Angola, NY Terrible Train Wreck, Dec 1867

Etching of the Angola Horror Scene of the Angota Horror today




Buffalo, Dec. 19.
An awful accident occurred yesterday P.M. on the Lake Shore railroad, 21 miles from here, near a place called Angola. The train from the west, due here at 1:30 to connect with the train going east, ran off the track. One car was thrown down a bank 30 feet. The coach burnt up and some 30 persons consumed by fire. Another coach went down a ledge about 20 feet and 12 or 14 passengers killed and a number wounded.
As soon as information of the accident reached Buffalo word was conveyed to a number of our physicians, and by four o'clock a number of them had reached the depot, and in company with WM. WILLIAMS, president, and R. N. BROWN, superintendent, and other officers of the road, took a train, and at 5 o'clock the scene of the accident was reached.
The bridge crossing the Big Sister creek is about a quarter of a mile east of the village of Angola. The train to which the accident happened was two hours late, having been detained by a broken bridge on the Cleveland & Toledo railroad. It was composed of three first class coaches filled with passengers, and a smoking car and two baggage cars, and was under the conductorship of MR. FRANK SHERMAN, of this city. Silver Creek was the last station stopped at prior to the accident, and
Angola was passed about 3 o'clock, the train going at the speed of about 20 miles an hour. Everything was apparently all right when the bridge was reached, and when the train had crossed half way over a fearful jerk was experienced by those on board, and the next moment the rear coach was detached and went plunging off the bridge. The brakes were at once applied, but before the train could be stopped the coupling of the second coach had become broken and it too got off the track and rolled down the embankment, landing on its side at the bottom. So suddenly had all this happened that not one of the inmates of either of the two coaches had time to make their escape, and without a moment's warning some 40 or 50 persons hurried into the presence of their Maker.
The car which first went over the precipice took fire instantly, and before any person could get to it the flames made rapid headway, and in a few moments was all ablaze. Those persons on the spot proceeded to render all the assistance they could, but only some four or five persons were saved from the burning car. The remainder, some 40 or 50 men, women and children, were consumed. How many perished in the burning car it is impossible as yet to say, and very probably will not be known for some time.
The place where the first car struck, after being precipitated off the bridge, was difficult of access, and after rescuing the half dozen or so persons before the flames had made much headway, no attempt was made last night to disturb the remains of those who perished in the burning car. They will be attended to this morning.

Great depression is felt here over the fearful railroad accident near this city.
E. B. FORBUSH, of Buffalo, killed, was a patent right agent just returning from Cincinnati after a successful suit.
FRANK WALKER, a young civil engineer, killed, was a son of JULIUS WALKER, jeweler, of Buffalo. A recent graduate of Williams' college was also killed.
At 10:30 this forenoon a train arrived from the scene of disaster bringing 14 coffins containing 15 bodies, one a mother and child, also seven boxes containing the remains of about 25 persons.
In the car that was consumed were seats for 48 persons, all filled and a number standing, probably not less than fifty persons in all, of which only three are known to have escaped. Among those who perished in this car were MR. STEWART, president of the Oil Creek R. R. He was seen when the car was burning and screaming for God's sake for help, but it could not be rendered.
S. E. THOMASSON, of Worcester, Mass., dead.
A. H. SPEAR, of Northeast Penn., dead.
MR. MARTIN, unknown, dead.
There are a few more that may be recognized, but most of these in the consumed car were burnt to ashes. The screams of those inside could be heard for over fifteen minutes.
Among the wounded were:
MRS. FISHER, of Minn.
F. E. FISHER, of Minn.
W. H. MOORE and Wife, of Iowa.
HENRY JACKSON, of Illinois.
C. W. LANE and RUDOLPH LANE, of Crescoe, Iowa.
MADAM RISTORI was a passenger and injured in the head and back.
Every arrangement possible for the comfort of the wounded has been made by the officers of the road.
Examination of the track shows that the disaster could not have been occassioned from it, and is attributed to a defective wheel or axle.
No western names appear in the list of killed.

Dubuque Daily Herald Iowa 1867-12-20