Trimmers Rock, PA Mail Train Wrecks, Oct 1895



Newport, Pa., Oct. 24. - The breaking of an axle of a car of an eastbound freight train on the Pennsylvania Railroad at Trimmers Rock, about two miles east of here, shortly after 2 o'clock this morning, threw several cars of the freight directly across the passenger track and wrecked the westbound mail train from Philadelphia for Pittsburg that was speeding by at the time, causing the death of two men and the injury of nine others.
The following were killed:
DANIEL WOLFKILL, engineer of the mail train.
JOSEPH U. HAINS, fireman of the mail train.
WOLFKILL and HAINS both resided in Altoona, Pa.
The injured are:
C. A. CHAMBERLAIN of Harrisburg, Pa., left arm broken and wrist fractured.
E. L. COLVILLE of Pittsburg, wound above right arm and right arm sprained.
A. E. BRAND of Harrisburg, back of head contused, slight cut over the nose, wrist sprained and right arm injured.
A. E. WOODRUFF of Lewistown, Pa., leg and back sprained.
S. GROFF of Mount Joy, Pa., contused abrasion of the fingers.
A. T. ROWAN of Trenton, N.J., slight injury to left shoulder and leg.
GEORGE GILMORE, contusion of left shoulder.
J. C. CAMPBELL of Gallitain, Pa., abrasion of scale and sprain and abrasion of left knee.
JOSEPH DONALD of Mifflin, Pa., freight brakeman, sprain of lumbar muscles and sprain of left ankle.
With the exception of DONALD all the injured are postal clerks. They were taken to the city hospital at Harrisburg, where none of those injured were pronounced in a serious condition.
The mail train wrecked left Philadelphia at 10:25 p.m. last night. Besides the passenger, sleeping and day coaches there were six mail cars directly behind the engine. The train had already entered the block and was going at a high rate of speed, when the axle of a car on an eastbound freight broke and threw several cars on the track directly in front of the rapidly approaching mail. Engineer WOLFKILL had hardly time to reverse his lever when his engine struck the freight cars, and, turning completely around, toppled over a high embankment into a canal that runs beside the track at his point.
In the mail cars the postal clerks were busy distributing the mail, and how any of them escaped instant death was remarkable. When the crash came four of the mail cars were smashed together in an inextricable mass and hurled from the track, the end of one car landing in the canal. The injured clerks crawled one by one from the broken cars and escaped the dreadful death of cremation, for the wreck soon took fire and began to blaze fiercely.
With the exception of a few sacks directed to Louisville, Ky., St. Louis, Oregon and one or two other points the mail in the wrecked cars was destroyed.

San Francisco Call California 1895-10-25