Morris, IL Train Accident, Sept 1899


A Morning Passenger Has A Narrow Escape With Its Human Freight.




And Killing About 70 a Frightful Disaster Was Averted By a Miracle--Accident Occurred About 2 Miles West Of Morris and the Engine is Badly Damaged While the Track Is Torn Up.

Morris IL., Sept. 11 - Passenger train No. 20, east bound with its load of humanity, came within an inch of figuring in a frighful wreck this morning about two miles west of Morris. That more damage was done to the train and hundreds of lives crushed out is a modern day miracle.

The train ran into a flock of sheep which were being herded along the Rock Island's right of way west of town and sixty-eight of the fleecy animals were killed outright and four or five badly wounded. The collision came very near throwing the ponderous engine off the track and did succeed in throwing the flanges of the wheels on the steel rails and riding them thus quite a distance. The pilot of the engine was a complete wreck, the westing house air brake pipe broken in twain and the immense locomotives otherwise damaged. Sheep wool, blood and particles of flesh were thrown in every direction and the engine was splattered all over with them.

The accident occurred so quick and was over in such a brief space of time that the passengers did not realize just how close death was to them, but as soon as the narrow escape was made known there was many a blanched face and the rest of their journey to the next station, Morris, was made by many in an very uneasy manner, one passenger absolutely refusing to proceed further.

The train was delayed about one hour, it being due at 9:06 a.m. And creep into the station. Upon its arrival there was another engine from Joliet ready to take its place and the disabled one was coupled to the train and pulled in.

The track where the accident occured was damaged slightly but not enough to seriously delay other trains.

The sheep are said to be the property of one Wrenn, a stock dealer of Montana and it is asserted he was grazing his sheep this morning along close to the track where the grass was tall and tender. He had his flock at Rockdale where he was putting them in condition for the Chicago market.

Morris Daily Herald 1899-09-11