Showing posts with label John Bailey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Bailey. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A December tragedy in downtown Newburyport

Joe Callahan | Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 3:00 am 

View from Inn Street looking towards Tracy Place, the E. P. Dodge Shoe Factory Photo from Clipper Heritage Trail
Monday, Dec. 27, 1880 started out as a good day in Newburyport. The weather was fine, the Christmas weekend was over and the school kids had a few days’ vacation. People were back to work and the shops were unusually busy for that time of the year.
However, before the day was over, a tragedy in the downtown would cost four lives and cast a pall of sadness over the entire city.
Close to 1,000 people were employed in the four-story brick factory that extended from Pleasant Street to Prince Place. The E.P. Dodge Shoe Company and the N.D. Dodge Shoe Company each employed well over 400 and a yarn shop employed 60. The length of the building had been extended to Prince Place earlier that year and a new chimney was built and two new boilers were installed in the boiler house attached to the west side of the building.
Thomas P. Harrington was the engineer in charge of the boilers. He was from South Boston and only had been employed for about a month. Some of the locals were skeptical about his engineering abilities, but many others gave him high marks. Mr. Harrington’s wife and young son had spent the weekend in Newburyport and were planning to move there soon.
The mood of the day changed at 12:45 that afternoon when the two new boilers exploded with great force and a blast that was heard and felt through most of the city. The boilers and the boiler house were blown to pieces. Besides the four deaths, over two dozen other persons were injured. Extensive damage was done to many nearby buildings, as bricks from the boiler house and parts from the boilers became lethal weapons as they flew in all directions. Parts of the boiler struck a house on Green Street. Windows were shattered all over the entire area.
When the dust and live steam had cleared, a search of the debris looking for survivors was started and soon the body of Mr. Harrington was found. Soon after Daniel Bridges Jr., age 40, was found, he died shortly after being taken to a neighborhood home. Bridges worked in the factory and it was thought he was in the boiler house visiting Mr. Harrington on his noon break. John Bailey, age 30, was employed at the heel shop of Waldo Smith on Hales Court. He was standing near a window and died instantly when struck by a brick.
Ten-year-old Oscar Salkins was on school vacation. He was sitting in Chases Heel Shop on Hales Court where he always visited and was known to all the workers. Oscar was also struck by a brick. He was carried to his nearby home, where he died that evening.
Mrs. Harrington and her son had returned to Boston that morning. Following the accident, no one knew how to contact her; nobody knew the family address in Boston. She first learned of her husband’s death from a neighbor who read about the accident in a Boston paper the following morning.
Following the tragedy, an inquest was held to determine the cause. Many experts were called to testify and many different opinions were given; but without any survivors from the boiler house, no decision could be reached.
The new chimney that I mentioned was completed in May of 1880. On the chimney still standing at the site you can see the date 1880 in the brick work facing Prince Place. In the papers after the incident there is no mention of the chimney. Being so close to the origin of the disaster, it is hard to believe it was not toppled.

Railroad depot on left and the E. P. Dodge Shoe Company in the center. Courtesy of the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center.

Portrait of Elisha P. Dodge. History of Newburyport, Massachusetts by John J. Currier.

Joe Callahan is a former fire chief of Salisbury who is interested in historical accounts of the area.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stormy Weather in Mass Bay Colony

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Bob Dylan 

John Winthrop recorded in his journal 1643: There arose a sudden gust at N. W. so violent for half an hour as it blew down multitudes of trees. It lifted up their meeting house at Newbury, the people being in it. It darkened the air with dust, yet through God's great mercy it did no hurt, but only killed one Indian with the fall of a tree. It was straight between Linne {Lynn} and Hampton. From The history of New England from 1630 to 1649 (With notes by J. Savage)  By John Winthrop. He begun keeping a daily diary of atmospheric conditions while aboard the Arabella en route to the New World in 1630. If he was around today he could have made a prosperous career as a meteorologist. There was another recording of a storm in 1635 "The Great Storm of 1635." Essex Antiquarian" Vol. I, p. 63 Covered from Nova Scotia to at least Manhattan NY. Storm surge waves were 20 feet. Wind damaged crops and blew down trees in immense numbers. In The Old Families of Sailsbury and Amesbury by David W Hoyt we find John Bailey in the storm frenzy:

Here is an article from  Corner in Ancestors Coat-of-Arms of the Porters of America - Thomas Bayley, Founder of His Line Sunday, February 14, 1915   Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) I had to break up the article into sections so it could be visible, thus the vary in sizes. Also note updates to family history may have recorded after article was written

John Tillotson was another: Emigrated from England to America in 1635 on the ship "James", leaving Southampton on Apr 5, 1635, under the supervision of Matthew Mitchell, brother of his mother, Mary. The ship carried "one hundred other honest people of Yorkshire", according to one Tillotson history. His father died when John was ten years old. The "James" left Bristol, England, for America on June 4, 1635, albeit the passengers had been aboard since May 24, and did not lose sight of the English coast until June 22, landing at Boston August 17 1635. The ship carried one hundred passengers, twenty-three crew, twenty-three cows and heifers, three suckling calves, and eight mares. All survived and indeed apparently well after such a lengthy voyage on such a small vessel, in spite of weathering a great storm, losing both anchor and tackle.  From Brobst Family Historical Registry.

On another note you have to wonder if the storm tempers permeated Master Tilloston as records Essex County Courtly Court Records show he had a fiery, strong temper, a "tempestuous nature kept him in trouble" (see Comfortably Fixed by Judith M Darby) so we can conclude he had a definite inner rage: 1648 fathered a child four months before his marriage to Dorcas Coleman. 1650: "John Tillotson, it is well knowne what he is, the town gave him 30s but this winter to make a bane." September 1650: Sued and found guilty of killing the mare of James Noyes, for which he was ordered to pay 27 pounds. John did not much like the decision; he was later presented in a public church meeting "for scandalous and reproachful speech cast upon the elders and authorities." April 1656: John Tillotson admonished for chaining his wife to the bedpost with a plow chain to keep her within doors. See also Tillotson of East Montpelier, Vermont: being an account of the ancestors and descendants of Olin Locke Tillotson (1854-1956) and Susie Dellah Davis (1861-1932) and their allied families. November 1657: "John Tilison sentenced to the house of correction. But he was released and bound to "good behaviour and to live with his wife and prvyde for her acording to his place as a husband ought to doe." 1659: John Tilison, upon complaint of Mr. Dummer, fined for false oath, and to pay fees of the Constable of Newbury. 
The Angel Gabriel and the Great Storm of 1635
Janice Brown New Hampshire: Visions of Dorothy and Toto–It’s Tornado Season
John Horrigan's historical lectures Audio on JohnWithrop 
Early American tornadoes, 1586-1870 by David McWilliams Ludlum

Photo from Descendants of Edward W Woodman Nancy Griffin Cunningham Contact