Gorham, KS Train Wreck, Dec 1929


Gorham, Kansas -- (AP) -- Five persons were injured, several of them seriously , when two Union Pacific passenger train collided a mile east of here this morning.
The collision occurred at a siding near an oil refinery, the locomotives of passenger train number 28, eastbound, and passenger train number 24, westbound, striking head on. Both trains operated between Kansas City and Denver.
In pulling on to the siding, the engine of the eastbound train failed to clear the main line. The engineer of westbound train number 21, believing the main line was open, proceeded and the two locomotives crashed together.
Injured taken to a hospital at Hays, where their condition was said not to be critical were:
THOMAS MORAN, 44, Kansas City, a baggageman.
JAMES J. WALTON, 52, Junction City, Kansas, engineer.
CLAUDE BLEVENS, 34, Junction City, a fireman.

Sterling Daily Gazette Illinois 1929-12-23


Kansas Pacific Train Wreck - December 22, 1876

New York Times, December 26, 1876
The Kansas Pacific Accident
Four Cars, with The Mails, Baggage, And Express Matter, Burned - One Life Lost and Several Persons Injured.
From the Topeka (Kan.) Commonwealth, Dec 22.
From Col. S. N. Wood, who came in on the Denver train last night, we get the following particulars of the accident on the Kansas Pacific yesterday morning. The accident occurred at bridge No. 113, about halfway between Hays City and Victoria, yesterday morning at 1:30 o'clock. The train was running at the rate of twenty miles an hour when it ran on to bridge No. 113, over a dry branch. The locomotive and tender passed over the bridge. The express and mail car, next to the locomotive, was pitched to the right of the road, and came across the chasm, and rolled onto it's side; the baggage car fell between the mail and the express and the bridge. The front end of the smoking-car pitched on to the wreck, with the hind end coupled to the day coach. The day coach stopped on the bridge, apparently ready to take the leap; the sleeper to the rear, and safe.
Frank Webster, the express messenger, and the same one that was in the Muncie robbery, was dragged from the rubbish a corpse, his legs badly burned. Boxes had fallen on him, so that it was with difficulty he was extracted. Leroy Crandall, the mail agent, was dragged, insensible from the mail-car, and in half a minute after the two cars, express mail, and baggage, were a mass of flames, and mails, baggage and express mater were beyond human power to save. The sleeping car was with some difficulty detached, and run to the rear. The day passenger car was on the bridge, the hind trucks on the iron rails, but two thirds of the car was on the bridge timbers and could not be uncoupled, and even if it could, there was not force to move it, and it was abandoned.
There were on the train the engineer, fireman, conductor, express messenger, mail messenger, baggage master, and two brakemen, with sleeping car conductor and porter. In the smoking-car there were 15 passengers; in the day car there were 12, and eight or ten in the sleeper. At the time of the accident, Cunningham, he conductor; German, the baggage master, and Brown, a brakeman, were in the baggage car, and went down with the car. The bridge was about 125 feet long and 10 feet high.
Frank Webster, express messenger, instantly killed; badly burned and skull broken. Webster has a young wife at Kansas City, Mo.
Leroy Crandall, mail messenger, resides at Lawrence; taken out insensible, a bad bruise over the left eye, back of neck, shoulders, arms and legs badly burned; will recover.
Charles Brown, brakeman, badly bruised about the head.
Robert Cunningham, conductor, stunned, and hurt in left side; not serious.
Cicero German, baggage master, hurt in chest ad left side; not serious.
The escape of Cunningham, German, and Brown was almost miraculous.
Of the passengers, J. W. Krehl, son of Hon. B. R. Krehl, of Junction City, has an unpleasant wound in the back of the head. James Buchanon, of Belleville, N. J., a broken nose. George H. Bundy, of Boson, Mass., had his thigh and leg hurt by the falling of the stove in the smoking car. Lawrence Gent, of Isapeming, Mich., had his leg hurt.
Among he distressing incidents was that of William Bement, of Georgetown, Col. He was on the train, taking the corpse of his wife to her friends at Saratoga, for burial. She was in the baggage car and completely burned, and the husband was disconsolate and the object of much sympathy.
Cicero German, the baggage-master, showed much presence of mind, and with the help of C. M. Hunt, a passenger, from Chillicothe, Mo., dragged Crandall from the burning car and saved his life. Webster, though dead, was saved from the flames by the porter of the sleeping car and S. N. Wood.
The conductor, Cunningham, as soon as he came to, walked back to Hays, six miles for help, and soon returned with an engine. The passenger train from the east soon arrived, which afforded shelter for the passengers. The bridge was entirely burned. The cause of the accident was the breaking of the axle of the hind trucks of the tender; it was found a quarter of a mile back. The wheels evidently kept their place until they reached the bridge where they caught, pulling the bridge forward and causing the accident.
Col. Wood, who lives on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, expresses surprise at finding the Kansas Pacific using the old-fashioned coupling and break instead of the air-brakes and the Miller coupling. He says no blame can be attached to anyone for this accident, and that everything possible ws done to save life and property. At the time of the accident, he was lying on a seat asleep, near the front end of the day-coach, and was awakened by he crash - and springing to his feet, called to the passengers that the cars were off the track; but that the car instantly stopped. Ten feet more and it too must have tumbled into the abyss below. The passengers in the smoking-car had all they could do to save themselves and each other. There were one woman and two children in this car. The passengers in the sleeper were not awre of the accident until too late to render assistance. The conductor was evidently stunned by he fall, and when first seen was covered by dust, very pale, and pressing his hand to his side. He soon recovered, and did all he could to save the property, but it was to late. C. M. Hunt, a passenger from Chillicothe, Mo., and C. German, the baggage-master, and the porter of the sleeper, deserve praise for their coolness and prompt assistance.