Particulars of the Fire at Lowell.
BOSTON, Nov. 23. - The following are the particulars of the Lowell fire disaster of Saturday: As soon as the fire was discovered an alarm was given, but was a long time before the firemen arrived. In the attick [sic, jsp] over the room were two men, a young girl 17 years old, named Sybil Shackford, from Ellsworth, Me., and another named Carrie Black, asleep. They were in bed at the time the alarm of the fire was given, and this was the first intimation Miss Black had that anything was the matter.
On hearing the alarm, she at once sprang out of bed and went to the window, when she was advised to get out and jump to the sidewalk, but she took the chance of getting into the window of the next building, and in this she was successful and so saved her life. Her companion was found in bed dead, but with no appearance of having suffered, and she doubtless was not conscious of what was occurring.
Miss Shackford was employed by the Suffolk Corporation, and had only been in Lowell four weeks. As soon as the fire was discovered, a young man named Gaffey, who was stopping for the night with a friend of his, came to the front window and was advised by those who had collected on the street, to wait until a Hook and Ladder Company arrived when he and others in the building would be taken down. They were sleeping in the third story. He waited sometime, when probably fearing that he might miss the means of escape by the stairs, he attempted to go down and was suffocated on the upper landing, where his body was found when the firemen arrived. His companion, a young man whose name is supposed to be Maynard, a working jeweller, [sic, jsp] was found dead in his bed.
SYBIL SHACKFORD (1853-1868)
In mid November 1868, Sybil Shackford left her home in Ellsworth, Maine and traveled 250 miles to Lowell, Massachusetts to work for the Suffolk Corporation. She was only 15 years 6 months. On November 20, 1868, Sybil was asleep in her bed in the attic of a boarding house when a fire broke out. Her roommate Carrie Black also of Ellsworth was woken by the alarm, jumped out of bed, and got into a window of the next building which saved her life but Sybil was found dead in her bed. The Pennsylvania newspaper article says that it appeared that it appeared that she did not suffer and probably never knew that a fire been her cause of death. The fire was also reported an article titled "Large Fire and Loss of Life in Lowell, Mass." in the New York Times listing the address of Nos 96 and 98 Merrimack Street mentioning that three person who lodged in the upper stories were suffocated, but not burned and mentions their names stating that Sybil was a temporary lodger.
We know Sybil was born in Maine (probably in Cooper) around March 1853 to Jeremiah Shackford and Sarah G Jordon
I'm thankful for the genealogy search engine Elephind.com which now searches digital images at the Pennsylvania State University Library
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