Springfield – Illinois State Police Officials bid a proud farewell to one of its oldest and sole surviving members of the first Illinois State Police Cadet Class of 1941, Captain Francis Mowery.
Captain Francis Mowery, a native of Fairbury, Illinois, joined the Illinois State Police (ISP) in 1941 and was an aspiring cadet in Illinois State Police’s first cadet class.
Prior to joining the ISP, Mowery served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1934 to 1938. He also re-enlisted for duty in World War II, during his tenure with the ISP. Mowery began his service with the ISP operating a motorcycle. He also served as an ISP Academy instructor, a master pistol shooter, a graduate of the Northwestern Traffic Institute and the F.B.I. National Academy.
He rose through the ranks in the Division of Operations, where he dedicated his entire career. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1952; Lieutenant in 1957; and Captain in 1962, where he remained District 6 Commander until his retirement in 1974.
“It is extremely rare that we have an opportunity to remember and honor a member of this Department’s first cadet class who proudly served this Organization for so many years,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Captain Mowery was a man of great honor and has left a legacy of bravery and courage for the men and women who had the privilege of learning from his example,” Grau added.
District 6 Commander Captain Suzanne Jansky described Mowery as a man of distinction who spent his entire ISP career in uniform. "As a police organization, the Illinois State Police is blessed with a vast array of very good people. We are also the benefactor of having some true ‘greats.’ While I didn't have the pleasure of working for Captain Francis Mowery, I have had the distinct privilege of walking in the legacy he established in District 6, and in doing so, I am confident in saying I have been in the presence of greatness,” said Captain Jansky.
Captain Jansky is 50 years his junior and is currently the longest serving Captain of District 6. She is also the longest serving female in an ISP Captain rank.
Captain Jansky credits many of her law enforcement standards and police ethics to Mowery and has always tried to extend some of his work ethic to District 6 troopers.
"This man had an incredible career right here in Livingston County,” said Livingston County Coroner Michael P. Burke, who had known Mowery for many years and classified Mowery as "a class act as captain of District 6."
Captain Francis Mowery is survived by his son, Milton Mowery and a granddaughter.
Captain Mowery and Commander Jansky