Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
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William H. Aldrich
Male 1848 - 1897


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  • Birth  1848  , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender  Male 
    Occupation  1881  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Engineer 
    Religion  1881  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Presbyterian 
    Occupation  1891  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Engineer 
    Religion  1891  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Presbyterian 
    Misfortune  1897 
    burned to death 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-135063 
    Died  1897  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I135063  Generations
    Last Modified  15 Mar 2017 

    Family 1  Mary,   b. 1850, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Henry A. Aldrich,   b. 1873, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Myrtle J. Aldrich,   b. 24 Mar 1878, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. George Aldrich,   b. 1879, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F33939  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Mary Jardine,   b. 1850, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  Sep 1868  [2
    Children 
     1. Henry Aldrich,   b. 1874, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Myrtle Aldrich,   b. 1877, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. George Aldrich,   b. 1879, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Fred Aldrich,   b. 1883, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F245448  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • ALDRICH (Berlin, Ont.) Jan. 26 - A terrible fire which has already resulted in one fatality and through which others may follow, happened here tonight at 7:30. Two terrible explosions in rapid succession frightened people living in the near vicinity of the Gas company's works.

      A reporter lives near the scene, and running out of the house, saw the gas works were on fire. The sound of a man's voice shouting "Help! help!" in a frantic voice was heard. Not long after an alarm was sent in, and the firemen were on the scene in quick time, and had streams playing on the flames.
      Those who arrived on the scene first found E. Carl Breithaupt, manager of the Gas company and who is also manager of the electric street railway, lying on the low roof of a shed adjoining the burning building. He was terribly burned and bruised about the head and body. He was taken to Dr. G.H. Bowlby's residence and his injuries looked after. He was unconscious. It is feared his back is broken. When the reporter called at the doctor's residence shortly after, he was told that Mr. Breithaupt had recovered consciousness, but that it was not known, whether he would live or not. Near the burning building, a workman employed about the works, named Weller, was found in an unconscious state. He was carried to an adjoining house, where he now lies at this writing, unconscious.

      But a horrible discovery awaited the searchers. A smothered cry was heard inside the burning building, and two brave firemen rushed in the teeth of the flames to attempt a rescue. The other firemen turned the hose on them, and by this means they were enabled to get at the imprisoned man, who was lying near the oil tanks, under a heap of burning wood and bricks. Before they got him out, however, he was dead. His hands and feet were literally burned off, and his face was burned beyond recognition. Though he could not be positively recognized, it was known that the poor wretch was William Aldrich, the electrician of the building. He was laid out on the snow, until Suraris' undertaking wagon was brought, when he was taken to the undertaking establishment.

      There are different stories as to how the fire originated, but as all those in the building, at the time are dead or unconscious, it can only be a surmise. The general impression prevails, that the three men went into the building where the gas is made and the tanks of oil are kept, in order to make some repairs. One must have had a cigar, and a spark from it evidently dropped into one of the tanks. Immediately the oil must have exploded, and Mr. Breighaupt, and Mr. Weller were thrown outside, while poor Aldrich, less fortunate, was dashed against the stone wall of the building to die horribly, being literally roasted to death. 2a

      2aHamilton Spectator - Wednesday, January 27, 1897

  • Sources 
    1. [S158] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1881, Div. 2 Pg. 46.

    2. [S1592] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1891, Section 2 Page 13.

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1848 - , Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Engineer - 1881 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Presbyterian - 1881 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Engineer - 1891 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Presbyterian - 1891 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1897 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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