THE AFTERMATH

On 25 March it was proposed before the City Council of the City of San Antonio that an ordnance be adopted that would create the position of Boiler Inspector and would require examinations before a board to qualify and certify those persons servicing locomotive, fire engine or stationary boilers within the limits of the municipality. The proposal was introduced and read the first time(non emergency proposals had to be read three times)on 25 March. It was read again on the 8th of April, however, there is no indication of a third reading or that the proposal ever became an ordnance. The enforcment of such a proposal would have brought the railroad into immediate conflict with the city.10 In effect the city would have been qualifying railroad employees.

The lawsuits against the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad were filed almost immediately in the District Courts in San Antonio.

All the cases were settled without a jury. The life of Archie Price cost the GH&SA Railroad $4,000, paid to his wife Selena. The same amount was paid to Malvina Todd for her husband. Veronike Cisko and the Mansker family had private settlements, the amounts were not recorded.11

Beginning the day after the explosion, relief for the widows and orphans of the disaster was being addressed. The Chamber of Commerce appointed a committee to oversee all charitable activities occurring within the city. The investigation, reporting and assignment of need was to be handled by the Associated Charities(AC), the local umbrella organization for all charities in the city. The AC was empowered by the Southern Pacific Railroad to act as its point organization. Mayor Bryan Callaghan quickly endorsed the plan and the AC began its field contacts that day. In a time when government aid was non-existent, the speed and organizational ability shown by private social services is impressive.

Donors and amounts were publicly reported by the newspapers. The newspaper reporting of the progress of the aid to the disaster victims was as careful and in depth as the examination of the disaster itself. The reporting of the destitute circumstances of the victims’ families was heartrending and detailed. Within this daily public forum the social responsibility for providing long term aid to those families that had lost their only breadwinner was acknowledged by local leaders and systematically handled.

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