Chief Joseph Bowers, Fall River, Passes Away
Chief Joseph Bowers, Jr., head of the fire department of Fall River, Mass., died suddenly shortly before 10 o’clock on evening of Monday, May 29, at a fire in that city. The chief had answered an alarm for a threatening fire in Columbia Street and was directing the men when suddenly he collapsed and was carried to a nearby drug store, dying within a few minutes while Dr. Milton Gilbert was trying to revive him, the cause being heart failure.
Chief Bowers was born December 22, 1868. His father, Joseph Bowers, Sr., had served as a district and deputy chief of the Fall River fire department. On Apri 1 8, 1891, Chief Bowers was made a call man and was advanced to permanent rank on December 1, 1884. On April 27, 1901, he was transferred to headquarters and on July 12, 1903 he became a captain. In August of the same year he became clerk of the board of fire commissioners. On June 30, 1905, he was made deputy chief, the then head of the department being William C. Davol, now retired. He served in this capacity for thirteen years and Chief Davol having asked for two months’ leave in 1920 he was made acting chief. Upon Chief Davol’s actual retirement, Mr. Bowers became chief engineer on September 22, 1920, retroactive to September 15.
Chief Bowers was the first of the fire department’s heads in Fall River to work his way from the lowest rank to commanding officer, all of the other chiefs having come from civil life.
The funeral services were held at the First Christian Church in Fall River on June 3 at 2 o’clock.
The fire commissioners of the city have appointed Deputy Chief Jeremiah Sullivan as acting chief, pending the choice of a successor to Chief Bowers.
The four fire stations of Springfield, Mo., answered 26 fires during April, they being distributed as follows: No. 1, seven; No. 2, eight; No. 3, six, and No. 4, five. The damage from fires has not been more than $800 for the month. Four of the alarms were false.