Zeppelin Bomb Wounds Holyoke Man in France

by Laurel | February 18th, 2014

17 February 1916

Thomas J Sisson

Thomas J Sisson

Thomas F. Sisson Escapes by Leap into Fountain; Companion Dies, Letter to The Union

In a letter to The Union, received yesterday, J. McHugh of Liverpool, Eng., tells of the injury of Thomas Wilson Sisson, an inventor of Holyoke and Providence, who was hurt late in December by a bomb from a Zeppelin airship. While the name of the injured man is given in the letter as “Thomas Wilson Sisson,” it is believed by Holyoke persons that the man is Thomas F. Sisson, who left the Paper City in October for a trip abroad. According to the letter, Mr. Sisson was saved from probable death by jumping into a fountain and a companion died within a few days as a result of injuries received at the same time.

The letter in The Union from Mr. McHugh is as follows:

Messrs. Springfield Union
Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.

Dear Sirs: “Will you kindly insert in your paper the accident of Mr. Thomas Wilson Sisson, who has been injured in Paris by a Zeppelin bomb. He is one of a party touring Europe, and was returning from Genoa, Italy overland to Liverpool, when hurt. His life was saved by jumping into a water fountain. There are several clippings of your paper in his possession, so I believe your paper will know the gentleman. He is an inventor of machines in America in operation in Springfield and Holyoke. I believe he is quite prominent.“I have received word to notify his people who are living on Newton Street, Holyoke. If you could announce the accident it will save me the trouble of looking up his friends, as I have not a definite address. I will mail the paper of the full particulars of this accident.

“P.S. — Latest news from Paris. A Mr. Dunn of Florida, U.S.A., who was with Mr. Sisson, died at 3 o’clock Monday, January 21.

Yours faithfully
“J. McHugh.”
47 Garfield St., Bootle
Liverpool, Eng.

2nd Feb 1916

Known As Inventor

Holyoke, February 17 —Thomas Wilson Sisson” of Holyoke is unknown here but friends of Thomas F. Sisson, who has been traveling in Europe for several months believe that he is the man who was injured by the Zeppelin bomb as told in a letter to The Union from Liverpool, England.

Sisson’s home is in Providence, and he has no relatives in Holyoke, but is well known to a number of people through nearly three years’ residence in this city, during the greater part of which time he was employed by the Deane Steam pump Company. He came to Holyoke to enter the employ of the Deane Company, in order to demonstrate a core-making machine that he had invented, and which caused him to take a trip to England last fall for the purpose of obtaining the British patents on the invention.

He also invented a towel slot machine that was sold to a local manufacturer, and evolved a scheme pf charts for teaching the latest dancing steps. He gave a demonstration of his chart and method of dance teaching in City Hall about two years ago, and had been a dancing teacher in providence at one time.

While in Holyoke, Sisson roomed in High Street and took his meals at the home of Mrs. H. Warren, 13 Newton Street. Mrs. Warren has received several letters from him since he went abroad, the last one dated at Liverpool, being received Jan. 6 of this year. Sisson has a brother Fred, who visited him in Holyoke about a year ago, when he was ill, and the brother is believed to be in New Haven at the present time. He also has an uncle, Rev. Ft. Tierney of Providence, and cousins who reside in Newport, R.I., and are said to be very well to do.

Considerable labor union difficulty developed in the Deane Steam Pump Plant over the installation of Sisson’s core-making machinery. However, he remained there to demonstrate its practical value, but because of sickness gave up the employment about a year ago. Later he went to work for a South Deerfield man who deals in horses and made a trip to Florida with this man. In Florida he met another man with whom he became intimately acquainted, and Sisson’s Holyoke friends believe it is possible that the Mr. Dunn, who was killed by the Zeppelin bomb, is this Florida acquaintance that Sisson may have met in Europe.

According to letters received from Sisson, he went to England about the middle of last October. he wrote that somehow the English got the impression that he was a spy, despite his protests that his visit was one of personal business, and that he sought only to get foreign patent rights for his core machine. He said he was ordered deported, and came back to New York, where he succeeded in getting all the necessary papers and proof to establish the fact that he was not a spy.

he then returned to England, and gave his address as Great Crosshall Street, Liverpool. In his last letter received here, he said his plans for the future were not determined, but that he obtained a position that paid a little more than $6 a week, and apparently he was far from satisfied with conditions. he may have gone over to Paris later seeking employment in his trade, as in England it was almost impossible to secure work, he wrote, unless the workman agreed to enlist in the service of the King, if wanted.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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