Barry's Station, PA Railroad Accident Near Ashland, Mar 1891



Ashland, Penn., March 28. -- A wreck occurred last night between 9 and 10 o'clock a short distance from Barry's Station on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, in which three men were instantly killed and four seriously injured. The names of those killed are Engineer ANDREW WALKER, Tamaqua; Fireman JOAN OAKES, Frackville, and FRED MEYER, Tamaqua, a passenger train brakeman, who was on the train. Those injured are JACOB GARLACH, LEWIS BOCHART, and W. E. HOFFA of Tamaqua, and W. J. BURRELL of Lewisburg, all train hands. HOFFA had his back broken, and was teken to the Miners' Hospital. The others were removed to their homes.

The train hands lost control of the train as it cleared the Knuckle and it sped down the grade at a fearful rate. As it passed the passenger train going to Shamokin, the train hands got but a glimpse of it as it dashed down the road. From where the train went over the Knuckle to the place it jumped the track is nearly three miles, and this distance was gone over in an uncommonly short time. The engineer and train hands stuck to their post, and as the engine struck the curve it left the track, carrying death and destruction with it.

The train consisted of forty cars, including the caboose, and after the wreck but two cars remained on the track. The boiler of the engine was wrenched from its fastenings and hurled fully a hundred yards from the wreck into a field. The cars are completely wrecked. In most of the wrecks that occur the bottom of the cars remain intact. In this instance every part of the cars was smashed into kindling wood.

Large boulders lying alongside the track were thrown far over into the field, and a deep gully, the width of the cars, was cut through the embankment by the derailed train. It is customary to allow help to the train hands in going down this grade, but as it was Good Friday a number of employes were not at work, and the crew undertook to run the train down without assistance.

Engineer WALKER was terribly mangled, almost every bone in his body being broken. MEYER had the top of his head but off and both legs and arms broken.

The New York Times New York 1891-03-29


Barry's Station, PA Railroad Accident

The name of the Fireman that was killed in the 1891 railroad accident was John Oakes not Joan Oakes. FYI his full name was John William Oakes.