Morris, IL Train Accident, Sept 1912
SEEKING WORK; HE MEETS DEATH
Robert Mackay, Aged 20, Falls Under Train.
HOME IN SPRINGFIELD
TRIES TO JUMP OFF FREIGHT TRAIN NEAR MINOOKA AND IS RUN OVER---BODY PICKED UP AND BROUGHT TO MORRIS WHERE INQUEST IS HELD---TWO COMPANIONS WITH HIM AND ALL WERE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT IN RAILWAY SERVICE---BROTHER COMES FROM SPRINGFIELD AND CLAIMS THE BODY.
Morris, IL Sept. 24 - While in search of employment, Robert Mackay, aged 20 years, a railway fireman whose home was in Springfield, Ill., fell under a Rock Island freight train a short distance west of Minooka yesterday afternoon and was killed. His body was brought to Morris, where the inquest was conducted by Coroner Ferguson at 11 o'clock this morning, after which the body was shipped to Springfield.
With Mackay were two companions, W.L. Leakey, who said he had no home but had resided in Springfield and St. Louis and George Halden, of Centersville, Iowa. All three were railway men and in search of employment, according to evidence given at the inquest.
They had been in Joliet, where they failed to find employment, and were on their way to Silvis, near Rock Island, the next division of the Rock Island railway, where they hoped to find work. Leakey testified that he expected some money to be sent him at Joliet, and after the freight train passed through Minooka, they changed their plans and decided to go back to Joliet to await the arrival of the money, as it was necessary to pass a physical examination to secure work and the physicians had previously refused to examine them without the customary fee of $1.
Falls Under the Wheels.
About half a mile west of Minooka the young men decided to get off the train and return to Joliet the next day. The train was running about 25 miles an hour down grade, but Leakey and Halden alighted in safety from a flat car containing a threshing machine.
Mackay attempted to follow, but fear apparently overcame him, and instead of releasing his hold on the handle bars he held fast and was dragged along. Finally his hold was released. He was struck by a journal box and his body was thrown under the wheels. One of Mackay's legs was cut off and he was considerably bruised otherwise.
Morris Address is Found.
The freigh train on which Mackay was riding was brought to a standstill and the trainmen made an examination, but but the body was picked up by a following freight in charge of Conductor Nelson, formerly of Morris.
The coroner found on Mackay's body a note book in which was written the address of Byron Anderson, care of Miss Julia Kalostoboken, Morris, Ill. Byron Anderson, who is familiarly known as "Butch," is a brother of Miss Kalostoboken. He has been traveling with a circus.
It was at first believed that Mackay was on his way to Morris to visit his friend, but his two companions testified that the Morris address had nothing to do with the young men being in this vicinity. They had simply met Anderson on the road.
Brother Claims Body
The coroner ascertained that relatives of the dead young man resided in Springfield, and they were immediately notified. A brother, Daniel A. Mackay, a nice appearing young man, who resides at 2112 Lowell avenue, Springfield, arrived in Morris and claimed the body. An unmarried brother and sister reside at 13th and Carpenter streets, Springfield. The sister is prostrated over the tragedy. The parents of Robert Mackay are dead.
Daniel Mackay stated that the last time he saw his brother was on Labor day.......
Mackay, when he left Springfield had a suitcase with two suits of clothes and a $26 raincoat, according to statements made by his brother.
Members of the train crews and a claim agent of the Rock Island company attended the inquest, which was conducted at Bergeson & Phelan's.
Morris Daily Herald 1912-09-24