|George Q Allen|
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|Death: ||Jun. 9, 1893|
District Of Columbia, USA
name:George Q. Allen
burial place:Phila., Penna.
Death date:09 Jun 1893
death place:District Of Columbia
address: 3946 Powelton Ave
Undertaker Oliver Bair Funeral Director, Services were Held at St James Church Thirty Eighth and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphila PA
His Grave is listed as : at the foot of Earl Yerkes June 27, 1892
The Frightful Disaster at Washington.
Horrible Scene at Ford's Old Theatre.
Men and Women Crushed in the Ruins.
The Accident the Result of Criminal Negligence - A Partial List of the Dead.
WASHINGTON, June 10. - (Associated Press.) - Yesterday hundreds of men were
carried down by the falling walls of a building which was notoriously insecure.
Human lives crushed out by tons of iron and brick, sent unheralded to the throne
of their Maker, men by scores, maimed and disfigured for life. Happy families
were hurled into the depths of despair. Women calling for their husbands;
children crying for their fathers; mothers calling for their sons; and no answer
to the cry.
This is but the shadow of an awful calamity that befell the city yesterday
morning. Its horrors will never be fully told, its suddenness was almost its
chief horror. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, was the change, and men
who came to the scene of daily toil will never return alive. In the national
capital of the proudest nation of the earth there has been a catastrophe
unparalleled in the history of the United States, and in every mind there is a
horrible conviction that its cause is to be found in criminal negligence, too
parsimonious to provide for the safety of its loyal servants by erecting a
building proper for their accommodation. It was between 9:30 and 10 o'clock
that the floor of the old Ford theatre, occupied by the records and pension
division of the surgeon general's office fell in as though they had been the
cards of a card house. On each floor were scores of men at work. Without a
moment's warning they were carried down as by an awful cataract.
The floor was made of iron girders - hardly strong enough to sustain the walls,
but heavy enough to stamp out the human lives - of bricks held together by
plaster long since dried out, of wooden beams that had been in place too long.
There was no escape from such a flood. The government of a great nation could
not afford to provide a safe building for the faithful employees, but herded
them together in a building the unsound condition of which was so notorious.
There is shame and remorse in the souls of some men who were responsible for
this state of things that confined men working for their daily bread in a
building that every one in the city knew was unsafe. Twenty years ago there was
another tragedy within the walls of this building, news of which was flashed to
the four quarters of earth and it brought consternation whither it went. A man
was killed who was president of the United States. As though the building had
borne a curse upon it from that time, it ended its career in a fitting manner.
Those in the multitude who could think of something besides the catastrophe
alone, remarked upon the strange coincidence that the building in which John
Wilkes Booth slew President Lincoln should fall and kill scores of people on the
very day that the body of the assassin's brother was being laid to its final
Evidence found in the official records appears conclusive that as long ago as
1885 this building which the government purchased after the assassination and
used as an army museum, was officially proclaimed by congress an unsage
depository for even inanimate skeletons, mummys, and books of the army and the
medical museum and a safer place of storage was provided for them; but
notwithstanding the fact that in the public press and in congress also continued
attention was called to the walls of the building and its darkness and general
unsuitability and unsafety, it continued to be used for the daily employment for
nearly 500 government servants.
While the work of rescue was going on men who ha been strangers to emotion wept
like children and turned away their faces as limp and lifeless bodies of those
who had been crushed beneath the ruins were brought forth to the sunshine; they
would see no more on this earth. Women were helped away in fainting and in
every heart stood sorrow and every eye the moisture of grief.
Ambulances were kept busy carrying away the dead and injured. The faces of many
of the injured were covered with pieces of cloth, old coats, newspapers, or
whatever else could be had. Some of the mangled bodies were carried out with
faces exposed to the view of the great throng surrounding the building. All
during the long hours while the workmen labored with all their strength to
rescue those who were not beyond help, mothers, sisters, wives, and brothers
hovered around in front of the building, and with streaming eyes inquired of all
whom they met of some tidings of their dead ones. Some could barely be
restrained from pushing their way into the building. A look into the interior
told the sickening tale of how some were taken and others left. Desks were seen
half toppling over the brink of a broken floor, others stood straight, but the
chair which stood beside it fell when its occupant went down in the crash.
Documents and papers were scattered everywhere, but as fast as possible they
were gathered up and saved. Many were spotted with blood. That anyone should
escape with life seems a miracle. As they were brought forth they presented a
spectacle that no one seeing it will ever forget. In many cases semblance of
humanity was gone.
It seemed as thought the helpers were carrying out mere bags of matter, smeared
all over with blood, filthy with dirt, dirt ground into them, blood on their
faces. Hospitals were soon over-crowded; drug stores were turned into temporary
hospitals; houses in the neighborhood of the accident opened their doors gladly
and the dead and wounded were hurried in. When the accident was over and before
the rescuers could get inside to their relief there were injured men caring for
their worse injured brothers. There were men who did not rush to the street to
save their own lives regardless of the fact that more walls might fall and bury
them once more, they staid to succor men who could not get away themselves. One
man with a crushed arm used the other one to drag a man from the place of death.
Every moment the throwing away of wreckage exposed the bloody and often
mutilated form of some victim. Occasionally one of them revived sufficiently to
need but little assistance to the outer air, but the majority of them were
dusty, bruised, with clothing torn almost into tatters, were carried into clear
atmosphere and through the sorrowing multitude to ambulances and patron wagons.
At first the efforts to rescue were most inefficient, but in a little while
system prevailed. As bleeding and mangled bodies were brought out groans and
out-cries arose on all hands. One man was found sticking head first in the
debris, his feet seen first, soon his legs were uncovered and seen to move
freely, showing that he was still alive. As fast as human hands could work
these rescuers' did, and soon they had the unfortunate man out. He was alive
when brought into the air, but dead before reaching the ambulance in the street.
This was but one of the many shocking scenes attending the most horrible and
most inexcusable accident that ever occurred in the city of Washington.
The general opinion is that the accident was caused directly by the weakening of
the already weak structure by reason of excavations made beneath it for an
electric lighting system. It was stated this afternoon that several days ago a
clerk in the building circulated a petition protesting against this work being
continued as they considered it imperiled the lives of every man working in the
building. At the morgue the sight was horrible to behold. Blood from the
bodied formed a large pool on the floor and the crushed skulls, broken arms and
legs mad the scene indescribable. Then there were some of the victims who had
been crushed. They had been smothered and the discoloration of the faces and
necks gave visible evidence of the cause of death.
President Cleveland was informed of the sad event just as he reached the
entrance of the White House by one of the clerks and at once interested himself
in relief measures, learning with satisfaction what had been done my Assistant
Secretary of War Grant.
The following list of the the dead thus far reported with names and the states
from which appointed contains thirty-two names, including one unknown. There is
a possible duplication, as only 16 bodies have been taken from the ruins. An
unknown man taken from the ruins at five o'clock this evening was evidently a
George Allen, Pennsylvania.
George W. Arnold, Virginia.
The Arizona Republican; Phoenix, Arizona.
June 11, 1893; Page One.
dm wms (#47395868)
Old Cathedral Cemetery
Created by: Marianne
Record added: Mar 01, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86046727
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