Monday, December 22, 2008

The Death Of John Shockey, Part Five

Mr. John Shockey, Assistant chief of the Fire Department, and nephew of Chief Sexton, who was severely injured at the fire at 113 and 115 Bremen avenue just one week ago yesterday, died at his residence, No. 1711 North Eighth street, at 2:30 a.m. yesterday. The details of the accident which caused him to lose his life have previously been given in the Globe-Democrat. The injuries were considered fatal at the time, but many of his friends hoped that his strong constitution would enable him to successfully combat them. The funeral will take place from the residence to Bellefontaine Cemetery at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The funeral discourse will be delivered by Rev. Dr. Vincil, of the M.E. Church, South. chief Sexton, with two representatives of the department from each engine-house, will participate in the obsequies, as also will the Knights Templar, of which organization deceased was a member. No man in the department was better liked than Shockey-a brave and competent fireman-whose death is universally regretted.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 3, 1881

The funeral of the late Assistant Fire Chief, John W. Shockey, will take place at 10 o'clock this morning...Each engine house will send two of its force, and the Salvage Corps will also be represented on the occasion. As yet no successor has been appointed for the lamented deceased. It was thought that there would be two vacancies to fill, as the resignation of Assistant Bame was known to have been tendered, as stated in these columns yesterday. But it is now understood that he has withdrawn his resignation until such time as an investigation can be had. As for Chief Sexton himself, the death of his nephew, Shockey, is just now what concerns him most, and he says he has made no plans as yet.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 4, 1881

In the aftermath of Shockey's death Sexton and John Bame, both of whom had been with the fire department since the late 1850's, threatened to resign. It seems that they felt "harassed" by a group of "enemies" that was questioning their management of the StLFD. While it's unknown if Shockey's death was the cause of this harassment or merely an excuse to increase criticism of the department's leadership, Bame did mention an investigation that would be looking into the events of the Scholtz fire. Of course the investigation and criticism came to nothing and Sexton remained as chief until 1885 when he resigned to take a job with the federal government as a revenue collector.

No comments: