German Valley, WI Excursion Wreck, Dec 1887
DETAILS OF THE EXCURSION TRAIN WRECK ON THE MINNESOTA & NORTHWESTERN.
A YOUNG FRENCH WOMAN, SAID TO BELONG TO WINNIPEG, THE MOST SERIOUSLY INJURED.
ACCOUNTS BY CANADIAN PASSENGERS ABOARD -- THE WINNIPEGGERS HURT -- A BAD WRECK.
Chicago, Dec. 25. -- The wreck on the Minnesota & Northwestern road early Friday morning as telegraphed, was a bad one and it is wonderful that many persons were not killed outright. The train was one loaded with 120 excursionists from the Northwest, bound for Montreal and Canada points, and consisted of two sleepers, two boudoir cars, a day coach, a smoker, and a baggage car. After crossing Ogle Creek, half way between Melton and German Valley, and thirteen miles from Freeport, a wheel of the tender jumped the track, causing the rails to spread. The scene in the cars at the moment of the wreck was one that cannot be described. Without premonition the cars were crushed and the occupants hurled against the sides so violently or buried in the wreck so deeply that death seemed to the the portioof each passenger. That a car containing forty people could be hurled fifty feet, turned completely over and crushed almost to splinters and yet every one of its passengers escape death, is almost incredible. The entire train ran along on the ties for a hundred feet or more and then broke into sections and plunged wildly down the steep embankment on either side. One car was turned completely over, end for end, and was thrown nearly fifty feet from the track. A coach was turned entirely over down the bank and lay upon its roof, while the passengers were piled indiscriminately together in the bottom. The boudoir cars were thrown violently on their sides, crushing them in and pinning feet many of the passengers. One sleeper was also turned over, but the other was left only partially down the embankment. All the cars that went down the embankment were wrecked, and the wonder is that the Chatsworth horror was not repeated. The smoking car, in which were eight or ten persons, was the most badly wrecked, as there was scarcely enough of it left to make kindling wood. When it jumped the track it shot off into an adjoining cornfield and plowed up the frozen ground to a depth of two or three feet. The front door was torn away and great clods of frozen earth came flying through the car with such force that all the passengers were more or less cut and bruised. It came to a stop 100 feet away, with the forward bumper buried in the snow and ground, and so little of the car left that no one could have told what it was. The following list embraces every one who was at all seriously injured:
Probably fatally injured:
MRS. JOHN McGUFFIN, Virden, Man.; hip dislocated, back injured, dangerous internal injuries.
JOHNNY CAYLEY, son of M. Cayley, Minto, Dak.; compound fracture of the skull, knee dislocated.
A. SERLMINGER, St. Paul; wrist and thigh dislocated.
A. KEMP, Devil's Lake, Dak.; wrist badly bruised.
MRS. WILLIAM MOBWOOD, Forest River, Dak.; head severely cut, unconscious.
MRS. ARCHIBALD D. CHISHOLM, Lothair, Man.; sprained knee.
MRS. JAMES BRITT, Park River, Dak.; sprained back.
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