Captain William Ellerbrook and his faithful dog, Boss
This monument in Oakdale Cemetery commemorates the deaths of Captain William Ellerbrook and his faithful dog Boss, who gave up his life in an effort to drag his master from a burning building at the corner of Front and Dock Streets. Captain Ellerbrook was master of a Heide Company tugboat and a volunteer fire fighter.
One fateful night in 1880, Captain Ellerbrook answered a call to save the burning store. Running into the burning building, Ellerbrook was caught by failing timbers, hearing his owners screams for help, his dog, Boss dashed into the burning building, only to be found the next day beside Ellerbrook’s body with a piece of cloth torn from his master’s coast sill in his mouth. The dog was buried in the casket with Captain Ellerbrook. Much loved and respected, their funeral was attended by hundreds of Wilmington Citizens.
Source: A Pictorial History of Wilmington by Anne Russell