from the Boston American:
Three hundred destitute, homeless, dazed men, women and children - half of them children - huddled under blankets and slept on small mattresses last night in the public hall in Revere Town Hall, while far to the southward in Chelsea smoldered the ruins of what less than thirty-six hours before had been their homes.
Thirty-five families, twenty-five children ranging in age from two months to twelve years, were housed by the Jewish Federated Charities at No. 80 Charles Street, Boston, while still others were given shelter in the House for the Destitute at No. 60 Union Park St., Boston.
Hundreds of families are separated from one another and at each of these temporary shelters for the stricken families of Chelsea. Anxious men and women were coming at all hours yesterday and even early today inquiring and begging for information for their lost ones.
Fifty or sixty lost children or children with their mothers had been sheltered for a few hours temporarily in Police Headquarters in Chelsea, but most of them were sent to the Town Hall in Revere, where the Selectmen had provided warmth, shelter and an abundance of food.
In Revere Town Hall, 375 men, women and children were cared and accounted for last night, Today few families in Revere are not without from one to a half dozen of the destitute.
Not less than sixty families huddled together in little pitiable groups in the Town Hall in Revere. There were homeless mites of two months in age which with stricken women pressed helplessly to their bosoms, while grandmothers sat on the little mattresses helping daughters to soothe the wearied, frightened children to a short and fitfal sleep.
Never has Revere Town Hall housed such an assemblage. Strong man and women, who on Sunday morning had gone home from the churches carrying the palm branches of peace to their homes, sat on the hard chairs or flung themselves down on the meagre single mattresses, dumb from the calamity the full force of which they will, mercifully, not appreciate for days.
One woman wild-eyed, who on Sunday night had to be placed in a straight jacket to keep her from harming herself, told a wild tale of bearing a mother and new born babe from a burning home which she could not locate in her rambling talk.
She said that a hospital ambulance had been summoned, but before it could not get through the hell of flame and smoke that raged.
A Mrs. Smith stated, "Mr. Smith did not come home Friday evening. I have not heard from him or seen him since. When the terrible flames swept across Chelsea and took the roof off the heads of myself and my little ones, I was desperate indeed. I walked all the way to Revere with my six children, but thank God they are all spared to me."
The six children in the :family who want to see their Papa, and who are without a home are:- Chester M., two years old; Frank E., four years old; Albert W., seven; Gladys Pearl, ten; Dora May, twelve; and Percy G., fifteen. The family's former home was at No. 8 Matthews place.
Mrs. Ida Blaisdell, a sister of Mrs. Smith, formerly living at no. 198 Poplar Street, had her home burned flat to the ground. Mr. Blaisdell is away at sea and powerless to help his wife and sister-in-law. Thomas Smith, a brother of the mysteriously missing man, who never was absent from home before, is supposed to be located at no. 185 Sumner Street, East Boston.
Pretty little Mildred Goddard, two years old, had not yet been located by her mother, who believes that she was destroyed by the fierceness of the great fire. The child had been boarding with Mrs. Ford of No. 89 Highland Street, Chelsea. These people were ruined by the fire.
The little girl has been taken by Mrs. Bessie Smith, who lives at the corner of Kingland and Revere Streets, Revere. The child's mother works for a family on Washington Avenue, Chelsea, one of the untouched portions of the doomed town. She says she is willing to keep the child.
Over in one corner of the upper hall of the Revere Town Hall building sat a little old Southern "Mammy." She was Mrs. Cecelia A. Johnson, eighty-:five years old and almost totally blind. She was led from the fiery furnace of the town of Chelsea when the flames were at their highest, by her small grandson, Raymond Dennis, eleven years old.
The little boy followed the great crowd that wandered off to Revere. The little old lady and the boy slept Sunday night on the hard, but welcome and kindly proffered floor of the building of the Revere Rubber Company.
Mr. and Mrs. James Coyne, with their nine children, ranging in age from five months to sixteen years, are probably in as hard circumstances as any of the unfortunates. The husband joined his wife and little ones late yesterday. He had been unable to get a pass to come to them before last evening. In militia-circled Chelsea, he had worried about his family and had wondered where they were.
The children are:- Lillian sixteen; Edna, fifteen; James, fourteen; William, eleven; Irene, nine; Harold, five; Mary, four; Margaret, two, and the baby, Robert, five months.
"We were eating our Sunday, dinner when the house across the street caught fire," said Mrs. Coyne. "'We had three bundles of clothing all ready to take with us when we were forced to escape and flee for our lives with only the clothing we wore. We walked to the rubber works in Revere and obtained shelter. Through all the flames and smoke, it was only a miracle that we were not burned to death. I don't know what we are going to do. There are no houses we can hire in Chelsea, and all of the places in the town where my husband could work were destroyed by the terrible fire. I'm awfully discouraged."
Mrs. William Carson of No. 170 Cottage Street, saved her five small children and spent the night of Palm Sunday in the Hood's milk shed, in Revere. The little ones are:- Sylvester, eleven; Margaret, nine; Virginia, five; Josephine, three, and Beatrice, one.
Mrs. M. E. Hanniford, sixty-seven years old, whose home at No. 614 Broadway was burned flat to the ground, told about her two boys, themselves brave 'fire laddies' of the Chelsea Department, who fought through all the terror of the day and night and who were unable to save their little home.
"Herbert and James, are two of the best boys a Mother ever had and are two of the finest boys of Chelsea Chemical No. 1." said the Mother. "When the fire came up our street in great waves of quivering flame, my boys took most of my things over to the fire house. When the fire house was destroyed all that I had went with it. All except my boys. My two firemen hurried me out of the house and I had to follow the great crowd that went towards Revere. My home is gone. I shall never have another one. I am too old to learn to love a new home as I did my old home. I am heartbroken and feel that I shall never be perfectly contented again."
Miss. Mary Boyle O'Reilly is in charge of the Red Cross nurses at Lincoln Hall, Chelsea. Many and many a lost child was found by an anxious mother through Miss. O'Reilly. When she started to work early in the day there were many helpless little tots turned over to her to care for, but by evening everyone of them had found a mother or a temporary home.
"Our most difficult task," Miss. O'Reilly said to a Boston American Reporter, "is furnished by the distracted mothers of lost children. Many of them are unable to make themselves understood, and it has been almost impossible to get some of the names correctly."