Darlington, IN train accident

1903 Newspaper article in the Crawfordsville Journal

Killed By A Train

Two men struck by a Vandalia Special
this afternoon in Darlington were on
their way to a funeral.

Special To the Journal

Darlington, Ind.

Jan 29 Benjamin Gillan and M Crisman, both farmers living 2 miles west of Darlington, were struck this afternoon at a quarter past one o’clock by a special northbound Vandalia passenger train carrying the trainmaster and general manager of this road, while driving to this city in a buggy to attend the funeral of Morton Mote, a young man who died here Wed. and who was a brother Odd Fellow of the two unfortunate men. Crisman died instantly, his head being crushed until it was almost unrecognizable. Gillan lived about twenty minutes, he too having his head mashed in a terrible manner.

The accident happened at the crossing of the Vandalia just north of the station in the heart of the city The train had whistled but the two men certainly did not hear it and they were unable to see it because of the buildings alongside the track which obstructs the view. The train was going at a rapid rate and struck the buggy squarely in the middle. The two men were struck by the head of the boiler and hurled to the side of the track, while the buggy was carried on the pilot a distance of more than one hundred yards Marvelous as it seems the horse escaped without a scratch. The train was stopped immediately and an investigation made by the officials. They were Superintendent F. T. Hatch, Trainmaster Burk and General Manager H. I. Miller.

The dead men were carried to the undertaking establishment at Darlington where the bodies will be prepared for burial. Both men were about fifty years of age and were well-to-do and highly respected men. Mr. Gillan is a widower and leaves one unmarried daughter. Mr. Crisman leaves a wife and one adopted daughter. Both were prominent members of the Odd Fellow’s lodge at Darlington and both were civil war veterans.

Additional information was sought at the local Vandalia station but Mr. Hutchinson, the agent, was not in the office and the operator who answered the phone call showed his utter lack of gray matter by refusing to even tell the names of the officials who were on the train. However, there were other sources where the desired information was obtained.