Duluth Junction, MN train wreck, Jun 1892


A Serious Collison Occurs on the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad.

One Person Killed and Seven Others Injured, Three Perhaps Fatally.

ST. PAUL, June 22. - A St. Paul and Duluth passenger train collided with the Wisconsin Central express on the St. Paul and Duluth road, two miles north of Duluth Junction, at 1 o'clock p. m., causing the death of the young son of Superinetendent Stinson, of the Stillwater union depot, the serious and perhaps fatal injury of three trainmen and slight injury of several others. A complete list of the killed and injured is as follows:

James E. Stinson, Stillwater, instantly killed.

Al Byers, conductor on the Duluth train, injured internally.

Joe Kelly, fireman, Duluth, left leg broken, injured about the head.

Walter Brooks, engineer Central, arm and leg broken, also scalded.

E. Fitzgerald, express messenger, cut about the head and face.

C. F. McElroy, fireman Central, injured internally.

W. J. Walters, back injured.

F. W. Jaynes, Mahtomedi, face cut.

John Thompson, Chicago, head bruised and scratched about the face.

W. H. Harrington, Minneapolis, face slightly bruised.

The Wisconsin Central passenger train due to leave Stillwater at 12 o'clock, was nearly an hour late, but Conductor Walters expected to reach the junction before the Duluth train, due at Stillwater at 1:15, passed. Conductor Al Byers, of the Duluth train, thought everything was all right and his train started out as usual. Both trains were running almost at full speed when they collided on a curve about one mile west of a point known as Summit Switch. Both locomotives were totally demolished and rolled down the embankment, a distance of ten feet. The tenders attached to both locomotives remained on the track and the passenger coaches piled up over them, with the exception of the two rear coaches on each train.

The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, ND 23 June 1892

Two Engines Come Together at a Speed of Twenty-five Miles Per Hour.


Scalded and With Arms and Legs Broken, Many Are Worse Than Killed.

STILLWATER, Special to the News, June 21. - A terrible head end collision occurred shortly after 1 o'clock this afternoon about two miles south of the side of Duluth Junction, which resulted in the instant death of James Edward Stinson, an 11 yar old son of J. J. Stinson, superintendent of the Stillwater Transfer company, and perhaps fatally injured several others. A complete list of the killed an injured follows.

JAMES EDWARD SIMPSON [sic], instantly killed.

AL BYERS, conductor, Duluth; injured internally.

JOE KELLY, fireman, Duluth; left leg broken and otherwise inured.

WALTER BROOKS, engineer, Central train; arm and leg broken and badly scalded about the head and body.

C. P. McELROY, fireman, Central train; injured internally.

W. J. WALTERS, conductor, Central train; back injured.

JOHN THOMPSON, Chicago; bruised about the head.

F. W. JAMES, Mahtomedi; slightly bruised and cut.

E. FITZGERALD, messenger, Adams Express Company; badly injured about the head.

Rev. W. H. HARRINGTON; face scratched.

The Wisconsin Central passenger train, which runs over the St. Paul & Duluth tracks, between this city and the Juncti9on, is due to leave here at noon, but was nearly one hour late when it pulled out of the depot. The train was in charge of Engineer Brooks and Conductor W. J. Walters, and supposing that the track was clear they never had the remotest idea of any danger. When they neared the Junction, Engineer Brooks heard the approaching Duluth train, which was going at a speed of twenty two miles an hour, and he hastily reversed his locomotive, but to no avail. The distance between the two trains had narrowed down to a few rods, and in a twinkling, both of the engines crashed together, and are now lying in a shapeless mass at the foot of the embankment where the collision occurred.

Engineer C. W. Gage of Duluth engine No. 4, jumped from the cab before the collision occurred and escaped without serious injuries, but his fireman, Joseph Kelly, was less fortunate. The Stimson lad was riding with him in the cab, and in his desire to save him from the impending danger, he remained at his post, grabbed the boy - and knew nothing further until he was extricated from beneath the debris. He was picked up and carried to a place of safety, when it was ascertained that his left leg was broken and that he had received other injuries.

Engineer Brooks and Fireman C. F. McElroy of Central engine No. 81, remained in the cab until the collision occurred, when they, too, were hurled to the ground underneath parts of their locomotive Engineer Brooks, who is perhaps the most seriously inujured of any of the train hands, was scalded by escaping hot water and steam, besides having his left leg and right arm broken. He is in a pitiable condition and his recovery is doubtful.

The cause of the accident is not known, but it is stated that the conductor of the Duluth train made a mistake in reading the clearance number on the train book at Duluth Junction, where all trains are required to register.

The Duluth News-Tribune, Duluth, MN 22 Jun 1892