Captain Thomas Bushfield Targee

Photo of Captain Thomas Bushfield Targee
Last Call: Thu, May 17th, 1849
Date of Incident: Thu, May 17th, 1849
Cause of Death: Explosion (Accidental)
Service Time: Not Known
Age: 40


His wife Sarah, daughters Emma, Sarah, and Jane, and sons Albert and Thomas.


Captain Targee of the Saint Louis Volunteer Fire Department died in the Great Fire of 1849. The fire had spread to the steamboats docked along the Saint Louis riverfront and then to the warehouses and buildings on the shore. In order to create a firebreak, Captain Targee decided to blow up some of the buildings. After he and his men blew up several buildings, he decided to blow up one more; Nathaniel Phillips' music store. He put a keg of gunpowder on his shoulder and ran into the already burning building. Seconds later, the building exploded and Captain Targee was killed. The incident occurred where the Gateway Arch now stands.


Saint Louis Fire Department Patch
1421 North Jefferson Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63106
(314) 533-3406


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