Osage City, KS Train Derailed By Robbers, Sep 1892




Five Lives Lost and More Than Score of Passengers Seriously Injured -- The Robbers Foiled in the Inhuman Work as No Money Was Secured by Them.

Topeka, Kan., Sept. 21 -- One of the most destructive train wrecks ever known in the history of the Atchison road took place two and one-half miles west of Osage City at 3:45 yesterday morning. It was the work of train wreckers whose object was robbery. The train was the Missouri river night express from Denver and San Francisco. Five lives were lost and more than a score of passengers were seriously injured.
In the express car there was about $1,000,000 which was being shipped by the Mexican Central Railroad company through to its general offices in Boston. The object of the wreckers was not accomplished owing to the manner in which the express car was buried by the coaches that were piled upon it in general confusion. So high was the wreckage heaped that it was literally impossible to find the locomotive, let along[sic] the treasure box.
The place selected for the wreck lies between Barclay and Osage City. There is a heavy grade there and frequent curves mark the course of the track. Eastbound trains pass over this stretch with great speed, and the ill-fated night express was making fifty miles an hour when it rounded a curve fifty yards west of the point where the wreckers had removed the bolts from the east end of a rail, swinging it outward toward the embankment, thus switching the train off the roadbed.
ED MAYER, of this city, was the engineer in charge. Just before reaching the wreckers improvised switch he noticed that the rail had been misplaced, and seeing that there was not time to stop the train, he threw the throttle open hoping that he might be able to jump the break in safety and avert the impending calamity. The embankment at this point is about eight feet high.
The engine plunged over it, following the course prepared by the would-be robbers. The train was composed of thirteen cars in all, and all, except three sleepers were piled on top of the engine. Most of them were overturned and broken into splinters.
Fortunately fire did not break out, and it was with little difficulty that openings were made in the coaches to permit the passengers to emerge into the semi-darkness of the night. The sight that met the gaze of those who escaped death or injury was terrible.
The engine had gone to the bottom of the hill and on top was piled the wreckage of five cars, covering it so completely that it was hidden from sight unless one clambered down into the death pit. Extricable confusion alone describes the situation.
Enginer MAYER had been thrown from his cab some distance away and had been almost cooked alive by the steam from the bursted boiler flues. He was perfectly conscious, but died in a short time. Before his death he said that he saw the rail out, and told briefly of his effort to prevent the derailment of the train.
As soon as the news was received at the company's office in this city a relief train was made up and sent out with a number of surgeons and their assistants. The train returned to Topeka at 10:20 a. m. with the wounded and dead and all the passengers.
The killed are:
Fireman THOMAS SCHADDICKE, of Topeka, Kan.
BLOMENTHAL, express guard.
FRANK BAXTER, express manager, of Kansas City.
An unknown man.
The injured are:
C. T. WORDLAW, of Elliott, Ills., badly bruised about body and legs.
W. A. CARR, of Burhingame, Kan., head cut.
A. C. ROARD, of Newton, Kan., slightly cut on arms and hands.
OLLLIE YOUNG, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., head badly cut.
J. E. JOHNSON, of Indianapolis, badly bruised.
H. C. McCLURE, of Richards, Mo., leg broken and head badly cut.
P. H. S. FOSTER, of Lawrence, Kan., badly bruised on head and shoulders.
MRS. MARY LYMAN, of Bloomington, Ills., head and face badly bruised.
MRS. MEAS and two small children of Wichita, Kan., slilghtly bruised.
W. DOAN and little child, of Chilicothe, Mo., slightly bruised.
L. A. ROBERTS, of Emporia, Kan., shin injured.
THOMAS NELSON, of Topeka, slight cuts on face, head and hands.
C. B. KIN___, express messenger, of Kansas City, slightly bruised.
Postal Clerks J. B. OBERLIN and J. F. WADDEL, of Kansas City, slight bruises on hips and back.
MRS. W. H. NELSON, of Mexico, slightly hurt on back and side.
R. M. DONAHUE, conductor, wounds in head and in leg.
C. R. KEARNS, of Kansas City, leg and arm broken.
S. G. KELLEY, postal clerk, of Kansas City, right shoulder broken and internal injuries; probably fatal.
MISS JESSIE GOULD, of Great Bend, Kan., injured in the hip and back.
MRS. M. JAMES and two children, bruised.
W. D. MINOR, of Ness City, Kan., knee hurt.
M. R. ROBERTS, of Emporia, Kan., slight injuries.
Those who were not seriously injured were sent on their journey be a special train immediately 'after dinner.' The dead were placed in caskets before removal from the train. The wounded were taken to hospitals.
The toolhouse at Barclay, three miles west of the scene of the accident was broken open Tuesday night and a number of tools removed. Several empty whisky bottles were found in a pool of water near the scene of the wreck. Several passengers say that they saw a number of men running for the brush near by, immediately after the disaster.
Two freight trains pulled into Osage City only ten minutes before the passenger train was due, so it is known that the work of the miscreants was done immediately before the arrival of the train. Officers are now scouring the country insearch of the wreckers.

The Marion Daily Star Ohio 1892-09-22