Ivanhoe, CO Train Wreck, Feb 1896


Ivanhoe, Colo., Feb. 12. – (Special to The Herald-Democrat.) – Passenger train No. 8, which left Leadville at 6:05 o’clock last night was wrecked at a point about half a mile from the end of the Rusk-Ivanhoe tunnel, and one man was killed, being


Engineer of the head locomotive. The train was, as usual handled by two locomotives, and was pulling up the heavy grade toward the tunnel, when, at Cunningham siding, the first engine struck a rock on the track. The impact broke down the pilot, which dragged along over the ties until it struck a switch and the engine was thrown from the track, falling over to the right across the switch.

The tank of the engine fell across the main line, which stopped the train. The fireman jumped from the cab to the tender, and escaped uninjured.

Brave JOHN MEAD, the engineer, stayed with his engine and was crushed to death under it. His body cannot be recovered until the engine is removed.

As soon as the news was received in Leadville a wrecking train was sent out which arrived at the wreck at 1:10 a.m., when the wrecking crew set work to recover the body first and then clear away the wreck.

None of the passengers were injured, as Engineer McNeill, of the second locomotive, seeing the Mead’s engine was wobbing [sic], shut off the steam and reversed his engine, thus stopping the train before it could strike the wreck. As soon as it was learned that the track could not be cleared for some hours, the train was sent back to Leadville with the passengers, and the wrecking crew remained to recover the body and open the line.

The weather was cold, with a furious gale raging, and the snow plow, which was brought up ahead of the wrecking train, provided indispensable.

The dead engineer was one of the first to be employed on the Midland and has been running out of Leadville almost ever since the road was built. He was about 50 years of age and unmarried. He was considered one of the steadiest pany’s [sic] service.

Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, CO 15 Feb 1896