Ravenna, OH Terrible Train Collision, July 1891



Cleveland, Ohio, July 3 -- A freight train rain into a passenger train on the Erie road at Ravenna, at 3 o'clock this morning, the passenger train being at a stand-still. Several cars were torn to pieces and set on fire. Twenty bodies, most of them burned to a crisp, have been taken from the wreck. Twenty-three injured passengers have been rescued.
Ravenna, Ohio, July 3 -- The worst railroad accident ever occurring in this vicinity happened at 3 o'clock this morning. The horrible calamity has fairly appalled the town and nieghborhood. Twenty people were killed and their bodies burned to a crisp. More than that number were injured. The charred remains of the dead were taken from the ruins of a demolished passenger train as fast as flames could be subdued by the towns people, who rallied to the rescue. Such terrible sights as were witnessed in the early morning hours made the people almost sick. An express, loaded with sleeping passengers, was run into by a freight train while the express was at a stand-still in this city. The wreck of the passenger train was terrible and complete.
To add to the condition of the unfortunate passengers who were imprisoned in the debris, the train caught fire and was consumed. In this way death fairly swept through the wrecked train. By daylight twenty bodies, nearly all of them charred in a horrible manner, were taken out. Twenty three injured passengers had also been rescued. A large number of the killed were glass blowers, who were on their way east from Findlay.
Youngstown, Ohio, July 3 -- At 3 o'clock this morning a frightful wreck occurred at Ravenna on the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad. Train No. 8, fast express, bound for New York, while standing at the depot waiting for orders, was crashed into from the rear by a freight train. A day coach on the rear of the train was completely telescoped and two sleepers forward took fire and were burned up. Nineteen passengers were killed and thirty-eight badly injured. Many of the victims were so badly burned that they are almost unrecognizable. A special train conveying surgeons was sent from this place. The freight train that telescoped the express in the dressed meat express from Chicago and was running at about thirty miles an hour when it struck the passenger train. The accident was due to carlessness in leaving a switch open. It is rumored that three of the members of the Pittsburg base ball team were killed in the wreck.
Pittsburg, Pa., July 3 -- Director DERR, of the Pittsburg ball club, said it is possible that KING, GALVIN and MILLER were on the wrecked train.

Continued on Page 2.


Add'l info

The killed glassworkers, who were returning home to Corning, N.Y., from a union meeting in Findlay, Ohio, were buried in a mass grave in a cemetery in South Corning, N.Y., under a large monument that features a bronze statute of glassblower.

The monument reads: “This monument has been erected by the American Flint Glass Workers Union to the memory of eighteen of its members who were killed in a railroad disaster which occurred at Ravenna, Ohio, July 3, 1891, while they were en route from Findlay, Ohio, to their homes in Corning, New York, wither they were journeying to meet loving friends from whom they had been separated by an effort to improve their industrial conditions. Erected 1892.”