Martin H. Hannan, Assistant Foreman - October 8, 1885 (#18)
Badge No. 42
Assistant Foreman, Engine Co. No. 4 - 144 2nd Street
Peter F. Healy, Hoseman - October 8, 1885 (#19)
Appointed to the Department December 10, 1884
Engine Co. No. 4 - 144 2nd Street
H. S. CROCKER CO. FIRE - 215 BUSH STREET
Box 37 - N. W. corner Battery and Bush
October 8, 1885 Station (alarm box); time, 2:08 o’clock a. m. Fire in the large five-story, Nos. 215,17, and 219 Bush street, known as the Crocker building, occupied by H.S. Crocker & Co. , stationers, printers and lithographers. The fire commenced in the basement, and had been burning some time before the alarm was sent in. When the doors were forced open, the cellar or basement was one mass of flames from front to rear, shooting up the elevator shaft and firing the light material upon each floor. The district force was found inadequate, and a second alarm was sent in. The fire was confined to the building in which it originated, which, with its contents, was destroyed. At this fire two noble and brave firemen, Martin Hannan, Assistant Foreman, and Peter F. Healey, hoseman of Engine Company No. 4, lost their lives in the discharge of their duty. And several members of the department were more or less injured by the falling in of the first floor of the building. The fire was under control in four hours, and required the services of twelve engines, three hose companies and three truck companies. Loss estimated a $500,000.
David Scannell, Chief of Fire Department
Source: 1886 Municipal Report, page 292
ETERNAL REST.INTERMENT OF MARTIN HANNAN AND PETER HEALEY,SIDE BY SIDE THEY SLEEP.
In Heroism Together They Died at the Post of Duty,
and Therefore Were Not Parted in their Final Sepulture.
1885 October 14
Yesterday loving friends and sympathetic strangers united in the last tributes of respect due the brave firemen who perished in the destruction of the Crocker building. Natoma street, between First and Second, in which locality both the deceased firemen lived, was early in the day crowded with a surging throng of people. Some with weeping eyes and choking voices betrayed their genuine sympathy and regret, while others seemed actuated only by a strange and heartless motive of morbid curiosity. It is no exaggeration to say that during the day hundreds and hundreds of people crowded into the humble little cottages where the remains were, impelled thereto only by idle curiosity. This intrusion on the sacred grief of the bereaved families would have called for censure, had not the relatives of the dead been so overwhelmed with their terrible sorrow as to seemingly be utterly oblivious to every event save that soon the ashes of their beloved ones were to be consigned to the long and lasting keeping of the tomb. At the residence of Martin Hannan the scene was one of deepest pathos, and no one passed within the portal of that once happy home without experiencing a thrill of sympathy that set free the involuntary tear or caused strong men to pay the tribute of a sigh.
THE WIDOW OF HANNAN
Was insane with the burden of her inconsolable grief. She seemed to have before her the image of her husband as she last saw him in life, a brave, strong man rejoicing in the vigor and plenitude of his might. Her lamentations were piteous, as she held out her trembling arms and with moaning cries called her lost darling to come to her once more, if only for a brief second of time. Then as the awful fate of her brave husband flashed across her mind, her agony of soul and body became so terrible that in the presence of such overwhelming affliction the spectators involuntarily drew back, as if they would leave the heartbroken woman alone with her hallowed dead. Hannan's remains were encased in a handsome rosewood casket, elaborately mounted with silver trimmings. On the plate was engraved a fireman's hat with the letters "S. F. F. D., No. 4," and then the inscription, " Martin Hannan, died October 9, 1885, aged 28 years, 3 months and 16 days." The lower portion of the plate was ornamented with ladders, trumpets and other emblems of the following of the deceased. But a few steps down the street was
THE HOUSE OF PETER HEALEY,
