Janesville, MN Train Wreck, Jan 1892


Two Actresses Burned and Twelve Injured in a Smash-Up.

Two persons were killed and seventeen injured in an accident on the Northern Pacific Railway at Janesville, Minn. The train consisted of an engine, a baggage car, and a sleeper which contained about thirty-five passengers, including the members of the Andrews Opera Company. The opera company was being conveyed from West Superior to Grand Forks.

At Janesville a broken rail was struck. The sleeper ran 250 feet on the ties and then overturned with a crash. The wreck, was soon ablaze, and how so many passengers escaped death is difficult to conjecture.

The uninjured and the railway men worked hard to extricate the less fortunate passengers. It was thought that every one of them had been got out of the wreck, but a closer investigation showed that MRS. ANDREWS, wife of ELWARD A. ANDREWS, proprietor of the opera company, and her maid, LILLIE WALLACE, were missing.

The sleeper was by this time enveloped in flames, and was burning fiercely. The fire was bravely attacked and subdued. The remains of MRS. ANDREWS and MISS WALLACE were discovered in an upper berth in the forward end of the car burned beyond recognition.

The position of the bodies indicated that the two women had been suffocated. No sound was heard from them while the rescue work was being done. The stage name of MRS. ANDREWS was NANNIE WILKINSON. She was the soubrette of the company and one of its principal members. Her husband was almost wild with grief. He had saved their two year-old child and supposed MRS. ANDREWS was safe. The situation of the rescued was pitiable. Few had been able to save any clothing, and with the thermometer at forty degrees below zero their sufferings were every[sic] great.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1892-01-22