Hempstead, TX Train Wreck, Nov 1884



A Passenger Train on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad Completely Wrecked, Resulting in the Death and Wounding of Many Persons – The Work of a Miscreant.

[Special To The News.]
HEMSTEAD [sic], November 14. -- Your special reporter came down from Brenham this morning and has just returned from the wreck at Clear creek, two miles south of Hempstead. A careful survey of the scene of the accident forces the conclusion that the fish bars joining on one of the rails had been removed, and the spikes that held the rails to the ties had been drawn. But the rail had not been thrown out of line. Hence the engineer could not discover anything wrong. The inside bar was missing and the other was found some distance away.

Messrs. Swanson, Howe, Waldo, Faulkner and Drs. Stuart and Boyles, with several prominent citizens of Houston, reached the wreck by a special train a few hours after it took place. The devilish work was doubtless done by some miscreant who had a spite against the company, and who cared nothing for human life. The embankment where the rail had been tampered with was about twenty-six feet high, and where the first three passenger coaches neared the bridge and where they fell over into the creek, was about forty feet high. Seven cars were thrown off – three passenger, one express, one baggage and two Pullman sleepers. The first three are total wrecks. The track was cleared this evening, and trains are now passing as usual.

The water in the creek is about fifteen feet deep, and several of the dead were doubtless drowned after being wounded. The locomotive kept the track, but the tender was thrown off after crossing the creek some 300 feet distant.

The scene presented among the wounded when THE NEWS reporter reached here was a sad one, and reminded him of the scenes to field hospitals after a battle during the late war. The wounded received every care and attention, and the railroad company has given orders to bestow every attention on the unfortunates, and Captain Faulkner is here in person attending to the care of the wounded and burying the dead.
The people of Hempstead, especially her noble ladies, are doing their duty and are unceasing in their devotion to the wounded.

9 P. M. -- Your reporter has just returned, in company with Captain Faulkner, from making a full inspection of all the wounded here, and all are cheerful and speak in terms of the loudest praise of the care and attention given them. A Pullman sleeper will reach here in the morning and remove all who desire to go to the company's infirmary, or they will be transported free to their homes elsewhere.

The killed are, a German lady and two children, immigrants, ticketed to Austin; three sons, not hurt.
HAMPTON THOMAS, of Navasota, wood contractor.
E. F. TARIS, baggage master.
L. CADOZA, passenger agent, Atlantic Coast line.
GREEN LEWIS, colored, porter.
LAMAR LEAKE, newsboy of the train.

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