Harrisburg, PA Express Train Hits Derailed Freight, May 1905

Harrisburg PA Train wreck 5-11-1905 Harrisburg PA Train wreck 5-11-1905





Awful Scenes Followed Destruction of Express Train by Explosion of Carolad of Dynamite at Harrisburg -- Survivors, Dazed with Terror, Plunged Into the River -- Scores of Badly Injured Saved Before Fire Stopped Rescues.

Harrisburg, Pa. May 11. -- Twenty persons are known to be dead and more than 100 others were injured in the railroad wreck and dynamite explosion which occurred early to-day on the Pennsylvania Railroad in the southern part of this city. That not more persons were killed is considered remarkable by the Pennsylvania Railroad officials, as a full boxcar of dynamite exploded directly at the middle of the heavy express train.
The train carried a number of prominent persons, and most ot them escaped with only slight injuries. Among those on the train were MR. and MRS. JAMES R. TINDELL, of Pittsburg, the latter the daughter of United States Senator KNOX; MRS. A. J. BARR, wife of the proprietor of the Pittsburg Post, and her two daughters, VICTOR L. CRABBE, son-in-law of ROBERT PITCAIRN, of Pittsburg, assistant to President A. J. CASSATT, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and SAM S. SHUBERT, one of the prominent theatrical managers of New York. MR. CRABBE died in the Harrisburg Hospital at noon, a few minutes before his father-in-law reached his bedside. MR. SHUBERT was reported to be badly injured, but the others were only slightly hurt.
ALFRED CROSBY, of Philadelphia, the conductor of the Cleveland express, who was terribly burned in the wreck, died late to-night at the Harrisburg Hospital, making the total number of deaths twenty. Up to midnight none of nine bodies at the morgue had been identified. The bodies of MRS. DOUGHERTY, SILVERMAN, KUHLMAN, and BRIGHT were sent to their representive homes late to-night. The Harrisburg Hospital treated 108 persons. Six died, forty-four are still in the institution, and the others were discharged.
The wrecked train was the second section of the Cleveland-Cincinnati express, leaving Philadelphia at 11:05 o'clock last night. It consisted of a combination baggage and smoking car, one day coach, and six sleepers.
Cause of the Disaster.
There are various stories of how the wreck occurred, but the official version is as follows:

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1905 train wreck

I am researching this train wreck as one of the passengers was a member of a body I am a member of and after his death his home chapter commissioned a jewel for my commandery. We have very limited information and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Train accident

I always wondered who Sam S. Shubert was... so I did some research. It was named in honor of Sam by his two brothers... several years after Sam had died in a train accident.

Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts, who in 1903 designed the New Amsterdam Theatre, followed by the Fulton (later named the Helen Hayes and razed in 1982), the Gaiety (razed in 1982), the Liberty (defunct in 1933), the Lyceum, the New German Theatre, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Herts perfected the cantilevered arch construction that enabled theater architects to support balconies without the use of columns.

In May 1905, Sam Shubert was traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on business, when the passenger train he was on collided with several freight cars in the Lochiel neighborhood of south Harrisburg. Severely injured in the train wreck, Sam Shubert succumbed to his injuries two days later at the age of 26. His body was brought back to New York for burial in the Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn.

In 1913, Sam Shubert's brothers opened a prestigious new theatre at 225 West 44th Street, in the heart of the Broadway Theater District, which was named in his honor.

1905 train wreck

I recently came across a photograph of this train wreck in old family photos. not sure where it came from but it has my grandmothers handwriting on it. any additional information about this particular incident would be appreciated

Interesting Blog

I'm glad I stumbled across this blog. I could spend hours going through it and probably will some snowy afternoon! Thanks for the work involved in creating it!

train accidents early 1900s

itguid Thank you for putting this information on line, it keeps me looking for my great Uncle Michael Walsh b. in Ireland around 1862.died in a train accident in the early 1900s in Maitland but i think it was possible Maryland there was family there. I welcome any lead you may have to help me with this. thank you ps I wish i knew some railroad buffs, i would gladley take the pictures

HK Thomas

The engineer, H. K. Thomas, is my great-grandfather. I have a photo of him, and photos of the train wreck as well, if anyone wants them.