Hamilton County Ohio
Genealogy and History
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News Stories of
Fires, Train Wrecks
and other Calamities


Steamboat Accident
Pittsburg, Oct. 29 - A letter from Cincinnati dated 23d inst. says "Between this place and Louisville on our way down in the Steamboat Potomac, the Steamboat Waverly came in contact with us and cut our bow to the water's edge. Our pilot, a fireman and an old gentleman returning from the east to his family were thrown overboard. The old gentleman was drowned. [Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, November 12, 1828 - NP - Sub by FoFG]

Cincinnati, Dec. 4 - Yesterday, as the steamboat Gen. Marion was on her way from Pittsburg to this place, she overtook an ark with two white men and twenty-seven Negroes on board. The master of the ark, although earnestly warned of the danger, attached his boat to Gen. Marion. In a minute or two the ark was filled with water. Four of the Negroes were drowned and their bodies not recovered. Four were taken up in a state of insensibility, having remained under water from 20 to 25 minutes and three out of the flour resuscitated by the indefatigable exertions of Dr. Povall, of Philadelphia, who happened to be on board the Gen. Marion with his family as passengers.
[Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, January 7, 1829 - NP - Sub by FoFG]

Fire in Cincinnati
On the night of the 22d ult. a fire broke out in the soap and candle factory of Messrs. Gamble & Hinkle, on Elm street, which, with the front dwelling house on the same lot was entirely consumed, and an adjoining dwelling house nearly so, before the flames were subdued. Baltimore Patriot
[Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, November 9, 1830; NP,Sub by FoFG]

Railroad Collision in Ohio
Cincinnati, Saturday, July 2. -- A gravel train on the Central Railroad ran into a passenger train between Columbus and Zanesville yesterday. A fireman and engineer, and a MR. GUTHRIE, of Putnam, were injured, but not seriously. The gravel train was out of time.
[New York Times, 5 July 1853 - MR - Sub by FoFG]

Hamilton, O., October 20 - The railroad accident at Jones Station was the sole topic of conversaton among our citizens today. The news reached here about 9 o'clock and caused wild excitement. The first reports were grossly exaggerated, the number of killed being placed at seven, with thirty or forty wounded. A large delegation of Hamiltonians were on board the fated train and the telegraph offices were soon surrounded by anxious friends eager to learn the latest from the wreck. Many took passage on the relief car, which was sent down shortly after the accident occurred. The heroism and presence of mind of Mr. Ed St. John, of this city, who, at the risk of his life, warned the passengers of their danger , is the subject of much favorable comment among our citizens, and Mr. St. John is the "Lion" of the town today. [Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, October 21, 1880 - DW - Sub by FoFG]

CINCINNATI, May 4.-This city and vicinity has been greatly excited over the explosion of a large tank of gasoline, which demolished the five-story building at Nos. 430 and 432 Walnut street at 8 o'clock tonight. After the explosion the wildest reports were current as to the loss of life. Before midnight it was known that six were killed and eighteen injured, but the work of removing the debris had proceeded so slowly that the general estimate of the killed and wounded greatly exceeded this number.

The known dead are:

The injured are:
MRS. DRACH, feet crushed
BABE OF MRS. DRACH, limbs crushed.
EMIL DRACH, right arm broken, cut over eyes.
BARBARA HUTTZELMANN, domestic for Fey, hurt over the eyes.
J. B. WARD, Toledo; race horse man, cut with glass.
SIDNEY W. JOHNSON, barkeeper for Fey, cut on back of head and over eye.
WILLARD E. COOK, right arm mashed, cut over eye.
JOSEPH SPRAGUE. colored porter, face and hands badly burned.
W. E. HUNWICK, shoulder dislocated.
C. S. WELLS, clerk, body crushed.
PELLER BURNS, horse dealer, contusion right arm and leg, bad scalp wound.
CHARLES FILLEY, teamster, contusion head and arms.
JOHN M'CARTHY, clerk on the Big Sandy steamer, contusion leg and head, internally injured; will die.
R. A. FRICKE, of Norwood.

Among the missing are William Lauth and William Loheide, who are known to be still in the ruins, and not likely to be recovered alive.

