Washburn, IA Train Hits Horses, June 1919




The Dead.
FRED TISDALE, Cedar Rapids, engineer.
C. A. HORTON, Minneapolis, baggageman.
The Injured.
L. H. PECK, Olin, Ia.
A. M. STEWART, Waterloo.
TED REESE, Waterloo.
OTIS McCREARY, Cedar Falls.
WALTER HERR, Cedar Rapids, fireman.
Traveling at a speed of about forty miles per hour, Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific passenger train No. 62 was piled along the track near the Washburn station, about eight miles south of this city, Tuesday morning at 2:35. The train was in charge of Conductor DAVIS and FRED TISDALE, engineer, the latter being buried beneath the wreckage of the engine cab. C. A. HORTON, baggageman, was also killed. A number of persons were injured but none seriously. All but one car left the rails.
The ill-fated train pulled thru Waterloo at 2:20 a.m. and was on time. When approaching the cattle guards at the first crossing from the Washburn station, two large horses and a pony got on the track. One horse and the pony were killed and thrown off to the side by the pilot while the other horse caught in front of the pilot in such a way as to roll along the track. The animal was dragged in this manner about forty rods to the switch when in some way it caught in the frog. This caused the locomotive to leave the main track for the side-track while the remainder of the train continued on the main rails.
The gigantic iron horse plowed its way along for a considerable distance before it was brought to a halt by being imbedded in the earth. The baggage car brought up alongside of the engine while the smoker lay half upset across the tracks directly behind the engine. It was in the smoker that the majority of the injured were seated. The fireman was hurled from the cab and escaped with scalded feet and a bruised hip, while the engineer was buried beneath the wreckage in such a manner that he was removed from the opposite side of the derailed baggage car. The baggageman was killed by escaping steam which rushed out in such volumes as to cover the engine and nearby cars with a white coating.
The steel mail coach, the only steel coach in the train, was carried past the engine and to the right side. It was not upset but was off the rails and imbedded in the soft earth.
One of the freaks of the wreck was the manner in which the tender got ahead of the engine. It was lying rightside up about twenty feet ahead of the locomotive and was turned about, facing the direction from which it came. The trucks of the tender were left to the right side of the engine buried in the earth until the wheels were practically out of sight.
Day Coach Saved From Serious Damage.
The day coach was not damaged to any extent, only the end which smashed against the smoker being caved in. The Pullman directly behind the day coach remained upright with but one truck off the rails while the last Pullman did not leave the track and was used to bring some of the injured to this city.
The track for about eighty rods, both main and switch, was torn up and the rails were spread in other places. Parts of the animal causing the wreck were strewn along the right-of-way from the switch to the engine, one hoof and a part of a leg being found on the opposite side of the wreck from the remainder of the animal.
The horses belonged to RICHARD O'CONNOR who lives near Washburn. It was stated that the animals were safe in the pasture adjoining the right-of-way Monday night but that the wind, which accompanied a heavy rain storm, blew open the gate and let the animals out on the track.

Waterloo Times-Tribune Iowa 1919-06-11