Saturday, February 23, 2008

Two Die In Jamaica Pond

After collecting several articles describing drownings at Jamaica Pond over the years, I recently began putting together an entry listing each. When I got to this very detailed article, I decided to use it to represent the others. Most drownings reported between 1875 and 1925 involved either boating accidents or children breaking through thin ice. In this case, a rolling baby carriage set off a chain of events that led to an unnecessary tragedy.

The article also tells us a little about the people of Jamaica Plain. Women working as domestics, and men working for the Elevated company. And of course the families who hired the women. They all lived in the same community, as in the same geographic district, but the division was clear: "the haves" and "the don't have much's".

Boston Daily Globe August 30, 1910

Two Sink As Baby Rolls Into Water.

Mrs Hogarty Runs After Carriage,

Man Tries to Save Her.

Both Drown in Jamaica Pond, Another Woman Rescues Little One.

While endeavoring to rescue her child, Marie, two years and eight months old, from drowning in Jamaica Pond yesterday afternoon, Mrs Catherine M. Hogarty of 16 Hall st, Jamaica Plain, lost her life by drowning, and an unknown man, about 60 years old, who attempted to rescue Mrs Hogarty and her baby, was also drowned.

The baby, Marie Hogarty, was rescued by the heroic act of Miss Martha Daley, 28 years old, a nursery maid employed by Dr Mark W. Richardson of 116 Moss Hill road, Jamaica Plain, who, on seeing the frantic efforts of the unknown man in his attempt to aid Mrs Hogarty and the child, ran into the water and brought the baby safely to shore.

Mrs Hogarty, with her children, Marie and Annie, 10 months old, went to the pond, as has been their custom this summer, to spend the afternoon under the trees near the shore.

Baby Marie was sitting in the four-wheeled carriage, with leather hood, while Annie was sitting in the grass beside her mother under a tree nearly opposite the end of Eliot st. There the ground at the shore of the pond rises in a slight knoll that is quite irregular and precipitous.

From some cause unexplained the carriage with Marie in it started down the embankment toward the water. The mother screamed, got to her feet as quickly as possible and ran after the carriage, hoping to stop it before it should reach the water.

But the carriage with Marie sitting in it rolled quickly down the hill and into deep water.

The shore at this point, near where the old boathouse stood, dips quickly and the water is a number of feed deed a short distance from land.

When the carriage struck the water the baby was thrown out.

Mrs Hogarty thought nothing of her danger, but madly sprang into the water to save Marie.

In her excitement she screamed and floundered about and attracted the attention of an aged man.

He ran up the path and boldly jumped into the water to rescue mother and child.

He is said to have reached Mrs Hogarty, who was fast losing her strength, and took hold of her. The baby had floated away a little distance from Mrs Hogarty, and she frantically endeavored to reach her child. As a result there was a struggle with the unknown man and both sank.

Miss Daley was sitting on the grass not far from the scene of the accident with little Martha Richardson. Seeing the danger of the baby Hogarty drowning, she ran into the water up to her waist and rescued the baby. When Miss Daley had reached the shore with the child, she turned to see how the man was getting along in his effort to rescue Mrs Hogarty, and to her amazement and grief both man and woman had disappeared from view.

Weeds Balk Efforts of Rescuers.

Martin Nee of 14 Humbolt pl, South Boston, was driving past the place and, hearing the screams of people, left his wagon and, on learning what had happened, he walked into the water up to the waist in an effort to recover the man and woman. A plant growth in the pond prevented him from seeing either.

Sergt Charles Gilman of police division 13, who was a short distance away, also heard the screams, and, snatching a life preserver from a post on the shore, ran to the spot. When he arrived both Mrs Hogarty and her would-be rescuer had disappeared. Other men who were attracted to the spot tried in every way to aid in the quick recovery of the bodies.

Simon Fraser and George Erickson, employed at the boathouse at Jamaica pond, manned two boats and hurried to the spot where it was said the two persons had sunk, and they were ready to make the attempt at recovery of the bodies by diving. But they did not know where to dive.

Sergt Gillman went to a police signal box and notified Capt Harriman at division 13, and the patrol wagon with grappling irons were hurried to the pond, with Sergt Frank Arnold and patrolmen Herthol, Egan, Claflin and Howes.

A large crowd collected to watch the work of the police. The officers worked as fast as possible, as they believed that there was a good chance to revive the victims.

The first body recovered was that of the unknown man, about 20 minutes after the drowning. Mrs Hogarty's body was brought to the surface about an hour later.

Vain Attempt to Revive Victims.

When the body of the man was brought ashore Dr T.J. O'Brien of 1470 Tremont st, Dr Arthur N. Broughton of 10 Roanoke av, Jamaica Plain, and Dr George C. Smith of 99 Commonwealth av, who had been driving in their automobiles about the pond, were attracted to the scene. The three physicians worked to revive him, laying his body face down over the edge of the banking and moving his arms in the effort to produce artificial respiration. Their efforts were without success, and it was apparent the man had been dead about 20 minutes.

When the body of Mrs Hogarty was recovered the physicians did what was possible to revive her, but without avail. The bodies were given in charge of undertaker Waldo J. Stokes of Roslindale, and were removed to the City hospital morgue and the medical examiner was notified.

Baby Marie Cared For by Police.

Dr O'Brien ran down to the pond just as Miss Daily brought the baby to the shore.

The baby had not been in the water long but was soaked through and was blue with cold. He removed its clothing and wrapped it up in dry coats which were offered by Mrs Guy E. Tripp of Hingham and Mrs Arthur H.Nickerson of Brookline, who with her daughters had been riding past in an automobile and had stopped on hearing of the accident.

Mrs Tripp then took the baby in her car to police station 13, where the police gave the child stimulants and made her warm and comfortable. Miss Daley had also gone in the car and Mrs Tripp then took her back to Dr Richardson's.

Dr O'Brien, after attending to the older child, was called to the younger, who had been splashed with water and who was crying for her mother. There was, however, nothing for him to do for her, and with the others he waited for the result of the grappling.

Many Tried to Help in Rescue.

Every effort was made by people near at the time to save the drowning ones, and among the number were Miss Margaret Leving of 27 Keyes st, Jamaica Plain, and Mrs Bruill of 271 Lamartine st.

Mrs George H. Sauer of 39 Starr lane, Jamaica Plain, was one of the first on the scene. With her little girl Ruth she was sitting near the boathouse and heard the cries of Mrs Hogarty.

With three other women she hurried along the bank, but was too late to be of assistance. As she came up Miss Daley was bringing the baby from the pond and Mrs Hogarty and the man had already sunk beneath the surface.

Mrs Sauer said last evening that one of her companions had told her that the unknown man, whose efforts to rescue Mrs Hogarty resulting in his own death, was a frequent visitor to the pond and had come there repeatedly on afternoons to sit under the trees by the water. No one, she added, knew his name or who or what he was.

Every effort was made by the police last night to learn the man's identity, but up to a late hour every effort had failed.

Unknown Hero Had $60 in Pocket.

He is described as about 60 years old, 5 feet 9 inches in height and weighing about 160 pounds. He was smooth shaven and had gray hair and gray eyes he wore a gray coat, dark striped trousers, checked shirt, black shoes, no underclothing, no stockings and a light straw hat. His shoes had been recently tapped and it is thought it was the work of one unaccustomed to such work.

In his clothing was found a wallet containing $60 and a gold watch, that had stopped at 3:15. He had a handkerchief and a memorandum book.

The book contained the names of F.R. Whit, 47 Regent st, Roxbury, and Paul, 187 Lexington av, East Boston, and the following addresses; 33 Dover st, 8 Cumberland st, Paul Gore st and 101 Moreland st.

Last evening policemen were sent to all the above addresses in order to ascertain the man's identity. None of the occupants of the houses recognized him from the description, but it is expected a large number of people will view the body at the City hospital morgue today, and the man's identity may then be established.

From the address "Paul Gore st," written in the book it was believed that he might possibly live on that street, since that was the only address in Jamaica Plain. Inquiries made last evening, however, at every house on the street failed to reveal any man answering to his description, nor was there anyone reported missing at any house upon the street. It was general opinion that the address written in the book must have been that of someone on whom he intended to call.

Husband Collapses at Tragedy.

Mrs Hogarty had been married about four years. Her maiden name was Catherine Manning. She was born in Ireland and after coming to this country was employed for a number of years in the family of Prof Frank Vogel of Jamaica Plain. Her husband is employed as a fireman at the West Roxbury high school, Jamaica Plain.

When Mr Hogarty learned of the death of his wife he collapsed and would not be comforted. Relatives of the family went to the stricken home and cared for the two young children. A brother of to Mrs Hogarty, Patrick Manning, who is employed as a conductor of the elevated road and lived with the Hogartys, knew nothing of the death of his sister until he reached his home, about 8 o'clock. He was told of the accident by a neighbor just before he entered the house and collapsed in the street. He was revived by friends.

Miss Daley Sought to Save Them.

Miss Martha Daley, who brought the baby out of the water, was so affected by the sight of the drowning that she was unable to tell her story herself last evening, and it was made public by Dr Broughton, a friend of Dr Richardson, who was in medical attendance on Miss Daley.

He said she was walking along the shore of the pond with little Martha Richardson, when she saw the baby carriage roll down into the water and a woman and man run after it.

She is a competent swimmer and without hesitation she ran down and caught up the baby, who had fallen out of the carriage and was sunk in a few feet of water. To recover her she needed to into the water only up to her waist, but just beyond that point the bottom of the pond goes down sharply, and it was here that Mrs Hogarty and her would-be rescuer were struggling.

After Miss Daley had brought the baby from the water and turned her over to a doctor's charge she turned to go back to the others, but they had sunk beneath the surface and no sign offered to show where they were. She then sat down on the bank and it was not for some time that anyone knew that it was she who had rescued the child.


The man who drowned at Jamaica pond was William Barton. When no one came to claim the body, Dr McCollom of Boston City hospital, Dr John Dixwell and Thomas A. Forsythe of the hotel Lenox arranged the funeral. Services were held at the City hospital chapel, and Mr Barton was buried at Mt Hope cemetery.

Source: Boston Globe, September 24, 1910

1 comment:

  1. Mark, Thank you for posting these accounts, they're very interesting - and tragic. I'd like to add my own story here. A cousin and I are currently researching the story behind a relative who "drowned" at the Pond in the 1920s or '30s. I say "drowned" because we don't know if his death was accidental or not. Carl - also known as "Charles" - Becker was found on the shores of Jamaica Pond. There are different stories as to what happened leading up to that discovery - and the possibility of foul play. I plan to keep searching for info. If you happen to come across this story, please let me know!
    Liesa Healy -