Ottawa, IL Train Accident, Sept. 1912
CIVIL WAR HERO STRUCK BY TRAIN
John Fribbs Killed On Rock Island
HAS FINE WAR RECORD
BRAVERY SHOWN AT LEXINGTON WHEN HE RAN TWO HUNDRED YARDS TO THE RIVER AND RETURNED WITH WATER FOR HIS COMRADES--BUCKETS PERFORATED WITH BULLETS, BUT FRIBBS MADE MORE TRIPS--PERU ACCOMODATION TRAIN RUNS HIM DOWN AT CHESTNUT STREET IN OTTAWA.
Ottawa, IL Sept. 7 - John Fribbs, aged 74 years, a resident of Ottawa, was killed at about 7:25 o'clock yesterday morning, near the Chestnut street crossing over the Rock Island tracks in Ottawa, when he was struck by the engine of the Peru accomodation, east bound.
The engine was almost upon him before Engineer Bryant saw him, according to Bryant's story. Bryant declared that Fribbs must have been in the weeds just east of the crossing and in climbing up the grade did not see the engine.
STRUCK BY STEAM CHEST.
The train was traveling at its usuall speed within the yard limits, and Fribbs was thrown only five or six feet. He was struck by the steam chest on the side of the engine. His right arm was mangled.
The engineer stopped the train and Fribbs was taken to the Rock Island depot. Conductor Williams, Fireman Hasse, and Brakeman Baxter, who were on the train, seemed to know very little of the accident, when questioned by Captain of Police Charles A. Montgomery.
WAR HERO IN CIVIL WAR
Fribbs was among the first to answer the call of President Lincoln, enlisting April 19, 1861, in Company 23, Illinois Infantry, and was discharged October 1, 1861, following Mulligan's surrender at Lexington.
October 20,1861, he re-enlisted in Cogswell's battery and served throughout the war, getting an honorable discharge August 25, 1865.
Men who served with Fribbs say there was no braver soldier, and tell the story of his reckless bravery at Lexington, when he ran two hundred yards to the river for water and returned with several holes in his water buckets, only to get new buckets and again go for water for his thirsty comrades.
Fribbs, who was commonly known as "Mulligan" Fribbs, had been a resident of Ottawa 67 years, having gone there from Jamaica, Long Island, where he was born, when he was seven years old. He was a soldier in the Civil war. In 1868 he and Miss Jennie Harding were married in Ottawa. To this union were born the following children, all of whom survive him: Mrs. William H. Burrs; of Streator, Mrs. Charles Whitney, John Fribbs, Frank Fribbs, William W. Fribbs, Thomas Fribbs, and Herbert Fribbs, all of Ottawa, and Jos. Fribbs of Ransom.
Morris Daily Herald 1912-09-07