.

John J. Cassidy

JOHN J. CASSIDY. - Since man is still prone to do evil and forget or ignore his duty to his fellows and the community in which he lives, a multitude of police and tipstaves is still required to keep him in subjection, protect life and property from unlawful assault and preserve the peace and good order in all localities. The primary consideration in this connection is to secure good, upright and courageous men for the service, and the second to stand by and sustain them in the proper performance of their duties.

Kansas City, Kansas, has in its service in this capacity a man of undoubted uprightness, courage, ability and fidelity in the person of John J. Cassidy, who has been connected with the police department since September 18, 1904, and has made an excellent record in his work, meeting many perils without flinching and risking his safety and even his life in the effort to give the people the full measure of his usefulness in upholding the law and aiding in its proper administration.

Mr. Cassidy was born in the city which has had the benefit of his services on September 28, 1868, and is a son of Mark and Margaret (Goodwin) Cassidy, natives of Ireland, the father born in county Monaghan and the mother in county Fermanagh. They came to the United States and located in Kansas City, Kansas, in early life. Here they became acquainted and in 1857 were married, their wedding being the first ever celebrated in St. Mary's parish, Wyandotte, and attracting great attention on that account.

The father was a contractor in stone work and the first man to do any stone paving in the city. He also did all the stone work in the construction of the tunnel of the Metropolitan Railroad in Kansas City, Missouri, and contracting in Independence, grading the fine roadway from that city to Lee Summit. His interest in the public affairs of the county, and the intelligence and capacity he showed concerning them, induced the people to elect him constable at one time, but he declined the office and never qualified legally for its acceptance.

In addition to his work as a contractor he followed farming on a scale of some magnitude, beginning in the early seventies, and dealt extensively in farm land. For his own purposes as a farmer he owned sixty acres in Wyandotte township, this county, and one hundred and sixty acres neat Olathe in the adjoining county of Johnson. He died on his farm on October 10, 1901, and his widow after surviving him eight years, passed away at the same place on November 2, 1909. They were the parents of nine children: F. M., who is a resident of Buffalo, New York, and editor of the Searchlight, a newspaper published in that city; Mary, who died at the age of twenty-six; Anna, the wife of Daniel Moran, of Wyandotte; Mark, who died in infancy; John J., the immediate subject of this memoir; Margaret, the wife of William Burnett of Kansas City, Kansas; J. P., who lives in this county; Mark M., whose home is also in Kansas City, Kansas; and James, who died in infancy. All but one of the living members of this large family are valued contributors to the welfare and advancement of the locality in which their parents dignified and adorned good citizenship with useful labor.

John J. Cassidy grew to manhood and obtained his education in the city of his nativity and life long residence. He attended District School No. 4, and St. Mary's, St. Bridget's and Annunciation Catholic parochial schools, completing his scholastic training at the high school corner of Seventh and Ann streets. At the age of twenty-one he accepted employment on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. A year and a half later he was injured in the work and obliged to give up all connection with the railroad service. He then became an assistant of his brother-in-law, William Burnett, in the meat market belonging to the latter, and during the next seventeen years worked for him.

On September 18, 1904, he was appointed on the city police force, being assigned to duty as the driver of a patrol wagon, a position which he held until June 18, 1909, and which brought him many times into hazardous situations and exacted of him heroic work. On the date, last mentioned he became a citizens' policeman on Central avenue over a beat extending from State Line to James and Ohio streets, and in this capacity he is still rendering satisfactory service to the people.

On September 13, 1892, Mr. Cassidy was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Ward, a native of Buffalo, Dallas county, Missouri, whose father died when she was an infant. Her mother was afterward married to a gentleman with whom she is still living in Emporia, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Cassidy have had no children. In politics the head of the house is an independent Democrat, but with considerable loyalty to his party organization, which he has served efficiently as a member of its county central committee in Wyandotte county. In fraternal relations he is connected with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, holding membership in Aerie No. 87, of his home city. He and his wife are members of St. Bridget's Catholic church.

Biographical Index