From the New York Tribune’s April 9, 1899 edition, a daring rescue:
Risks Life to Rescue A Newsboy
William Welch, a newsboy, fell into the North River yesterday while trying to reach the string-piece outside the Quebec Line’s pier, in order that he might watch the steamer Trinidad enter her slip.
Michael Hays, a hackman, employed at Savage’s Livery Stable, No. 194 Sullivan-st., seeing the boy’s danger, jumped in and succeeded in getting hold of him. A rope was thrown to Hays, and this he tied around the boy, who was pulled out by men on the pier. In the mean time Hays himself was drawn beneath the pier by the force of the tide and was in danger of drowning. He just had sufficient strength to fasten the rope thrown to him around his body. When they raised him to the pier he was in an unconscious state. He was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital.
The deed was commented upon by those who saw it as a heroic rescue. Had it not been for Hays the boy would undoubtedly have been drowned.