Fort Worth, TX Train Wreck, Oct 1898

Axes and every conceivable weapon were brought into requisition to chop away the remains of the car from which the groans emanated. After clearing away the woodwork of the wrecked car a horrible sight met the gaze of the searchers.

The wheat was piled up over the dead body of John Doherty, who was mangled in a fearful manner. He was literally buried in the grain, the blood from several jagged wounds staining the wheat which formed his grave a lurid red. William Scaulson was next discovered lifeless under a pile of wheat. His left ear had been torn off and a gaping hole in the back of his head showed where the life blood had been let out.

The searchers were horrified, but continued their quest. Jim Kelly (one of the wounded) was the next man found. His head was badly smashed but he was able to tell that there were still others in the cars. Further search revealed the dead bodies of Patrick Joyce ad Louis Miller. Both of these men were appalling sights. They were hidden in drifts of wheat and their bodies were crushed almost to a plane surface. Their hair was matted with blood, while their countenances were distorted almost out of all semblance to human features.

In addition to the above John Lee, with his collar bone broken, and Billy Smith with an arm fractured, were rescued from the debris.

The dead bodies were cared for at the railroad section house nearby the scene of the wreck and the wounded men were made as comfortable as possible until medical aid could be summoned. The rear brakeman, who was slightly but not seriously injured, went home.

The scene of the wreck this morning at daylight presented an extraordinary and grewsome [sic] spectacle. The two cars of the rear portion of the first section of the train which had been struck by the runaway section, had been thrown a distance of twenty-five feet from the rails and in their descent down the hill had turned over and over, leaving piles of wheat from the track to where the cars had come to a stop sides downward. The other two cars which had been precipitated from the track in the collision were strewn about the spot in distance of 200 feet on either side of the track. The track rails were badly warped and twisted unto all kinds of shapes. Buzzards, as if scenting carrion, hovered in alarming numbers over the blood stained wheat piles that dotted the country around for an area of several hundred yards.

At 7:30 the wrecking train from the city went out to the wreck and began the work of clearing it away. Two of the cars which had been in the collision were so badly demolished and so encumbered the track that they were set fire to and burned up. The track rails were straightened out and after six hours work traffic along the line was opened up.

At 10 a.m. this morning Justice R.F. Milam began the holding of an inquest at the scene of the wreck. The Inquest was concluded late this afternoon at the courthouse.

The bodies of the unfortunate dead will be in the city morgue on Weatherford street for a short time to see if relatives claim them, otherwise will be interred here.

The wounded men, Jim Kelly, John Lee, Billy Smith, were sent to the county poor farm to-day. With the exception of Kelly their injuries though severe, are not fatal. Kelly’s head is badly mashed and his condition very serious. These three state that they reside at Rush Springs, I.T.

It was at this point that some of the men who lost their lives got into a loaded wheat car and come south to Texas.

John Doherty, one of the dead, it has been ascertained, has a sister living in Indianapolis, Ind. She has been communicated with, but up to this writing no answer has been received from her. Louis Miller, another of the dead men, has a uncle, a contractor named Baer, living in Kansas City. The latter has been communicated with. William Scaulson, still another of the unfortunate dead, has a father living at Springfield, Ill. Intelligence of his son’s death has been sent to him. William O’Brien and Patrick Joyce, the remaining two dead victims of the wreck, have been unidentified as to friends or relatives.

A crowd of the morbidly curious has been thronging the city morgue all the afternoon to try and catch a glimpse of the mangled remains that lie covered with dark cloths at the morgue.

The description of the five dead men as is follows:

Louis Miller, age as above mentioned in this article; weight about 190 pounds and was 6 feet tall, large shoulders. He was of red complexion, with a reddish mustache and the hair on top of is head, which was of a reddish hue, was very thin. A few inches back from his right eye was a small hole, which wound probably caused his death.

William O’Brien weight probably 140 pounds, was of dark complexion, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, dark hair and mustache. He had an ugly wound about the head, the scalp being torn loose from the cranium and exposing the skull for some inches near the front part of his head.

William Scaulson was also very dark, he having black hair, dark mustache and dark complexion. His left ear was entirely off and he had also a hole in the left side of his head near his left ear. He was about 5 feet 7 inches in height and weight about 130 pounds.

John Doherty also had a black mustache and black hair and there were several wounds about his head. His forehead was fractured. He was about 5 feet 7 ½ inches in height and weighed about 160 pounds.

Patrick Joyce had dark hair intermixed with gray and rather a reddish mustache. He was about 5 feet 10 inches in height and weighed about 150 pounds. He had a wound on the back of his head.