Racine, WI train wreck Mar 1891


An Express Collides With a Freight Train---"Brakes" Came Too Late.

The Engineers Remain at Their Posts Midst the Terrific Crash.

One Man Burned to a Crisp---A Number Seriously Injured.

By United Press:
RACINE, Wis., March 25. - The northbound Chicago & Northwestern passenger train, known as the Green Bay and Marrietta express, and the Milwaukee freight train collided at Racine Junction at 12:05 this morning, causing a loss of one life, the fatal injury of one or more persons and the serious injury of half a dozen others, all employes of the company.

The freight train, as was its custom, ran in on the sidetrack at the junction to give the passenger train the right of way. There were 64 cars in the train and it became unmanageable. Loud signals from the engineer for "brakes" were answered by the breakmen, but their efforts to bring the train to a standstill were futile, and before either the passenger or freight engineers could realize what was happening,, the locomotives had crashed together.

The freight ran in on the main track just as the passenger train was pulling into the junction depot. The crash was terrific, but both engineers remained at their posts. The wreck took fire immediately and an alarm was turned in. The fire department soon had several streams playing on the blaze, however, and only a few of the freight cars, the baggage car and the express car were burned with their contents. All the cars in the passenger train were derailed and one Pullman took fire, but was quickly extinguished.

caught the men as they tried to extricate themselves from the wreck, and more of them suffered severe burns. The injured were quickly taken to the depot waiting room. Doctors were summoned and their wounds dressed. The safe in the express car fell upon Messenger Deseta, pinning him to the floor of the burning car, from where he was rescued by several passengers. They were none too soon, for the flames were fast crowding upon him.

At 1 o'clock the injured were removed to St. Luke's and St. Mary's hospitals where they were made as comfortable as trained nurses and good physicians could make them.

At 2:30 o'clock the body of Willis Andrews, of Fond du Lac, Wis., the fireman of the freight train, was taken from the wreck where he had been pinned down by the engine. His body was burned to a crisp. All the injured men now at the hospital are doing well.

Morning Olympian, Olympia, WA 26 Mar 1891


Passenger and Freight Trains Collide - One Man Killed and Others Injured.

MILWAUKEE, WIS., March 25. - A serious wreck occurred on the Northwestern near Racine Junction last night, by which one man was killed, two dangerously hurt and three others more or less injured. A mail car, baggage car and five freight cars were destroyed by fire. The pecuniary [sic] loss is estimated at $50,000. The collision occurred at midnightbetween a northbound C. & N.W. passenger train and a southbound freight on the same line. The latter train consisted of 64 cars and was under such headway that it could not be checked suddenly to allow the side-tracking. Both trains came together on the main track at the depot, with the above results.

Following is a list of the victims:

Willis Andrews, of Fon [sic] du Lac, fireman on freight train, killed.
Martin Rae, of Milwaukee, freight engineer, probably fatally injured.
Dennis E. Burke, of Milwaukee, passenger engineer, dangerously injured.
I.T. De Silva, of Chicago, express messenger, badly bruised.
John Grobben, of Milwaukee, passenger fireman, badly scalded.
J. Bower, of Evanston, Ills., assistant express messenger, burned and cut.
John Grobben, fireman of the passenger train, who was terribly scalded, was brought to this city this morning, and died in a few hours afterwards at the home of his parents. The chances for the recovery of engineer Burke, of the passenger train, are very slim.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV 26 Mar 1891