Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Railway Disaster at the Junction - 1889 Part Three

The third day’s coverage from the Spectator relating to the follow up to the major Grand Trunk Railway accident of April 29, 1889 :   
Yesterday morning there was considerable agitation apparent among the railway authorities here. General Manager Hickson had arrived from Montreal in his official car to ascertain why so many people had been killed on the southern division lately. He arrived on the 9:20 train from Toronto, and the fine, large engine Princess was attached to his car to take it out to the scene of the accident. Mr. Armstrong appeared with an immense armful of maps and plans, and the general manager, accompanied by Joseph Hobson (chief engineer), W. W. Pope (of the solicitor’s office), Joseph Wallace (chief clerk), and Samuel Barker (superintendent of the Northern and Northwestern division), started for the scene of the wreck and spent an hour there looking over the ground. Then they returned and examined the debris which is piled on cars in the yard. Mr. Hickson was seen by a reporter after his examination was concluded and asked if he had decided what caused the accident. “I have seen all that is to be seen in connection with the accident,” he said, “but I really can’t undertake to express any opinions while the matter is in the hands of the coroner. I would be glad to afford the Spectator any information, but it would not be right for me to express an opinion until the jury has given its verdict. I may say that when the inquest is over, a rigid investigation will be made, independent of that, by me in the interests of the company.”
          “I understand you are also going out to St. George this afternoon,” said the reporter. “Will the investigation which you propose to make cover both disasters?”
          “I think I will go over to St. George before I return, but that has already been investigated.”
          “As a result of this disaster at the cut will any change be made in the road at that point with a view to taking off part of the sharp curve at the foot of the grade?”
          “No, I don’t see that there is any necessity for it. The fact that there was an accident there does not prove that the spot is dangerous. The track has been the same there since it was built, and no accident ever happened at that particular spot before.”
          “It has been generally considered dangerous though. I understand Senator Sanford wrote to you some years ago pointing out the fact, and suggesting it be altered to lessen the curve?”
          Mr. Hickson smiled : “You know how that sort of thing is. If you were to see the number of letters I get in a year offering gratuitous advice you would appreciate the fact that running a railroad is something like running a newspaper.”
          It is said, Mr. Hickson, that the locomotives used on the Grand Trunk fast trains are not of sufficiently good class for the purpose, and that to this fact the recent accidents are attributable?”
          “All nonsense. The engines we use on our fast trains are as good as any on the continent. In fact, they are the best that can be got. The engine on the limited express was built in Kingston on the best model, and has only been in use six years.”

          The railroad authorities have been having the contents of the unclaimed baggage saved from the wreck investigated, with a view to ascertaining who the dead folk are. This morning they obtained the following list : H. Levy, Chicago; Mrs. Smith (no address); Capt. Butler, Cook county insane asylum, near Chicago; F. Randall Orr, Omaha, Neb. Also another piece of baggage belonging to a lady, in which the owner’s name does not appear.

Colvin, 550 Warren avenue, Chicago, arrived here  this morning in search of the body of Morgan R. Scullin, of 781 West Lake street, Chicago. Mr. Colvin examined the burnt remains and identified a body as that of Mr. Scullin by a fragment of the coat and waistcoat. The body was the one thought to be that of Mr. Curnick yesterday.  Mr. Colvin left for Chicago with the remains this afternoon.
Mr. Hall, locomotive superintendent, has discovered that in addition to one axle of  the engine truck being broken, the outside, or north wheel in front, had five pieces broken off it, and the fragments were found and brought in front the wreck this afternoon. The pilot of the engine was buried seven feet down in the sand. It is now thought that the accident was caused by the front outside wheel breaking and taking the guide rail instead of the proper one.
