Manteno, IL Auto And Train Collide, Feb 1948

FORMER NIANTIC MAN KILLED IN MANTENO CRASH.

THREE DIE WHEN TRAIN HITS PASSENGER CAR AT DOWNTOWN CROSSING.

WALTER T. BECK, 77-year-old former Niantic resident and employee at the Manteno State Hospital for the last four and one-half years, was killed instantly last night when a car in which he and two other hospital employees were riding collided with a fast New York Central passenger train at a grade crossing in downtown Manteno.
Victims were WILLIAM BECK, 77, of Manteno; FRED GUYER, 67, of West York; and JOHN S. CARROLL, 61, of Olive Branch, all widowers.
Their automobile driven by MR. GUYER, was struck by the "James Whitcomb Riley", bound from Chicago to Cincinnati. The bodies were strewn over a 300-foot radius.
Coroner Edward P. Madison of Kankakee County said the elderly hospital employees apparently failed to see the train which usually travels through Manteno around 70 or 80 miles an hour. Manteno is about 50 miles south of downtown Chicago.
MR. BECK was born in Kansas on Jan. 1, 1871, son of Richard and Sarah Jane Beck. He was married to Nora Epley in Logan County in September 1891. She died about 20 years ago.
He had been a Niantic resident most of his life, leaving there four and one-half years ago to take the hospital job at Manteno. He was a member of the Niantic Christian Church.
He leaves two sons, Arthur of Illiopolis and Herschel of Warrensburg, and two daughters, Mrs. Della Moore of Niantic and Mrs. Fern Pinkleton, of Decatur.
He leaves two sisters, Mrs. Angeline Beckley, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Mrs. W. T. Wree, of Decatur, and two brothers, John of Latham and Bruce of Decatur. Eight brothers and sisters preceded him in death. He leaves eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The body has been taken to the Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home, and arrangements are incomplete. Burial will be in the Harristown Cemetery.

Decatur Daily Review Illinois 1948-02-07