South Boston, MA Fireworks Accident, July 1872


The exhibition of fire works last evening to Independence Square, South Boston, proved to be a very unfortunate affair. The display has generally taken place at Telegraph Hill; and from the fact that the notice was not given until towards evening of the change in locality, a much larger number of casualties was prevented, as a large number of persons were attracted to Telegraph Hill.
There were three places, the centre one being a column placed horizontally and fastened to the standards, encircled with scroll work, and on each side was frame work supporting Roman candles. In the rear of these pieces were the rockets, a keg of bombs, batteries, etc., exposed without anything to cover them up; there was also no enclosure or rope to keep the crowd back. About half-past eight o'clock the large piece was set off, and after it had begun to burn it fell down, but was replaced and from it the fire probably communicated to the material in the rear, sending rockets and bombs in every direction, and causing the greatest consternation. Sergeants Lucas and Crocker of Station VI, assisted by the officers detailed for duty there, immediately, did all in their power to removing the wounded and to provide medical aid. The following are the names of those wounded, one case probably fatal:
TIMOTHY DONOVAN, fourteen years old, son of Johanna Donovan, widow, badly cut in thigh; lives at 170 Boston Street.
THOMAS PEARSON, twelve years old, son of Frederick Pearson, badly cut in face and right foot; lives at No. 68 Boston Street.
JOHN CUSICK, nine years old, son of James Cusick, badly hurt in the back and bruised; lives at 123 Seventh Street.
JOSEPH McDONOUGH, seven years old, son of Philip McDonough, three cuts in left leg; lives at 584 Broadway.
EUGENE LEONARD, 14 years old, son of Margaret Leonard, widow, cut in right leg; lives at 375 First Street.
EDWARD BURNS, 10 years old, lives at the corner of Second and 'F' Streets, fatally injured. A rocket entered his back, penetrating the abdominal cavity. Drs. Belt, Ingalls and Wilson were in attendance, but pronounced the case hopeless.
ELLEN and MAGGIE LEARY, 13 and 5 years old, respectively, daughters of Nicholas Leary, living at No. 15 'K' Street, were very seriously burned; MAGGIE was burned about the neck, arm and stomach, ELLEN was burned about the face, hips and arm.
Sergeant CROCKER, from some unexplained cause, probably concussion, was knocked over, but not seriously injured. A great many others were slightly injured and no doubt there will be more reported, which, in the confusion of the moment, were taken to their homes by their friends. The crowd was composed mostly of young people, and a great many of them were seated, or else the number injured would have been much larger.

Boston Daily Globe Massachusetts 1872-07-06