                   Toronto Globe
            Charles Fraser, who was mentioned in yesterday’s Globe as a probable victim of the awful accident of Sunday morning at the Y, is well known in this city, having been a resident here for some years. That he is among the killed is now certain, his brother Andrew having yesterday identified a watch chain found in the debris as that of his brother, and, still further, Mr. Stiff, G. T. R. superintendent, telegraphed last evening that the pass on which Fraser was checked at Windsor on the ill-fated train. There are circumstances attending the death of poor Charles Fraser of a most melancholy character, plunging, as it does, a wife and living relatives in unutterable grief. Six months ago, he left the city for Omaha, laving his wife in Toronto until such time as he was in a position to send for her. He succeeded in getting a good position in the Union express company, of his adopted city, and three weeks ago, in great hopes of a prosperous future, took steps to remove his family there. His furniture was shipped ten days ago, and his wife meanwhile remained with friends until her husband should arrive for her. He wrote Mrs. Fraser that he would in Toronto at latest on Sunday or Monday, but the stated time came to find him amongst the twenty so frightfully and tragically killed. The poor young widow is left with two children, and her grief at the loss of a husband, whose life was devoted to her interests, may well be imagined. The deceased was a brother of Mrs. Ramsay, of Grange avenue, who is now in Omaha, where she went two weeks ago. He was a prominent member of the Gaelic society, always taking a keen interest in everything pertaining to the maintenance of Scottish sentiment, and his death, of which there is no doubt, will be lamented by a large circle of friends.
          Another Toronto man was also a victim of the disaster, at least circumstances point strongly to that conclusion. George Duthie left this city some twenty years ago for Kansas City, where he has continuously remained ever since. Last week he wrote to his parents, who live at 263 Adelaide street west, that he would leave Kansas with his wife on Friday for Toronto to pay them a short visit. He did leave as stated, but up to a late hour last night, he had not arrived. His brother went over to Hamilton yesterday to try and find some trace of the missing ones among the ruins. He found two ticket stubs bearing the Kansas station stamp, the numbers being forty and forty-one, thus leaving no doubt, when the other circumstances are taken into consideration, that the unfortunate couple perished with the others. This is another touching incident of the deplorable accident. The unfortunate man did not see his aged father and mother for twenty years, and no doubt the son was as rejoiced at the prospect of meeting them as they were to again see a son from whom they had been so long separated. He was a man of about 40 years of age, of medium height and dark complexion.

                   THE INQUEST
          The adjourned inquest into the cause of the recent railway disaster at the junction was resumed last evening at No. 3 police station, before Dr. A. Woolverton. There was a large attendance of auditors. Joseph Hickson, general manager of the Grand Trunk railway, was present accompanied by John Bell, Q. C., solicitor for the road; Samuel Barker, superintendent of the Northern and Northwestern division; Jos. Hobson, chief engineer; James McLerie, freight agent; John Proctor, director; C. K. Domville, locomotive superintendent; Joseph Wallace, chief clerk; and Mr. Larmour. A shorthand writer was present on behalf of the Grand Trunk to report the evidence taken by the coroner.
          On opening the inquest, the coroner said that Mr. Hickson would like to address a few remarks to the jury.
          Mr. Hickson came forward and said : I only desire to express the regret of the directors and the sorrow of myself and the other officials of the Grand Trunk at the sad calamity that happened near your city on Sunday morning. It is a matter of deep sorrow to myself and the officers of the railway, and I desire to say that any assistance the jury may wish from the officers of the company will be cheerfully put before you. We desire a full investigation of the circumstances.
          Mr. Littlehales, before the taking of evidence commenced, said that as none of the jury had any experience in examining witnesses, he would ask the coroner to have the crown attorney present.
          C. R. Smith, another juror, said it might be necessary to have a counsel and also experts. He moved that the coroner request the attorney-general to grant financial aid for the purpose of paying the expense of such assistance.
          The motion was put and carried unanimously.
          Dr. Woolverton said he would have the recommendation conveyed to the attorney-general. He thought it would be impossible to have Mr. Crerar present at that session.
          Wm. Galbreaith, night station-master at London, was the first witness. He said : Have occupied that position for one year. The train arrived there in two portions from Sarnia and Detroit, and was amalgamated there. It was composed of two baggage cars, a smoker, two first-class coaches, a sleeper, a first-class coach and three sleepers in that order. It was about an average train. It was due to leave London at 4:45, but left that morning ten minutes late. An unusual number of passengers got off at London. The train was examined there and a fresh engine put on.
