Godfrey, KS Train Derailment, Dec 1903



Nine People Were Killed, Five of Whom Were Riding in the Smoker.
Passengers in the Sleeper Unhurt -- Work of Train Wreckers.

Fort Scott, Kan., Dec. 21 -- The Firsco's fast train "the Meteor," from Texas for Kansas City, was wrecked six miles south of here this morning. Several persons are reported killed. A wreck train darrying physicians has left for the scene.
Work of Wreckers.
Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 21 -- The local offices of the Frisco railway are without information regarding the wreck of their fast north bound train near Fort Scott. The train, which left Fort Worth yesterday afternoon, was one of the finest and fastest in the service. It was made up of two baggage and one small car, a smoker, two chair cars and a sleeper.
A telephone message from Fort Scott says the wreck occurred at Godfrey, 15 miles south of there, and was apparently the work of wreckers. The switch, it is said,had been opened and the train, which was behind and making up time, was entirely derailed. Engineer B. A. DeWEES, of Fort Scott, and three or four passengers are reported killed. The railway officials at Fort Scott say they have no details.
Nine People Killed.
The train ran into a switch, and all except the sleeper was derailed and turned over. Nine persons were killed and over twenty injured. The dead and injured were taken to Fort Scott and arrived in that city at 11 o'clock. When the train reached Godfrey it was behind and running at full speed to make up time. The crew of the freight train that preceeded the Meteor left the switch open and the passenger train jumped the track and rolled down a slight embankment.
All save the sleeper turned over, and so fast was the train running that the engine and forward baggage car went nearly sixty feet off the roadbed before it was stopped. The sleeper remained upright and none of the passengers in this car was injured. The baggage cars were completely wrecked and the smoker was badly damaged.
Among those killed.
Five of those killed were in the forward end of the smoker.
The news agent, who was badly mangled, died on the relief train which carried the dead and injured to Fort Scott.
Engineer B. A. DeWEES, of Fort Scoot, Conductor ROY of Topeka and Fireman BISHARD, of Fort Scott, were all instantly killed and the express messenger, JOHN BELL, of Kansas City, was seriously injured.

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