San Antonio, TX St. John's Orphanage Fire, Oct 1912


Five Sisters of Charity Lose Lives Attempting to Save Children.


Many of the Inmates Were Mere Babies, But Behaved Well.

San Antonio, Tex., Oct. 30.---Seven persons perished in a fire which destroyed St. John's (Catholic) orphange at 4:30 o'clock Wednesday morning and one boy is missing and believed to be dead.

The dead:

MOTHER MARY OF THE CROSS, who was Katherine Rossiter, 51 years old, a native of Dublin, Ireland.

MOTHER MARY FRANCIS PASTEUR, Sylvia Simpasteur, 65 years old, native of Lyons, France.

SISTER MARY LEOCADIA, Catherine Nolan, 35 years old, native of Dublin, Ireland.

SISTER MARY MONICA, Martha Montez, 60 years old, native of Chihuahua, Mexico.

GEORGE YORK, orphan, 12 years old.

FRANCIS O'BRIEN, orphan, 2 years old.

CHARLES MATLOCH, an orphan, missing and thought to be dead.

The nuns gave their lives to save their charges. The death of Mother Mary of the Cross was as heroic as any of those at the head of a charge. She had come down from her room in the orphanage to the chapel on the first floor. There, mustering her little pupils when the fire broke out, she attempted to count them and learned that Francis O'Brien, a baby, was missing.

Without hesitation she went back upstairs, found the boy and struggled to a window with him in her arms. When about to be rescued by firemen who were mounting ladders, she was overcome, fell back and she and the little boy were seen no more until their blackened and charred bodies were taken from the ruins.