Fort Worth, TX Train Wreck, Oct 1898

All the men from their dress appeared to be laborers. Their hands were rough and there was every indication that they had been at work recently. Some of them wore “jumpers” and the others coarse clothing. Their shoes were heavy, the kind usually used by railroad section men.

The inquest was concluded late this afternoon and a verdict rendered by Justice Milam in accordance with the facts. From the testimony it appeared that M.E. Sebree, superintendent of transportation, of the Rock Island road, was notified of the accident at about 2 o’clock this morning and as soon thereafter as a car and engine could be gotten ready started with medical assistance for the scene of the wreck. When Mr. Sebree reached there he and others extricated the dead and injured from the ruins of the wheat car, in which they had been imprisoned, and placed the injured in the caboose of the injured train, while they conveyed the dead to the railroad section-house.

Dave Holder, a brakeman of the wrecked train, testifies that he was on the special train; that the name of the rear brakeman, who was injured in the collision, was John Paril; that the latter was not baldy injured; that the train was going at a speed of about twenty miles an hour at the time of the collision, which collision, he thought was caused by the breaking of a coupling, again was caused by the collapse of the freight cars. After the collision and when the whole train had come to a standstill he went back about a mile to flag any approaching trains. He was gone about an hour when he returned to his train again found several of the injured men in his caboose.

E.E. Hawley, head brakeman, testified that he did not known any of the men who had been killed in the collision, but had seen some of them a week ago at the new steel works between Marvin and Rush Springs, I.T., where they were working. He thought a car breaking in two had caused the collision. He said he had done all in his power to extricate the dead and wounded from the wrecked wheat car.

G.R. Wilkinson, engineer, did not know the dead men. The fireman, Mr. Wilson, had notified him that he thought the train had broken in two. Then he blew his whistle twice and put on extra speed and kept on going, but the runaway was faster that than of the first section. He did not have any idea as to how the break occurred.

A. Wilson, the fireman, testified that he never saw either of the men before who had been killed in the collision. He did not known when the break occurred, but as he looked back at the train he thought it seemed longer than it ought to be. This was the first thing he noticed. He notified the engineer at once. It was about two minutes after he notified the engineer that the collision occurred. He had no idea as to how the parting of the train occurred. He had never given permission to any of the dead or injured men to ride on the train.

Billy Smith, one of the men slightly injured in the wreck, was called for, but did not appear to testify.

No information has been had up to a late hour to-night as to where O’Brien and Joyce are from. No news has been received either from Rush Springs, which is 160 miles from here or Chickasha, which is twenty miles beyond that point, as to any of the parties. Vice President Hovey of the Rock Island has nothing to say for publication relative to the disaster except that he is very glad indeed that Brakeman Paul is not seriously hurt.

The fact is recalled to-night that there have been several fatalities to railroad entering Forth Worth within the past year. Aside from a death now and then from accident, the first part of last March four made in a box car in which they had closed themselves up. The recent Santa Fe, hold up, in which two lives were lost, is also remembered.

.Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 23 Oct 1898