Sheffield, MO Train Accident, May 1890





Kansas City, Mo., May 22. -- The Chicago & Alton limited passenger train was wrecked at the Missouri Pacific crossing, a half mile northeast of Sheffield. The wreck was caused by a collision with the engine of a Missouri Pacific freight train.
The freight train, southward bound, stopped before reaching it, then started again, the engineer having the right of way.
Eye witnesses to the disaster said that when the Chicago & Alton crossed the Blue bridge it was running at the rate of forty miles an hour and made no effort to stop, but dashed through at full speed. The rate must have been tremendous as the entire long train was carried past except the Pullmans, the second one from the rear being struck about the middle by the freight and almost demolished.
Three Pullman cars left the track, rolled down the embankment about ten feet, smashing the cars and furniture. They were pulled over on the side until all the cars were clear of the other track. The track was badly torn up and the freight engine was a perfect wreck.
Engineer H. C. WELCH of the freight train and his fireman, when they saw a collision was inevitable, jumped, thereby saving their lives, as the cab was completely wrecked and in such a manner that no one could have been in it and lived.
The front end of the boiler was broken in, the boiler knocked off the trucks, the cab totally wrecked and the axles sprung.
The Pullmans were bottom side and so badly smashed as to be useless. Almost 100 people were in them, but not one was killed or even dangerously injured.
Most of the occupants of the cars were more or less injured. All were badly shaken up.
The most badly injured were:
MRS. A. H. REEVES, 149 Monroe street, Chicago, injured about the head and limbs.
MRS. MARY MORRIS, Milwaukee, Wis., head cut and bruised.
NEWTON FRY, Kansas City, Kan., leg broken.
C. C. COPELAND, Chicago, badly hurt about the body and legs.
W. W. MURPHY, Brookfield, Mo., bruised.
O. HAMILTON, Slater, Mo., bruised.
A. E. GOSS, Chicago, bruised.
TOM TROY, Chicago & Alton engineer, hand mashed.
MR. and MRS. GEORGE W. FULLER, of 2121 Troost, received a number of severe bruised.
MRS. ANDREW H. REED, of Chicago, on he way to Omaha, was painfully but not dangerously hurt.
Her right leg was dislocated and she received a number of bad bruises. She was removed to the home of MR. FULLER.
The freight was a special train of about twenty cars loaded with farm machinery from WILLIAM DEERING & Co's. works, Chicago. The engine that was wreck was No. 934, a large, heavy, old fashioned engine.
When the engine struck the car there was a crash that could have been heard for half a mile. The two rear sleeping cars and the dining car, palace, left the track and turned over down the steep embankment. The cries of the frightened and injured passengers could be heard loud and shrill above the heavier noises of the wreck. The passenger train, what was left of it, stopped and the crew and the passengers in the cars that escaped hastened back to render assistance to those in the wrecked coaches.
It was thought that of course a large number must have been killed, and the excitement was intense. Police Sergeant JACKSON and Patrolman HAYES, stationed at Sheffield, who were soon on the scene of the wreck, found some of the passengers almost beside themselves with excitement, and some of the crew showed but little more presence of mind.
The injured were, however, quickly gotten from the cars and when it was found that no one was killed it was a most surprised and relieved crowd about the smashed up cars and engine.
The conductor of the dining car fell to the ceiling of his car, striking on the lamp, the lamp broke and he received a bath of coal oil but was not hurt.
MRS. MORRIS, who is seventy-five years old, was not badly injured, suffering more from fright than from her injuries. She was on her way to visit friends in Lawrence, Kan., and continued her journey.
NEWTON FRY was removed in a carriage to his home in Kansas City, Kan.

Chillicothe Constitution Missouri 1890-05-23