Jersey City, NJ Tenement Collapses, May 1885




Jersey City, May 28. -- A terrible disaster causing the loss of four lives and the more or less serious wounding of an unknown number of persons, has occurred. Four families in PATRICK ANDERSON'S four story tenement house, situated on the west side of Colgate Street between First and Second Streets, were startled by a low roar as a cannon at a distance. Then followed the creaking of timbers and the building began to tremble. Another instant, and before the now thoroughly terrified occupants of the building could realize what was happening the building collapsed and sunk down in the center like a telescope, and a cloud of dust went up into the air.
The shrieks of the women and children alarmed the neighbors. The vicinity was soon swarming with humanity. Strong hands and willing hearts were speedily engaged in the work of dragging away the timbers and rescuing the living and taking out the dead. The screams of the wounded who were pinioned down or crushed between the timbers, was agonizing. Immediately after the disaster occurred an alarm was given on the fire bell, and the firemen quickly got to work and took out the dead and dying and those who had by a miracle escaped injury.
The collapsed building was owned by PATRICK ANDERSON, who, with his wife and five children, occupied the first floor. MICHAEL WEBB, wife and two children the second and JOHN COYNE, wife and five children, and PATRICK CORBIN and five children jointly occupied the third floor.
H. McGURTY and two children occupied the fourth floor.
The killed are as follows:
MAMIE, ELLA and BARNEY ANDERSON, aged respectively eight months, eight years and ten years.
MR. ANDERSON, the father, had just left the house for kindling wood, and his wife preceeded him a few moments to a neighboring grocery to make purchase for breakfast.
The other victim was MICHAEL WEBB, a lad of seventeen years, residing on the second floor. He was crushed in a frightful manner. Nearly every bone in his body was broken.
The injured as far as can be learned are:
JOHN COYNE, aged 48, hurt badly about the head and face.
PATRICK COYNE, aged 19, leg broken.
MARY COYNE, aged 12, forehead badly cut.
BRIDGET COYNE, aged 33, badly bruised about the body.
HUGH McGURTY, aged 25, head and face badly cut.
MARY ANN McGURTY, aged 20, slightly injured about the body.
LIZZIE HUSSEY, aged 35, back badly hurt.
MAGGIE ANDERSON, aged 12, head and arm badly injured.
The accident is attributed to the rotting away of the piles upon which the house was built. All the injured were cared for by the various hospitals of the city.

Daily Evening Bulletin Maysville Kentucky 1885-05-28


Anderson Family

I'm tracing the family of James & Mary Murtha/Murtaugh Anderson. According to http://www.rcancem.org/find-a-loved-one-search, three of their children - Bernard, Catherine and Ellen/Nellie were buried 28 May 1885. I googled May 1885 Jersey City and this gen-disaster story came up. How awful!

I'm wondering if the news article got the owner's name wrong (James instead of Patrick)? Or perhaps Patrick was the owner but it was James and his family who was living there?

James and Mary are buried the same plot as the three children. And their other children: Margaret, Anna, Mary Richard and Grace are buried there as well.