The explosion did not carry the debris any distance from the building or even obstruct the street in front of it. The building seemed to collapse so that the pile of debris was covered by the tin roof, and, after working several hours, it was found that the only way to rescue the victims was to remove the immense mass of brick and timber. Accordingly workmen were put at it, as many as could work on it. The debris was being shoveled by one force out into the street and into the rear alley, and all available teams were secured for another force of men to load it up and get it out of the way of there rescuing party who were working on the immense pile of ruins. This is found to be the only practical means of reaching those who were on the lower floors. All those who have been rescued have been on the upper floors except some who were thrown out into the street. While this work was going on holes were cut through the foundations of adjacent buildings and debris was taken out, and three lives were saved by persons being rescued in Out manner. It is thought that others will be saved by these holes through the basement walls of the adjoining buildings. The family of Adolph Drach suffered most severely. Drach is dead and his wife and child seriously hurt. Noland Davit, a traveling man for the Columbia Carriage Company, of Hamilton, O., and Mattie Kennedy complete the list of those known to be dead. A most touching scene occurred when fireman John McCarthy found his brother pinioned under a heavy beam and begging the men above to kill him. McCarthy said there were three other men near him and they were alive. The most heroic effort to liberate these sufferers were made up to midnight. Hermon Nolte, jr., was standing by a barber shop pole in an adjoining building when struck by some debris and suffered a broken leg and other injuries. There were many that suffered slight injuries who were taken to their homes and whose names cannot be learned. Some of those who were In the saloons were thrown out. on the sidewalk and suffered slight injuries. Among them Mr. Healy, of the Alms Hotel. He was in Fey's place and reports about eighteen or twenty in that resort when the building went down. Mr. Drach being among the victims, it is probable that it will never be known how the explosion came about. He has just been down in the basement experimenting with the gasoline engine and had poured a barrel of gasoline into the tank. He had just secured a new engine from Lafayette, Ind., intending to start it to-night for motive power to furnish incandescent light. Among the guests at the Gibson House across the street were the Boston baseball team.
Later - It was thought early in the evening that Mrs. Drach, as well as her husband, was killed. The body of Mr. Drach was recovered and taken to the morgue. As Mrs. Drach was known to be in her flat at the time of the explosion she was counted among the dead, but her body was reached shortly before midnight and she was found to be still alive. She was suffering intense pain, and all of the efforts of the workmen' failed to rescue her. Up to 12:30 they have been able to talk to her for over an hour while she remained pinioned under a heavy beam. Jack McCarthy, Peter Burns and Charles Tilley were taken out of the ruins about midnight, but it is feared that none of them will live. At the time of the explosion the electric wires for the arc lights and trolleys were torn down and there was a great demonstration of electric light. This is one of the things which caused the stampede in the Gibson House, as when the sound of the explosion was heard the flash of the electric light wires was seen in the street. It is learned late to-night that a number of people were injured in the stampede on Walnut street at that time, and some were injured by coming in contact with the live wires, but it is impossible to get the names of any who-were not so seriously injured as to be taken to the hospital.
Mr. Noland Davit, of Hamilton, who was killed by the explosion, married a well- known young lady at Newport about two months age. McCarthy, Burns and Tilley were rescued by digging through one of the walls of and adjacent building. It is, however, impossible to rescue Mrs. Drach even in this manner. At 12:30 this morning they furnished her something to drink, and are providing for her as best they can. Her feet are under an immense beam and are probably crushed. It may be necessary to amputate them in order to save her life. All of the departments of the city are at work at the ruins, The police commissioners are there in charge of their department, together with Chief Deitsch, and the fire commissioners are with Chief Archibald. The street cleaning department is out in force, at work on removing the debris and hauling it away, and good engineers are on hand superintending the handling of the heavy timbers. Cal Crim, who was supposed to be among the victims, turned up all right to-night, and the detective will continue his work-in the Jackson case. Workmen report at 12:45 that one of Mrs. Drach's children was certainly still alive, as they could plainly hear it calling "Mamma." They said that the servant girl of Mrs. Drach, name unknown, was dead and lying by Mrs. Drach's side. This does not, however, increase the number of those killed, as Mrs. Drach had been included in that list.
2.a. m. -The workmen liberated Mrs. Drach after 1 o'clock Tuesday morning, also her little child, and they were taken to the hospital. Her feet are badly crushed, but she and her child will recover. The dead body of Mattie Kennedy, a domestic, was recovered at the same time and taken to the morgue. The process of operation through the holes in the adjoining walls and foundations prove quite effectual, but even through these channels Fricke, Lauth and Loheide could not be reached up to 2 o'clock, although they are known still to be in the debris. There are only thirteen of the injured at the City Hospital. Their names appear in the list given above. Others were injured and taken to their homes, and their names and the extent of their injuries could not be learned. It is thought to-night that none of the injured will die except McCarty. Relays of the force of workmen will continue the efforts to clear away the debris and find any others that may be in the wreckage as soon as possible. The work will continue all night and until the ruins are cleared away. There are only three bodies at the morgue, but it is believed that the list will be double that number.
[May 1896, unknown newspaper] 


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