And it was almost impossible to reach the doorway of the house, so great was the throng. The heartrending scenes and wild abandon of grief were even more painful than had been witnessed around the coffin of Healey's brother in death. Grouped in the little parlor where the casket was placed were the brothers and sisters of the dead fireman. The young lady to whom Healey had plighted his troth sat near the head of the coffin, her slender figure bowed and racked with a convulsive hysteria of bewailment. The wailing of the women and the sobs and moans of the orphaned brothers and sisters were harrowing in their intensity, for they told in messages of bitter tears the loss of him on whose young shoulders had fallen the care and protection of the little household ; who had already followed to the grave both mother and father. The casket which held all that was mortal of Peter Healey was of solid walnut with heavy silver handles. The plate was in the shape of a cross, and on it was engraved " Peter Healey, Died October 9, 1885 ; aged twenty-three years." The floral offerings were profuse and most costly and beautiful. There were so many of them that it required two huge express wagons to carry them to the cemetery. Among the more conspicuous of the floral tributes were : A snow white dove hovering above a fragrant mass of white roses. This was from Miss Annie Enwright, the fiancee of Healey; "Gates Ajar" from Nucleus Club, Fireman's hat from No. 10 Engine. The employees of W. W. Montague sent a chair and bed,
TWO LARGE CROSSES
From the Occidental Hotel, " Gates Ajar" from Truck No. 1, a wreathed crops from the Mutual Investment Co., two broken wheels from H. S. Crocker & Co., “Faith, Hope and Charity " from No. 6 Engine, two anchors from Hecht Bros., a cross and crown from T. R. Riordan, two wreaths from Engine Co. No. 2, two hearts, Engine No. 9 ; large pillows, from No. 2 Hose Company, two stars from J. Long and V. Lawrence, a heap of roses from the Hickory Club, and from the same Club, "Faith, Hope and Charity." Engine Company No. 4, to which both belonged, sent to the residence of each a large striking alarm bell in violets and tuberoses. To show the friendly feeling existing between the Fire Department and Fire Patrol, the members of Fire Patrol No. 2 sent a magnificent arch, with clasped hands, emblematic of friendship, and above two crossed trumpets in pansies. Engine Company No. 15 sent an arch about five feet high, with a fire alarm box bearing the number 37, and above a white dove. There were also many other beautiful set pieces of rarest exotics. Between 1 and 2 o'clock officers and members of the Fire Department, being four from each of the twenty-eight engine and hook-and-ladder companies in the city, met at the house of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, on O'Farrell street near Market. Each member wore black upon the left arm, and below the metal shield designating their calling was suspended a black badge, fringed and stamped "S. F. F. D.," with the number appropriate to the respective member. Each wore white gloves. in addition to these there was a delegation from the Corporation Yard. They then formed in line and marched to Natoma street headed by Chief Scannell, President Edwards, Commissioners Sloes, Siebe and Newman of the Department, First Assistant Reiley and Assistant Sands. On Mission street a delegation of sixty in number from the Hickory and Nucleus Clubs joined in the line. By this time Natoma street was almost
By the great gathering of friends and spectators, but all fell back and silently gave way as the funeral delegation approached. A halt was made in front of Healey's residence, and the coffin was borne to the waiting hearse by the following named pallbearers : J. Burnett and M. Hinds of Engine Company 4 ; J. Buckley and F. E. Haskell from the Department at large, and J. O'Neil end B. Boyd of the Nucleus Club. Hannan's pallbearers were T. Henly and J. Brown of Engine Company 4 ; J. O'Neil and B. Donnelly from the Department at large, and V. Larson and J. Long of the Hickory Club. A delegation of four men from the Fire Patrol joined the cortege as it took up the line of march to the cemetery. The two hearses were driven side by side, and as the solemn procession moved slowly up Market street without even the sound of a muffled drum, the gathering mists swept across the city's great thoroughfare, a drenching mantle of fast falling tears from heaven. The internment was in Calvary Cemetery, and hours before the procession arrived several hundred people, mostly women, gathered there and patiently waited in the driving rain. It was after 4 o'clock when the long line of carriages drew up about the little chapel at the entrance to the cemetery. Brief services were held in the chapel by Rev. Father Flood, and then the hearses and mourners proceeded to the graves, placed side by side, which were to be forever more the consecrated resting places of the mortal remains of the two firemen whose fearful death has already been so fully related. As the coffin containing Hannan's remains was lowered into the tomb his widow's lamentations broke out anew and stirred with tenderest pity every heart, and there was no dry eye in that reverent multitude as the sobbing woman was escorted to the carriage which was to convey her beck to her desolated home.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 39, Number 12997, 14 October 1885 — ETERNAL REST. [ARTICLE]
Extracted from original sources with grammar and spelling as published.
Back to the Top