CFDHISTORY ---›Line of Duty Deaths ---› 93Ephraim Stewart

Ephraim Stewart

Killed in the Line of Duty December 12, 1880

Fire Company Engine 10
Cause of Death Injuries of Abdomen/Peritonitis
At Fire Box Number 021
Incident Type Injured on Fireground
Incident Location Gould, Pearce & Co Cotton Factory - 5th & Lock Streets

Members of the Cincinnati Fire Department had just experienced their deadliest day of service. Five firemen had been killed at the Gay Fire and companies had worked that scene throughout Saturday the 11th of December. Upon returning to quarters in the early morning hours of the 12th of December companies were notified by the fire tower of the death of Ephraim Stewart. Stewart was the stoker of Engine 10 and his company had responded to the call of fire at the cotton factory of Gould, Pearce & Company at 5th and Lock Streets on December 08, 1880. Firemen were unlimbering the suction when the hose slipped from their hands tossing the plug connector toward Stewart. He was struck in the groin by the heavy piece of brass. Initially his injury was not thought to be serious but after returning to quarters he began to complain of abdominal pain. He was taken to his home on Arch Street between Broadway and Ludlow. His condition continued to worsen and on Saturday December 11 a physician visited his home and informed him he may not survive the injury. He died in the early morning of December 12, 1880. Stewart was reported to be the oldest member of the fire department and the third member sworn into service in the paid department. Prior to his service as stoker at Engine 10, Steward was the stoker of Engine 01 before being offered promotion to engineer (he declined the promotion). In 1878 he was promoted to captain of Engine 10. He held this position for a year and a half before requesting to be demoted back to stoker following the Post Disaster in which many people were killed or injured in a collapse at the corner of Pearl and Elm Streets on 05 June 1879. Stewart had been widowed seven years prior to his death and he is survived by several children. He was buried at Wesleyan Cemetery on December 14, 1880. Most of the 10s company was excused from duty to attend the services and the bells of the fire tower and firehouses throughout the city tolled for him during the funeral procession.