Tarboro Fireman Dies From Illness After Fire – 1899

Note: This is a version of a posting from Legeros Fire Line on Facebook. See that posting for reader comments and discussion.

Found a reference to a Tarboro Fire Department firefighter fatality, and apparently duty-related. From the Proceedings of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Convention in 1899, page 26, from the Secretary’s Report:

“Death has again invaded our ranks. This time one of our former treasurers has been taken. Died February 16th, 1899, Chas. G. Bradley, of Tarboro Hook and Ladder Company. Death was caused by severe illness, contracted by being wet and overheated attending a fire a week or more before death.”

This makes one of the state’s oldest line-of-duty deaths, after three Asheville firemen were killed in 1891, in a train derailment, while returning from the state firemen’s convention in Durham.

Next steps, to learn more about the Tarboro fireman? Suggest these sources for additional information:

  • Genealogy sites to find the death certificate, if it’s available. Such as Ancestry via subscription or your local library. Or Family Search, which has free accounts. 
  • Tarboro newspaper articles, from back in the day. Good source for those are the online resources from the North Carolina Government and Heritage web site. But you’ll need a library card, to use those news sources.
  • Digital North Carolina Newspapers, also as a source for news stories. 
  • Find-a-Grave. 

Physical resources could include town minutes, if any are surviving from that era. Check with the town clerk. Copies of surviving newspapers are another possibility. Check local/area libraries. Maybe also the university. 

Good luck!

Below is a screen grab of conference proceedings, scanned from physical copy at Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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