Chatsworth, IL Train Wreck, Aug 1887
A SAD AND GHASTLY SIGHT
that was brought to view. Ten coaches had either gone through the bridge or were piled in a promiscuous heap crosswise and lengthwise of the track. Shrieks and groans of the wounded and dying could be heard. No one has been taken from under the cars and not even a sound can be heard from them.
Dr. Hasen, of Fort Madison, Ia., says the train was running about thirty miles per hour when the accident occurred. He felt a sudden jar and found himself and wife fastened under the seats. He pulled the backs off of two seats before he could get his wife out. She was bruised on the body and both of her feet crushed. His shoulder was dislocated and he had it pulled into place as soon as he could get out of the wreck. In helping others he put it out of place again and had to have it pulled into place a second time. There were nine persons in his party and he can hear of only three of them so far. He says he saw MR. E. D. STODDARD hand his boy out to a lady while he crawled back to get his wife.
While the fight had been going on men had been dying, and there were not so many wounded to take out of the wreck as there had been four hours before. But in the meantime the country had been aroused; help had come from Chatsworth, Forest and Piper City, and as the dead were laid reverently alongside of each other out in the cornfield, there were ready hands to take them into Chatsworth, while some of the wounded were carried into Piper City.
ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT
was the awful poll of the disaster and the wounded number four times that many. The full tale of the dead cannot, however, be told yet for days.
Chatsworth was turned into a morgue yesterday. The town hall, the engine house, the depot, were all full of dead bodies, while every house in the little village has its quota of the wounded. There were over 100 corpses lying in the extemporised dead-houses, and every man and woman was turned into an amateur but zealous nurse. Over in a lumber yard the noise of hammers and saws rang out in the air and busy carpenters were making rough coffins to carry to their homes the dead bodies of the excursionists, who, twelve hours before, had left their homes full of pleasurable expectations of the enjoyment they were going to have during the vacation which had begun.
Fully a score of the ladies of Chatsworth volunteered their services and rapidly became adept nurses under the instructions of the doctors, and administered medicines, made bandages and fanned the many victims.
THE STORY OF A SURVIVOR.
M. W. WHITE, a printer, of this city, was among the passengers. He makes the following statement:
"I was in the second sleeper. The train was going fast, when all at once, about midnight, there came a peculiar shaking and jostling. I though we had been derailed. Our porter said: 'We are all right,' when some one cried: 'There's fire ahead!' I got up and went to the front of the car and found that the first engine had rushed on, but the second engine had tumbled into the chasm. It had telescoped, and
THE ENGINEER WAS A SHAPELESS MASS.
The first car was turned at right angles with the track, and the remaining eleven cars were telescoped and piled up in a heap"
"Several of us climbed upon the cars with axes and lanterns and went to work. The first man we found was BILLY STEVENS, the confectioner, and he was dead. We pulled him out after some effort and then pulled his two daughters, EMMA and IDA, out. They were all dead. Every one was groaning and crying. Their feet seemed to be jammed; most of them had their legs broken. After an hour and a half we cleared the car. They were offering $50 each for relief. Probably there was a dozen bodies taken out. I then went down on the ground and
ASSISTED IN TAKING THE DEAD DOWN.
"They put up a plank and they helped them out, sliding them down the plank. If they were dead they put them in one pile; if alive they put them in another. Every live person seemed to want to see their families at once. There were in MRS. JEAMES DEAL'S party five persons, herself, MRS. WILLILAM ALLEN, MISS ADA WEBSTER, MRS. WILLIAM BALL and JENNIE O'SHAUGHNESSY, every one of them killed but the last, and all horribly disfigured. It was late in the afternoon before they were recognized. One of the horrible sights was a man, well dressed, who was so badly injured that his bowels were protruding. He called incessantly for water, and as he could not be attended to he finally pulled out his revolver and
SHOT HIMSELF THROUGH THE HEAD"
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