Cottonwood, CO Train Wreck, Jul 1905

Bad Railroad Wreck.

Denver. Aug. 1. --- A Central City dispatch last night says: One of the worst wrecks in the history of the Central City and Black Hawk branch of the Colorado & Southern road occurred to a freight train at 3:15 o'clock this afternoon, causing the death of Engineer WILLIAM ALLEN of Denver and JOHN FERGUSON, section boss, of Black Hawk.

The accident happened on a reverse curve about one and a half miles below Smith hill and a mile west of Cottonwood, the engine leaving the track on the right side and falling down an embankment about twenty feet into a portion of the dry bed of North Clear creek, both cab and tender turning over, leaving the engine wheels up in the air.

Engineer W. M. ALLEN and Section Boss JOHN FERGUSON were caught partly under the cab of the engine and their death must have been instantaneous, ALLEN being crushed about the head and upper part of the body, while FERGUSON evidently was suffocated, being completely covered by sand and dirt.

Engineer ALLEN, when uncovered, was still holding the broken end of the air valve, having stuck to his post to the end. Fireman ABE GOLIGHTLY of Golden, a brother-in-law of Engineer ALLEN, escaped, being thrown about ten feet from the engine when it turned over, and escaping with a few scratches and minor bruises.

General Superintendent J. H. YOUNG believes that washing of water along the track weakened it and that this was the cause of the wreck.

Basalt Journal Colorado 1905-08-05