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1896 1897 1898 1899
1894 1896

Philadelphia Timeline, 1895


  • February 12. Isaac R. Sheppard sent to the Board of Education his resignation as President of that Board. The Board refused to accept it, but granted Mr. Sheppard six months' leave of absence, and elected Simon Gratz, President, pro tem
  • February 17. Madge Yorke, 22 years old, an actress in the "Baggage Check" Company, was shot and killed in her room at Zeisse's Hotel, by her lover, James B. Gentry, 30 years old, a member of Willie Collier's Company. Gentry, who was very drunk at the time, escaped, but afterwards arrested.
  • February 27. The new fire station on Fourth Street above Girard Avenue, the largest in the city, opened.
  • March 14. The Hotel Bellevue and the residence adjoining on Walnut Street purchased by George C. Boldt, in order to erect on the site a palatial hotel, at an estimated cost for the stricture alone of $1,500,000.
  • March 25. About 30,000 people assembled in and about Cramps' shipyard to witness the launch of the big American Line steamer St. Paul for the International Navigation Company. The vessel stuck on the ways owing, it is said, to the quality of the tallow furnished the builders and the launch was postponed. The funeral of ex-Mayor Richard Vaux was held.
  • April 12. The explosion of a gasoline stove in George Kurzschenkel's bakery, 1174 North Third Street, set fire to the clothing of Mrs. Mary Kurzschenkel, aged 27 years, and her infant son, Charles, aged 7 months, and both were burned to death.
  • April 15. The magnificent new house of the Mercantile Literary and Social Club, Broad Street below Jefferson, was dedicated in the presence of a large and brilliant assemblage.
  • April 18. The bakery of the New York Biscuit Company, on Front Street above Race, destroyed by fire. Wm. Dreydoppel's soap factory adjoining, was badly damaged. Loss, $250,000. Five firemen were injured.
  • April 21. By the capsizing of a small sailboat in the Delaware, on the eastern shore of Petty's Island, Julius Haefelin, aged 18 years, his brother Ernest, aged 16 years, and John Miller, aged 16 years were drowned.
  • April 29. Stephen Borden, aged 45 years, and George West, aged 19, entered the Pegg's run sewer at Third and Willow Streets, to clean out a drain from John A. Duncan & Co.'s morocco factory. They were swept off their feet by the current and carried to the Delaware River. Borden was drowned, but West kept afloat, and on reaching the Delaware was saved by a tugboat.
  • May 28. In the suit brought in 1875 by the Ridge Avenue Passenger Railway Company against the city to recover $100,000 damages occasioned that company by certain changes of grade in the roadbed of Ridge Avenue Turnpike, made in 1873 and 1874, the referee decided in favor of the city.
  • June 29. The Veteran Fireman's Association dedicated its new hall at 803 North Tenth Street.
  • July 19. While the hose cart of Engine Company No. 18 was going to a fire upset at Nineteenth and Vine Street. Hoseman John F. Ryder was killed, and four other firemen who were riding on the cart were injured.
  • July 22. Leading stockholders of the People's and Electric and the Philadelphia Traction Companies agreed to consolidate and form a company with a capital of $30,000,000, a charter for which was afterwards obtained and consolidation effected, dating from October 1.
  • August 5. Announcement was made that arrangements had been effected for a partnership between the Baldwin Locomotive Works and the Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company, of Pittsburgh, for the purpose of constructing electric locomotives and electric motive power equipment, and the development of a new electric railway system.
  • August 13. Archbishop Ryan signed the agreement for the purchase of the Davis Farm at Fatlands, Montgomery Co., containing 184 acres for the site of the Catholic Protectory for Boys.
  • September 24. Fire destroyed the building No. 116 Chestnut Street, occupied by Charles J. Webb & Co., wool and yarn merchants, and all its contents. Loss estimated at $250,000.
  • September 29. The American Line's new steamship St. Paul sailed for the Massachusetts coast for her official trial trip. About 20,000 people inspected the vessel at Cramps' shipyard, and between $4,000 and $5,000 was received from the sale of admittance tickets.
  • October 1. The plant of the Horn & Brannen Company, manufacturers of gas and electric fixtures, at Broad and Willow Streets, was destroyed by fire. Loss on buildings, stock and machinery, $175,000. Fire destroyed Dingee's brick works, at Twenty -sixth and York Streets and a number of dwelling houses and stables at Twenty-seventh and Huntingdon Streets, two squares away. Loss, $80,000.
  • October 2. The armored cruiser, Brooklyn, was successfully launched at Cramps' shipyard. Miss Ida May Schieren, daughter of the Mayor of Brooklyn, christened the vessel. Postmaster General Wilson and Mayor Schieren were prominent among the spectators.
  • October 6. The lease of the Philadelphia Traction Company to the Union Traction Company was signed, and the consolidation of the Philadelphia, People's and Electric Traction systems was consummated, the Union Traction Company taking control. John R. Beetem, General Manager of the People's Traction Company, was appointed General Manager of the Union Traction Company.
  • October 16. Directors of the Union Traction company decided to fix the rate of fares on all lines at five cents for a straight ride, except to certain suburban points, with eight cents for exchange ticket, abolishing free transfers.
  • November 16. The Orphans' Court took formal possession of its new quarters in the City Hall. Addresses were delivered by Samuel C. Perkins, ex-Judge F. Carroll Brewster and Judge Hanna.
  • December 10. The oil-storage plant of the Crew-Levick Company at Swanson and Jackson Streets, were burned. The loss was estimated at from $50,000 to $75,000.
  • December 17. The strike declared against the Union Traction company by the Amalgamated association of Street Railway Employees was inaugurated. Cars were run during the morning on most of the Company's lines, especially the lines of the People's Division, where almost the regular service was maintained. Disorder and rioting began early in the morning, and was continued until late in the afternoon. Motormen were pulled from their cars windows broken and cars disabled. Mayor Warwick issued a proclamation requesting citizens to observe peace and order, and in the evening quiet was restored but no attempt being made to run cars.
  • December 21. Two passenger trains running in opposite directions on a single track on the Frankford branch of the Reading Railway, collided near Orthodox Street. Daniel hart, seventy years old, and George Anderson, aged sixteen, passengers on the train from Frankford were killed, and nine others were injured.
  • December 25. There was a tie-up on the Girard Avenue line of the Union Traction Company, because the employees who had been on strike claimed that in starting the cars early in the morning preference was given by the company to men who came here from other cites to take the strikers' places. A committee of dissatisfied employees was sent to the company's office at Eighth and Dauphin Streets, and after a conference with officials, the trouble was adjusted and cars began running regularly again early in the afternoon. Several cars in charge on non-union men were attacked by rioters, and one motorman and one conductor were wounded and several cars were wrecked. Ten men, charged with inciting to riot, were arrested near Second Street and Girard Avenue during the afternoon.
  • December 26. A bronze tablet inscribed "Joseph Jefferson, the actor, was born here 20th February, 1829. Here's your good health and your family's, may you all live long and prosper," was place on the house at the southwest corner of Sixth and Spruce streets.
  • December 31. The bourse was dedicated. Addresses were delivered by Mayor Warwick, Cyrus Borgner, chairman of the Building Committee, President George E. Bartol. Dr. William Pepper and John f. Lewis.

< 1894 1896 >

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

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