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Mathew Brady, 1st Assistant Chief - September 21, 1882 (#14)

N. E. corner Fourth and Berry 1 P.M.



Killed in the discharge of his duty, September 21, 1882,
MATTHEW BEADY, Assistant Chief Engineer
of the San Francisco Paid Fire Department,
a native of Boston, Mass., aged thirty-nine years.
He was a member of the Volunteer Department
at the time of its disbandment,
and exempt from Washington Hose Company.
Upon the organization of the present Paid Department
he was appointed Steward of Hose Company No. 1;
 was transferred to Hose 5, as driver;
then was transferred as driver of Engine No. 5.
In September, 1870, he was promoted by the
Board of Fire Commissioners
 to Assistant Engineer, remaining in that position until 1874,
when he was again promoted—Assistant Chief Engineer—
which position he held at the time of his death.
MATTHEW BRADY was a brave fireman
and a good officer,
and was held in high esteem by his fellow-officers
 and members of the Department.

Source 1888 Municipal Report, page 323


I regret to state that during the past year the department has lost by accident two of its most efficient engineers—Mathew Brady, Assistant Chief Engineer, and John E. Ross, District Engineer. Matthew Brady was thrown from his buggy while responding to an alarm from Box 156, at 1 P. M. on Thursday, September 21, 1882. Mr. Brady turned into Market street from Kearny, and drove rapidly to Fourth street, at the foot of which thoroughfare Box No. 156 is located. As he made the turn into Fourth street his horse started suddenly, throwing him violently from the seat forward, and, in an effort to save himself, he rolled out the side and fell between the wheels head downwards; his feet became entangled between the axle and step and held him, while his head and shoulders dragged on the ground. His horse dashed on at a frightful pace until he collided with a wagon, turning the vehicle around in such a manner as to release him, and he dropped to the pavement. He was conveyed to the Receiving Hospital and received medical attendance from Dr. Stambangh and Dr. Murphy. Mr. Brady lingered unconscious until 8.30 p. m., when death ended his sufferings.

Chief of Fire Department
Source: CHIEF ENGINEER'S REPORT, 1888 Municipal Report, page 322

On the death of Mr. Brady being announced, I caused the following notice to be issued to the Department, apprising them of his death:

San Francisco, Sept. 21, 1882

To Officers and Members of the San Francisco Fire Department:

It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of our Assistant Chief Engineer, Matthew Brady, who died at 8.30 P.M. You know of the painful circumstances immediately preceding his death. He died in the discharge of his duty, which fact alone would cause us to revere his memory, but apart from this he was a brave fireman, always ready—never failing. I lose an efficient aid(e), and you a worthy officer.

Chief of Fire Department



1882 September 22

Assistant Chief Engineer Brady of the Fire Department met with a terrible and fatal accident yesterday afternoon, while driving to the fire on Fourth street when turning the corner of Market and Fourth streets the horse became uncontrollable and the buggy collided with a street car. Mr. Brady was thrown out of the side and was caught between the wheels and the body of the buggy. With his feet on the forward axle, his body on the step and his head touching the cobble stones he was dragged for nearly a block. At Mission street the buggy swerved the front wheel was turned out and the unfortunate man fell to the ground. The horse dashed on drawing the vehicle over him. Mr. Brady was conveyed in an unconscious condition to the City Receiving Hospital where he was attended by Drs. Stambaugh and Murphy. His head was horribly lacerated and contused, and the base of skull was fractured. The attending physicians expressed no hope for his recovery. Shortly before three o'clock his wife and mother visited him. A priest of the Roman Catholic Church was sent for, who administered the rites for the dying. The officers and prominent members of the Fire Department visited the Hospital during the afternoon. Mr. Brady died at quarter to nine o'clock. The great bell of the Department was shortly afterward tolled from Brenham Place.

Deceased was a native of Boston and about 39 years of age. He was a member of Washington Hose No. 1 of the Volunteer Fire Department of early days. When the Paid Department was organised he was appointed driver of No. 1 Hose. He subsequently served as driver of Five engine. In 1870 he was appointed Assistant Engineer, and when the office of Assistant Chief Engineer was created he was elected to fill that position. Deceased was a member of Bohemian Council, Independent Order of Chosen friends, which society will meet to morrow night to make arrangements for attending the funeral which take place Sunday. The horse which Brady was driving was purchased recently, and proven a powerful animal with a vicious temper. On this occasion, he ran away with Brady and Sergeant Nichols ; but, luckily, fell in his flight, or the men would have probably been fatally injured.

Chief Engineer Scannell issued the following, upon receiving notice of the death of his Assistant Chief :

San Francisco, September 21st, 1882
To the Officers and Members San Francisco Fire Department:

It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of our Assistant Chief Engineer, Mathew Brady, who died at 8:45 p.m. You know of the painful circumstances immediately preceding his death, he died in the discharge of his duty, which fact alone would cause us to revere his memory. But apart from this. he was a brave fireman, always ready, never falling. I lose an efficient aid and you a worthy officer.

David Scannell, Chief of Fire Department.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 34, Number 11840, 22 September 1882 — A DREADFUL ACCIDENT. [ARTICLE]

Extracted from original sources with grammar and spelling as published.

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