Galveston, TX Tremont Hotel Explosion, May 1885

Galveston Texas Tremont Hotel.jpg



By Telegraph to the Gazette.
Galveston, May 3. -- A terrible catastrophe occurred in this city at half past seven o'clock this morning. One of the boilers at the Tremont hotel exploded, instantly killing a number of persons, wounding several others and doing great damage to the hotel and neighboring property. The killed are as follows: Several Children of LAWRENCE CARR, CLARA MILLER, a white woman, and ANDERSON JONES, colored, scrubber.
The following are the wounded: JOSE AQUILLO, pastry cook, badly bruised and injured internally; JOHN AXMAN, bell boy, shoulder broken and otherwise injured; MAURICE SULLIVAN, collar bone broken, badly cut about the head; R. WALTON, colored waiter, arm broken, badly bruised; MRS. BURNS, linen woman, slightly bruised about the head.
The concussion from the explosion was appalling. The Tremont House is a large five-story brick structure with a hundred and thirty feet frontage on Tremont street and about the same depth on Church street. The boiler house, situated at the northwest corner of the building, was a small one story brick structure attached to the main building. The explosion shook the great building with such a terrible force that the guests thought a tremendous earthquake had occurred and rushed panic stricken about the hallways. The scene of the calamity presents a dreary spectacle. Not one brick of the boiler house remains upon another in its place, but are scattered and piled upon the engine, pumps and boilers. The northwest wing of the hotel, above the boiler house, was badly wrecked. The walls are cracked and windows demolished. Fortunately but few guests were quartered in this portion of the building.
There were two horizontal tubular boilers, each sixty horse power, attached to the hotel, only one of which was being used at the time of the explosion. Both were of new manufactures in St. Louis, set up only last October. As the huge monster left its bed it shot away from the main structure passing out of the engine house end first. It crossed an intervening yard, passed through the two story frame building where the servants slept, then passed Twenty-fourth street, passing entirely over a story-and a-half frame house fronting on Twenty-fourth street, then crashed through the roof of a small frame house occupied by a colored family, who escaped unhurt. Continuing onward, it entered a one-story house of ill repute, kept by a colored woman, JULIA WINTERS. This house was practically demolished, not one stick left standing. It was here that CLARA MILLER, a white woman, was killed, and that MAURICE SULLIVAN, her companion, fatally hurt. Every colored occupant of the house escaped uninjured.
After causing this destruction the giant missile finally landed inside the adjoining small structure, half inside and half outside. The cause of the accident was due to a defective boiler.

The Daily Gazette Fort Wayne Indiana 1885-05-04