Adams St. & DesPlaines St.

Street Address: 
Adams St. & DesPlaines St.
Chicago, IL

Case Number: 860

Date: 12/31/1904

Location: Adams & DesPlaines sts.

Circumstances: supposed assault

Victim: Grace, Stephen

Defendant: Coffman, John

For more information, search the Homicide Database for this case number.





1904 - 1904


Stephen Grace was my great grandfather. He was a Chicago detective out of the Central Station who was assigned to oversee the activities of local pawnshops. Around 1897 he left the police force and opened a pawnshop at Halsted and Jackson Blvd. Evidence shows that he was actually a fence and running his own gang of thieves. In 1902 he was arrested for receiving stolen goods from a thief named Thomas Downs. Case was dismissed. In 1904 he was murdered on the sidewalk in front of Old St. Patrick's Church (Adams and DesPlaines) by members of his own gang...John Coffman and John Warren. Warren made a plea deal and testified against Coffman. Jury ruled not guilty after deliberating for 25 minutes. It was the second time that the 20-year-old Coffman was acquitted in a murder trial. Interesting to note that Stephen Grace's son, Tim Grace, was married to Katherine Humphrey. Katherine's brother was Murray "The Camel" Humphrey...considered to be the brains of Al Capone's network. I would be THRILLED if someone could dig up a photo of my great grandfather, Stephen Grace. So far I have had no luck.

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