Sunday, May 19, 2019

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS- Week 13 ~ A fire at the Witchell shoe factory 16 Oct 1900 in Detroit–Horace Thorp, my 2nd great grandfather mentioned in an article

Honoring those who were killed and injured in this fire
Alonzo D. Ireson, age 63 – died
Ernest Lizzote, age 28 – died
Charles O’Connor, age 63 – injured
Joseph Pullare, age 21 – injured
Jennie McTaggart, age 16 – injured
Augustino Sufurto, age 28 – injured
Charles H. Dessottell, age 55 – injured
Daniel Cardinal, age 45 – injured
Mabel Straight, age 14 – injured
Minnie Corbett, age 22 – injured

Sometimes when we run our ancestor’s names on the newspaper websites we find surprises.  Whether it’s general articles about visiting family, a car being stolen or a court case, I’m always intrigued.

In this case I was trying to find out more about my 2nd great grandfather, Horace Henry Thorp (1836 in New York to 1907 in Washington), married to Catherine C. DORSEY and together they had 10 children.

I found this article mentioning him.  It said he worked next door to the Witchell shoe factory which caught on fire and injured several people and killed two.  I know from Detroit City Directory listings that Horace, indeed, did work at the laundry next door to the shoe factory.

Detroit Free Press, 19 Oct 1900, pg 2

I went on to find a couple of more articles referring to the fire.  It’s very sad to think of those who lost their lives and those who were injured.
Detroit Free Press, 17 Oct 1900, pg 1 and 24 Oct 1900, pg 4

From the article published 24 Oct 1900, page 4, in the Detroit Free Press, we can read that there was an “open verdict” as to the cause of the fire.  What they had at that time was a probability and some evidence on how it may have begun. 
Was there further investigation?  If so, what was the conclusion or verdict? 
I located this article about one of the fire victims, Jennie McTaggert, who died of shock from another incident just 2 years after the fire.  Here is the article about her death.
Death of Jennie McTaggert - Detroit Free Press 2 Dec 1901, pg 5

It seems to me the families would have wanted to know more about how the fire started which injured and killed family members.  I have not located any other articles.  

If you know anything more about this incident, I’d love to hear from you.  If you are connected with anyone mentioned in this article, please contact me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


No comments:

Post a Comment

I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.