Ballston, NY Railroad Accident, May 1849


The Rail Road train for Whitehall ran off the track this morning at a place called Tallmadge's Road, six miles South of Ballston. The train was under full headway. The locomotive ran some six rods up a bank six feet high, when it upset, being smashed in pieces, crushing the engineer, WILLIAM DODGE, and the fireman JOHN FRANK, under it. The baggage tram was thrown up to the opposite bank. The passenger cars uninjured.
DODGE was terribly cut in the face, and FRANK had his left leg horribly crushed. It is hoped that both will recover, though it is very doubtful. DODGE was taken to Ballston [his home] and FRANK to Troy. The worst of the whole is, that it was the result design. Stones have been wedged between the rails and the plank of the crossing, carefully placed and driven down. Billets of wood have been found several times driven down in the same spot, but have been removed to prevent injury. A hand-car passed over the track two hours before the accident. John Tallmage, who owns the farm and who was near the spot at the time, is suspected to have done it. He has threatened vengeance several times for the loss of a cow by the train a few weeks since. He will undoubtedly be arrested this afternoon. The fragments of the wreck were removed within three hours. The locomotive is ruined. DODGE was one of the most careful and skillful engineers in the country. How either he or FRANK escaped instant death, is inconceivable; both crawled out from the wreck themselves, covered with blood, and presenting a shocking sight. Passengers for Whitehall were detained two hours; those for Troy, three.

Rutland County Herald Vermont 1849-05-30