This remarkable group of photographic portraits depicts the approximately fifty policemen, including lieutenants Martin Quinn and E. J. Steele, who made up the first division of officers who marched on Haymarket. Roll the cursor over the four tinted portraits, including the images of Quinn and Steele, to see them enlarged. The two officers in civilian clothes in the upper right are Nels Hansen and Timothy Flavin, both of whom were killed in the riot.

On the evening of Haymarket, the first division was divided equally into two companies, and each company consisted of two rows, with about a dozen men in each row. Quinn's company was on the left, Steele's on the right, just behind Inspector Bonfield and Captain Ward. Another division followed behind them, with a third division consisting of only one company to the rear of the second. Two more single-company divisions remained back to block off Randolph Street. All of the men in these divisions were detailed to the Desplaines Street station to serve under Inspector John Bonfield, by special orders from Superintendent Frederick Ebersold. Ebersold assigned other officers to watch the McCormick works.

The bomb evidently fell somewhere between the first and second divisions, slightly to the west of the center of Desplaines Street.

The names of the officers are listed below their photographs, with notations indicating which of the policemen were wounded or killed. As noted above, all of the officers are pictured in uniform, with the exception of the two in the upper right, Nels Hansen and Timothy Flavin, who died of wounds suffered in the Haymarket. Flavin passed away on Saturday, May 8. Hansen, the seventh of the police casualties, died in mid-June. Doctors amputated limbs from each man in unsuccessful efforts to save them. The death of an eighth officer two years later was attributed to injuries received in the riot.

Lieutenant Quinn was based in the Fifth Precinct's West Chicago Avenue station, where he normally served under Captain Michael J. Schaack. A sixteen-year veteran of the force, Quinn was born in Ireland and served in the Civil War. According to John J. Flinn, in his History of the Chicago Police, Quinn was an exceptionally brave officer who, as a sergeant in 1879, had been so badly slashed with a razor in the course of arresting a savage wife-beater that he had lost the use of his right arm.

Flinn described Edward J. Steele as having "the physique of a giant," and as being "clear-eyed, keen, with a mind capable of thoroughly grasping the most complicated situation and acting on the instant." Alfred T. Andreas, in his History of Chicago, noted that Steele had not missed a single day on the job in thirteen years. Born in upstate New York, he had farmed in Minnesota before coming to Chicago. He joined the police in 1872 and became well known for his ability to solve difficult cases. At the time of Haymarket he also was based in the West Chicago Avenue station, but soon after he became chief of detectives, his command including his son Freeman Steele. In the Haymarket, Flinn writes, Steele was "prostrated by the force of the explosion, and received a number of pistol balls through his clothing. He broke his wrist using his pistol as a club, but otherwise escaped injury."

Flinn's history indicates that there was a similar composite made of the company of men from the Desplaines Street station who were also on active duty that evening. This contingent suffered the largest number of casualties of any company, with three of its number killed and most of the others wounded. A gift of Inspector Bonfield, the composite was graced by his picture and Captain Ward's, as well as that of James Bowler, who was in charge of the company.

For more on Timothy Flavin and Nels Hansen, see the subsequent entries in this section.