IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Sylvester Boyd
Agency Canton Fire Department
Rank Driver
Type of Firefighter Part-time (paid)
Age Range 41 to 45
Sex Male
Date of Birth 1/5/1859
Date of Death 12/9/1902
Cause of Death Struck by vehicle , Thrown from vehicle
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Emergency vehicle operations , Responding to/returning from incident

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Canton
Incident State IL
Incident Date 12/7/1902 11:55
Incident Location Street/Road
Incident Attribute Traffic accidents , False alarms

Incident Summary

Isaac Sylvester Boyd died on December 9, 1902, at the age of 43. Boyd was an employee of J. H. Whiting Transfer Company and was a contract driver for the Canton Fire Department. As such, he would drive a team of fire department horses and pull fire apparatus to the scene of a fire.

Shortly before noon on December 7, 1902, a fire alarm was received for a fire on North Avenue C. Boyd responded to the alarm driving a chemical wagon, with Captain Ira Price and Firefighter James Johnson as passengers. At the corner of Main and Locust Streets, the chemical wagon slid out of control due to the slick, snow-covered streets. The wagon struck the curb and, while Price and Johnson were able to jump clear, Boyd caught his foot and the wagon overturned on top of him. With the help of bystanders, Price and Johnson were able to raise the wagon and pull the unconscious Boyd out from under it. The other fire apparatus continued to the fire alarm, but it proved to be false.

Boyd had suffered three broken ribs and a punctured lung and was initially taken to a nearby stable, but then to the office of Dr. J. E. Coleman. Coleman, Dr. W. T. Ziegler, and Dr. J. M. Nelles attended to his needs. Later that day he was taken to his residence above the Whitig Transfer barn. Boyd passed away two days later on December 9, 1902, the birthday of his daughter. He was survived by a wife and two children. A community outpouring of relief for the Boyd family was undertaken to provide for the welfare of the family with more than $500 raised. The City of Canton provided an additional stipend of $200 to the widow and children.

Summary by John Stanko, Canton Fire Department


"Seriously Injured: Chemical Engine Overturned at Corner on Its Way to Fire, and Driver Hurt” Daily Register, December 8, 1902.

"Result In Death: Injuries of Sylvester Boyd, Sustained on Sunday Last, Prove Fatal” Daily Register, December 10, 1902.

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