Gouverneur, NY Train Wreck, Nov 1909

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Gouverneur, Nov. 8. -- One of the worst freight accidents in the history of this division of the R. W. & O. railroad occurred this morning at 6:10 o'clock, in the vicinity of the St. Lawrence Marble quarry, in which ARTHUR SMITH, of Gouverneur, a brakeman, was killed, are EDWARD BEALS, a fireman, received injuries which will, it is believed, prove fatal.
The accident was a head-on collision between shifter engine No. 1027 and through freight engine No. 2133, carrying 35 loaded freight cars. The shifting engine was running light.
Just who is to blame for the accident is not known and the railroad officials are distrubed about the matter. The shifter engine and the crew, in charge of JAMES MURPHY, conductor, in the absence of Engineer JOHN McCORMICK, was taken out by Fireman BEALS are started across the river to pull our some cars at, the J. J. Sullivan quarry. While approaching the St. Lawrence quarry, Conductor MURPHY left the engine to check the cars at this place. This probably saved his life.
BEALS continued on up the track. ARTHUR SMITH, the brakeman who was killed, acting as his fireman. The other member of the crew, WILLIAM GEER, was riding the engine pilot. The morning was very dark and rainy and it is alleged that the engine had no headlight. While approaching the weigh scales at the other side of the St. Lawrence quarry, a through freight, in charge of Conductor JACK AMIBEL and Engineer EDWARD CLARK of Watertown, driven by a powerful locomotive, No. 2133, and drawing 35 loaded freight cars, hove into view. They were but a few feet apart when noticed by the engineers and came together with a terrific crash which was heard for a half mile.
Amidst the crashing steel, the frantic screams of the two wounded men could be heard for several blocks. The engine whistle became loosened and blew for twenty minutes. The engines as they came together were seen to almost rise up in the air and then gradually settle down on the tracks. The freight being the heavier and backed by the string of freight cars pushed the shifting engine down the track about 150 feet before the engines were derailed. Both engines were telescoped, the freight cutting into the shifter nearly half its length.
The cars were piled about the track in every conceivable shape, wreckage and merchandise being strewn for a distance of several hundred feet.
Some of the cars were smashed to pieces.
When the engines were stopped, ARTHUR SMITH, the acting fireman, was found beside his engine, gasping for breath, with both legs smashed and suffering from internal injuries. ED. BEALS, the acting engineer of the shifter, was still in his cab with his head and shoulders badly injured. He suffered a fracture of the skull from which his brain was oozing. Both injured men were taken to Dr. F. P. Drury's office, but SMITH died on the way. BEALS was taken to the Ogdensburg City Hospital, one of the fastest engines being secured for that purpose. It is thought he cannot possibly recover.
All the Watertown officials were on the scene at 9:30 o'clock and the wrecking crew from Watertown got to work at 10 o'clock. Dr. Drury accompanied BEALS to Ogdensburg.
ARTHUR SMITH, was a life long resident of Gouverneur, and was about 27 years old. He leaves a wife and one child. BEALS was a resident of Massena, but had been on the shifter for several years. A curious circumstance is connected with the injuries of BEALS. For the past three days he has been melancholy and this morning at the breakfast table, at the Fuller boarding house in Depot street, he was found in tears. When asked by Mrs. Fuller what was the matter, he stated that he felt that something awful was going to happen.

The Post Standard Syracuse New York 1909-11-09