Ferdinand F. Norris Thrown Off Fire Truck in South Manchester.
His Head Struck Curb, Causing Instant Death.
from the Hartford Courant, April 8, 1910, page 13.

Ferdinand F. Norris, head of the public service department of the Pope Manufacturing Company of Hartford, was instantly killed in South Manchester yesterday afternoon shortly before 3 o'clock by being thrown from the new automobile fire truck of Hose Company No. 3 of the South Manchester fire department.

A committee from the fire department of Passaic, N.J., arrived in this city earlier in the day and wished to see one of the fire trucks which are manufactured by the Pope company. Manchester being the nearest place where one was in service, the party was taken there in one of the automobiles owned by the company. Permission to demonstrate the new truck was secured by Frank Cheney, Jr., president of the fire district, and the party left the hose house at 2:40. The party was made up of Mayor Spencer of Passaic, his son, Arthur Spencer, Chief R. H. Bowker of the Passaic fire department, and M. B. Matthews of Truck No. 1 of Passaic. The Manchester men who accompanied them on the trip were Second Assistant Chief Goslee, Second Assistant Foreman N. B. Richards of No. 3, and Driver Archibald Hayes.

The car was being run by J. M. O'Malley, head of the testing department of the Pope company, an experienced driver. When leaving the house, Mr. Norris was riding on the running board on the right hand side of the car. It was the intention of the party to visit the house of No. 1 and, after a trip up Pine street, to return to the hose house by way of West Center Hill. The car was being run about twenty-five miles an hour. In approaching the silk mills those in the party were looking towards the mills and just what caused the accident is not, and never will be known. The most probable cause of it is a high crosswalk. It is supposed that, in going over the crosswalk, the car gave a sudden bound and that Mr. Norris, not having a very good hold, slipped off, or that his hat was blown off and in trying to save it he fell. It was about fifty feet from the crosswalk to where he fell, but the time it took the car to make that distance would not be great.

The car was running very close to the north curb and, as Norris fell, his head struck the curb. J. W. Goslee and N. B. Richards saw him fall and shouted a warning. The car was brought to a stop and Mr. Richards was the first to get to him. L. N. Heebner, captain of Hose No. 1, was coming up the street in his automobile and arrived just after Mr. Richards. Seeing the Mr. Norris was badly injured he rushed up Main street for a doctor. Dr. Sloan was secured and was hustled back to the scene, but Mr. Norris was dead the instant he struck the curbing.

Mr. Heebner then went to the office of Medical Examiner W. R. Tinker, who arrived at 3:05, or about ten minutes after the accident occurred. He made a brief examination and found that there was a fracture of the skull at the base of the brain, just behind the right ear. A stretcher had been secured from Cheney Brothers' office and the body was placed upon this and taken in the fire truck to the undertaking rooms of Edward W. Post. The Pope company was notified soon after the accident and at 5:30 o'clock last evening, Mr. Riddler and Mr. Cutting of the company reached the town and arranged to have the body turned over to Undertaker Johnson of Hartford. The accident put an end to the demonstration.

Mr. Norris was 36 years old. He was born in Dedham, Mass., the son of Andrew J. and Harriet Norris, neither of whom are living. He came to Hartford six years ago, and entered the employ of the Pope Manufacturing Company. His special line of work has been in connection with the public service automobiles built by the company, and he took great pride in the sale of these motor wagons. He leaves a wife, three children, Nelson H., aged 5 years, and Minerva J. and Howard E., both younger; two borthers, Frank N. Norris and Albert B. Norris, and three sisters, Mrs. A. C. Morrill, Miss Clara Norris and Miss Anna Norris, all of Boston.