Lincoln, NE Rock Island Passenger Train Wrecked, Aug 1894
The wood of the ties was deeply dented where the crowbar had been inserted and the rails lifted clear off the ties, and the spikes which had been pulled out were lying around loose on the bridge.
J. W. GLOVER, a section man, saw three well dressed men jump a freight and go west. He said each of the men carried a long, brand-new satchel. This gives rise to a suspicion that it may have been some of the Round Pond (O.T.) enemies of the Rock Island.
The Rock Island officials offer $1,000 reward for the capture of the train wreckers.
Crashed Into the Creek.
Train No. 8 is an accommodation called the "Fort Worth Accommodation" and is due here at 9:40 p. m. Thursday night it was about 10 minutes late and was making up time when it struck the trestle that crosses Salt creek about four miles from the city. When it struck the trestle the rails immediately spread and the engine drawing the two cars after it, went thumping along over the crossties for about 50 feet and then with a crash it fell about 40 feet to the bed of the creek below. The engine burst and glowing coals spreading ignited the wooden supports and the coaches behind it and in a few moments the bridge, dry as tinder from its long exposure to the sun, was one mass of flames.
The coals falling upon the coaches lying in the ditches set them afire and five minutes after the first warning the entire mass of cars with their loads of human freight below was a mass of flames.
Flames Mounted High.
It was an awful sight. The flames mounted high in the heavens, coloring the entire southern sky a brilliant red and from below shrieks of agony and pain were heard to issue. Willing hands were there to help, but little could be done. The engine had fallen first, then the combination car of smoker and express coach fell, partially upon that, and the rear coach falling behind it telescoped that car, thus pinioning those unfortunates who were in the smoker so that it was impossible to save them or for them to escape.
HARRY FOOTE, the brakeman, who did such efficient work at the wreck, says he is positive that there were at least 10 men in the smoker. Six of them he can describe. In addition to the crew he mentions a man whose name he does not know, employed by an elevator builder named COUNSELMAN at Narka, Kan. There were also several passengers who got on at Jansen and two who got on at Pawnee City.
Groans From the Smoker.
FOOTE says that when he took out FRED SCOTT, the baggagemaster who was crying for help, he heard a groan from the smoker and again another when he reached it, but that was all. Probably all were mercifully crushed to death when the car was smashed almost perfectly flat. One man was found lying outside the smoker. He was probably on the platform when the train went over. He was seriously, but not fatally injured and is not at the Opelt house. The passengers in the chair car were paralyzed with fright and could only lie on the bank and moan, rendering no assistance to the rescuers.
One family of Russians, consisting of a man, wife and child, were so completely strickenthat, like horses in a fire, they could not be induced to leave the car and had to be carried.
W. O. S. BELL; the Lincoln traveling man, was not killed, as at first reported, but terribly injured internally. He was taken to his home on North Sixteenth street.
Among the 13 passengers in the chair car were MRS. FRITZ and sister-in-law, who were badly shaken and bruised.
J. E. PUETZ, a Lincoln traveling man, had three ribs broken and received a mass of cuts and bruises, but it is thought he will recover.
The Newark Daily Advocate Ohio 1894-08-11