Chautauqua County Historian Michelle Henry presents a program detailing local and national research on Patrick Tyrrell, a Dunkirk resident later hailed as a national hero.
Tyrrell was appointed deputy sheriff in Chautauqua County in 1868, and later became an agent for the Secret Service. His investigations and arrests of several notorious counterfeiting rings led to his eventual involvement in thwarting a plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body in 1876. He is credited with preventing the theft; and histories published in the Chicago area depict him as a shining character. However, records held in the County Archive in Mayville suggest that Tyrrell’s personal and professional life were marred by accusations of corruption and abuse.
Was he a hero or a scoundrel, or perhaps a bit of both?