Escanaba, MI Train Wreck, Feb 1900





Fast Freight Train Plunged Into a Passenger Train in the Midst of a Blinding Snowstorm----Passengers Had No Warning of Danger, List of Dead and Injured.

ESCANABA, Mich., Feb. 8.----Chicago & Northwestern passenger train No. 21, known as the Felch Mountain accommodation, which runs between this city and Metropolitan, was wrecked in a rear-end collision at Ford River switch at 8:30 tonight. Nine persons were killed, three are reported missing, five seriously and four slightly injured.

The dead are:

W. L. HILL, Escanaba, baggageman of the accommodation train. WILLIAM DILLON, Escanaba; brakeman of the accommodation train. MISS SEYMOUR, Section 5, Delta county, Michigan.
CHARLES MARTIN, Escanaba, civil engineer.
GEORGE R. BLACK, Escanaba, civil engineer;
SAM GREEN, [ineligible], agent of the Coper Peninsula Brewing company.
TWO UNKNOWN MEN. UNKNOWN WOMAN, body charred beyond recognition.

The Injured

H. W. Brown, Escanaba, cedar merchant, believed to be fatally injured.
Mrs. Seymour, section six, burned and internally injured.
Theodore D. Ford, Hardwood, Mich. fatally injured.
Richard Roberts, Escanaba, conductor of accommodation train, leg smashed.
Peter Legg, Escanaba, slightly injured.
James Green, Escanaba, engineer of freight train No. 540, hurt in jumping.
Cole N[ineligible], fireman of freight train, hurt in jumping.
Four passengers, who refused to give their names, were only slightly bruised. Three passengers are reported to be missing and their bodies are suppose to be under the burning wreckage.

A fast freight train north bound from Green Bay to Ishpeming, was making about 50 miles an hour when it passed [ineligible], seven miles west of this city.

The engine was forging ahead through a blinding snow storm, which made it impossible to see signal lights but a short distance ahead. When within 100 yards of the switch at Lord River, Engineer Green saw the rear lights of a train directly ahead, and with a warming cry to his fireman, jumped.

The next instant the heavy freight struck the passenger coach of the accommodation and telescoped it an the building car ahead. The dozen or more passengers in the car had not a moment's warning before the crash came.

At 10 o'clock it was announced that all the injured had been removed. But the bodies of the three unknown dead and two trainmen are still pinned fast in the burning building car, all efforts to reach them having proved futile.

At 1 o'clock the relief train returned to this city and was met by a crowd of mourners. Only the most seriously injured were brought on this trip, and these were at once conveyed to the county hospital in the waiting ambulance. A fresh crew of men and physicians was at once dispatched to return to the wreck on the special train.

The Grand Rapids Herald, Grand Rapids, MI 9 Feb 1900


Yes, her name was Victoria

Yes, her name was Victoria Touchette.

1900 trainwreck

We are doing a family Victoria Touchette & Theodore DeForge are in our lineage. Do you have any other info?

Theodore desforges

Was his wife's name Victoria maiden name Touchette

Feb 1900 Trainwreck

Theodore D. Ford should be Theodore DeForge. It was spelled correctly in the newspaper article. I have a copy of it. Theodore DeForge is my great-great grandfather.

Thank you
Richard Reiffers