Carbondale, IL Train Wreck, Apr 1909

Some postcards of a train wreck in or near Carbondale, Illinois.


Mattoon newspaper ran an article that day

This wreck would have obviously been front page news. Unfortunately, the front page of the Carbondale Free Press for both the day and the day after the wreck are missing from those editions online at Murphy's law.

However, an article appeared on the front page of the Mattoon Journal-Gazette on April 2, 1909. This probably made the front page because two Mattoon residents were injured.

The train involved was southbound #3 from Chicago to New Orleans. The train was rolling into Carbondale at a high rate of speed when it derailed. The paper lists a "John Hamlin" of Carbondale as the locomotive fireman who was killed. He is listed as the only fatality.

Perhaps the name was in error, which would seem likely as Hamlin and Hamilton could easily be confused.

Hope this helps, if well after the fact as I see I'm answering an eight year old comment.

As to the earlier post about the Southern Illinoisan, I don't believe it existed yet in 1909.

Hi Joyce, The Southern

Hi Joyce,

The Southern Illinoisan is the area's main newspaper. Good chance it would be there.

train wreck at Carbondale, Il in 1909


I believe this is the train wreck my Uncle John Hamilton was killed on. It was his 24th birthday that day.

I have been looking for information on this wreck and cannot seem to find it on line.

Do you know what paper it was reported in or how I can find out the news of this wreck?

Thank you
Joyce Rose