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1872 1874

Philadelphia Timeline, 1873


  • January 22. The boiler of the locomotive Kedge Hill exploded at American and Norris Streets, North Pennsylvania Railroad; one man killed, and several wounded.
  • February 6. City Councils pass an ordinance appropriating $500,000 in aid of the Centennial Exposition.
  • Wm. Siner, member of Common Council from the Sixteenth Ward, was impeached before Select Council upon the charge of keeping a gambling-house.
  • March 25, The Indiana, the third ship of the American Steamship Co.'s line, launched at the ship-yard of Wm. Cramp & Sons.
  • March 27. The Legislature of Pennsylvania passed a bill granting $1,000,000 to the Centennial Exposition, the same to be principally collected by a tax on the receipts of passenger railways.
  • April 13. Norris Square United Presbyterian Church, corner Hancock Street and Susquehanna Avenue, dedicated.
  • April 18. Explosion of a still filled with oil at the adamantine candle works of C. H. Grant & Co., southwest corner of Twenty-third and Hamilton Streets. Alexander Wilson and Samuel Walker, employees, burned and lost their lives.
  • April 24. Cornerstone laid of the Cumberland M. E. Church, southwest corner
  • Coral and Cumberland Streets.
  • April 27. Park Avenue M. E. Church, corner Park Avenue and Norris Street, dedicated.
  • May 18. German Evangelical Reformed Church, Thirty-eighth and Baring Streets, dedicated.
  • June 7. The steamship Illinois, the fourth vessel of the American Steamship Company, launched from the ship-yard of Wm. Cramp & Sons.
  • June 14. Regatta of the Schuylkill Navy. Prize for four-oared shells won by the Vesper, of the Vesper Club, in nineteen minutes and twenty-four seconds; course three miles. Prize for six-oar gunwale barges won by the Falcon, of the Pennsylvania Club; time, twenty-one minutes. Prize for four-oared gigs won by the Phantom, of the Pennsylvania Club, in twenty minutes and four and a half seconds.
  • June 22. Broad and Diamond Street Presbyterian Chapel, dedicated.
  • June 29. Cornerstone laid of the Lutheran Church at Roxborough.
  • June 30. Cornerstone laid of the Protestant Episcopal church, St. Peter's corner of Wayne Avenue and Harvey Street, Germantown.
  • July 4. The commissioners of Fairmount Park formally conveyed the U.S. Commissioners of the Centennial Exposition, and to the Centennial Board of Finance, at Lansdowne, in Fairmount Park, four hundred and fifty acres of land, for building and other purposes connected with the Centennial Exposition of 1876. Meeting of veterans of the war of 1812 at Independence Hall.
  • July 13. Services in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the meeting of the first Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, held in the Methodist churches.
  • July 31. Cornerstone laid of the Harriet Holland Mission (Presbyterian), Broad and Federal Streets.
  • August 6. Justice Beuislay ascended from Smith's Island (in the center of the Delaware River, opposite Chestnut Street) on a trapeze attached to a balloon expanded with hot air, which fell into the river Delaware shortly afterward, being carried a considerable distance before Beuislay was rescued from the water.
  • August 12. Very heavy rain fell continuing until next day. The rainfall being seven ad thirty-two hundredths inches. Great damage and loss, especially in the district east of Fifth Street, between Poplar and Oxford Streets.
  • August 17. Cornerstone laid of the chapel of Eighteenth Street M. E. Church, corner of Wharton Street and Herman Avenue.
  • August 20. Cornerstone laid of M. E. Mariners' Bethel Church, northwest corner of Moyamensing and Washington Avenues.
  • September 7. Chapel of the North Star Mission (Baptist), Seventh Street and Susquehanna Avenue, dedicated. Cornerstone laid of the Church of the United Brethren at Mount Airy.
  • September 9. Cornerstone laid of Second Baptist Church, Seventh Street below Girard Avenue.
  • September 14. The Jewish Hospital, Nineteenth Street and Olney Road, was dedicated.
  • Church of the Brethren (Drunkards), Marshall Street below Girard Avenue, dedicated.
  • Cornerstone laid of the First Presbyterian Church of Mantua, Thirty-fifth and Baring Streets.
  • September 16. Celebration of the Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Aztec Club, formed in the city of Mexico during the Mexican War by officers of the U.S. Army, held at the residence of Gen. Robert Patterson. Generals Grant, Hooker and many other officers being present.
  • September 18. The banking firms of Jay Cooke & Co., and E. W. Clarke & Co. suspended payment, which announcement was followed by great excitement. A run was commenced upon the Fidelity Safe Deposit and Trust Company, which was sustained during the day.
  • September 19. The financial panic continued. Great run upon the Fidelity Trust Company and Union Banking Company; both sustained demands. During the day several prominent brokers failed.
  • Great excitement throughout the United States in consequence of the failure of Jay Cooke & Co. In New York and other Atlantic cities there was a panic. Banks, Trust companies and individuals failed, and a panic and business revulsion commenced throughout the country.
  • September 25. Commencement of the ceremonies of dedication of the new Masonic Temple, Broad and Filbert Streets. Grand tournoi of Knights Templar at Academy of Music and Horticultural Hall. Gethsemane Baptist Church, corner of Eighteenth Street and Columbia Avenue, dedicated.
  • September 26. Great parade of the Masonic Order for the dedication of the new hall. The Grand Lodge and on hundred and seventy subordinate lodges were in line, the brethren numbering over eleven thousand men.
  • September 28. Cornerstone laid of German Reformed Salem Church, Fairmount Avenue below Fourth Street.
  • The Roman Catholic Church of Our Mother of Sorrows, Lancaster Avenue near Cathedral Cemetery, dedicated.
  • Renaissance Hall, in the Masonic Temple, dedication to the uses of Royal Arch Masons.
  • September 30. Parade of twenty-six commanderies of Knight Templars.
  • October 6. Cornerstone laid of Grace Chapel M.E Church, corner Master and Carlisle Streets.
  • October 7-8. National amateur regatta on the Schuylkill.
  • October 9. The returns of the election canvassers showed that the number of citizens entitled to vote is 164,510.
  • Cornerstone laid of Bethany M.E. Church, southwest corner of Eleventh and Mifflin Streets.
  • October 23. A locomotive and eleven oil cars were thrown off the track of the Greenwich branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Point Breeze, by running over a horse. The engineer, John Frew, killed.
  • October 26. Chapel of Tasker Street M.E. Church, corner of Snyder Avenue and Fifth Street, dedicated.
  • November 5. City ice boat No. 3 launched at Kaighn's Point.
  • November 6. Baptist Home for Old Women, Seventeenth and Norris Streets, opened and dedicated.
  • November 10. The State Centennial Supervisors adopted the plan of Collins & Autenreeth for the memorial building of the Centennial Exposition.
  • November 17. First flag on the grand flagstaff at League Island hoisted by the Secretary of the Navy, Hon. Geo. M. Robeson.
  • November 27. Thanksgiving Day, grand review of the First Division National Guards of Pennsylvania, by Governor Hartranft.

< 1872 1874 >

Excerpted from "Happenings in ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900" by Rudolph J. Walther, 1925, Walther Printing House, Philadelphia, PA

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