          Thomas McHattie, locomotive fireman at London, was sworn : Have been in that position at London one month, and before that was at Palmerston. Am responsible for seeing that any necessary repairs are made and that all engines go out in good order. Was not present when the engine of the limited express went out, but saw the engine the day before. It came in two days before. Two drivers and two engines run this train, and during the two days one of the drivers was laid off and the other did double service. Did not examine engine 738 personally. It is one of the largest and strongest engines on the road and is comparatively new, having been overhauled recently. New wheels were put under the engine truck on March 6, 1889. The express engines are given special care and examined by the driver every time he comes in from a trip. When the driver finds that repairs are necessary it is witness’ duty to see that they are carried out. The car examiners test the engine wheels as well as the cars. So far as reports showed, engine 738 was in perfect running order. A train of ten cars should take two men not less than five minutes to tap the wheels. It could not be done in a proper manner in three minutes, he thought.
          Capt. Wm. Hall, Toronto, sworn, said : Was a passenger on the train from Detroit, and occupied a berth in the sleeper until the train reached Harrisburg, when he was aroused by the tapping of the car wheels by the examiners. Got up then, and the berth was shut up and he took his seat. The speed from Dundas down was about twenty-five miles an hour. Was in the fifth car from the engine, and thought the car was well-filled. First indication of anything being wrong was a kind of “shock concussion,” as if the train had struck something. Then the car went ahead. There was no noise of breaking glass or timber, and the engine did not whistle. Then the car jumped the track, bumped about and stopped. From the time of the concussion, the car ran two or three lengths. Got off on the north side of the track, east of the switch, and observed the passengers coming out of the car ahead, which had its end knocked in. Saw the ladies stepping out over the timbers as cool and unconcerned as possible. Heard no noise or screaming anywhere. Looked for the enginemen, and could not find the engine for a while, as it was buried under timbers. Met the fireman walking past the engine, and some one said to look out, as the boiler might explode. Witness suggested that some one should go back and flag any oncoming train. Thought no one was specially hurt. Then started with Mr. Dixon to telegraph to Hamilton, but the conductor went instead. About that moment, the flames, which he hadn’t noticed before, broke through the roof of a car that had been telescoped. The flame was fully ten feet wide when it shot up into his view. It originated in the mass of wood next to the engine, but did not catch fire from the engine. The fire got a draft from somewhere and spread very rapidly. Witness ran down to the telegraph office and saw a train coming up on the Toronto track.  Went on from there to Hamilton thinking no one was hurt, and that the accident was not serious. The track, he said, was moved laterally two or three inches in a southerly direction. It was two or three minutes from the time of the accident that the conductor reached the telegraph office. Could not see the smoker after the accident. Three cars were jumbled up together, and the fire originated in the heap. Heard no one say that there was anyone under the wreck. Did not see any appliances there to put out the fire, and did not notice any efforts made to put it out. The fire was too large to be put out by ordinary appliances. On cross-examination witness said he was formerly bridge inspector on the Grand Trunk, but now owns vessels on the upper lakes.
          David Walker, of the Walker house, Toronto, said he was on his way home from Chicago, and was riding on the last car on the train, the sleeper Montpelier. The car was very full with people going to the Washington centennial. Went to sleep before the Detroit river was reached and awoke in Paris. On coming near the scene of the accident was standing at the door of the car talking with the brakeman, and on looking at his watch saw that it was 6:50. Immediately afterwards felt a concussion, and was thrown against the door, and then thrown backwards. Felt as though the car was off the track and then the train stopped suddenly. When he got off he saw the engine lying on the north side of the track and water rushing down the embankment from the broken tank. Helped to carry out three wounded who were underneath the smoking car. Looked underneath the car again and didn’t see anyone, but another man was looking in from the side and neither could see anything. Looked under another car with cane chairs, but could see no one else. Subsequently met the engine men and the baggage man, and the latter told him that several persons from the smoker had been dumped into the baggage car. Saw the flames commence to shoot up a short time afterwards and went through the cars waking up the people. The flames spread very rapidly and as soon as they reached a car would rush through it like a funnel. Uncoupled the last two cars and with the help of several men ran them back. Then witness went to the right side of the track and saw a dead body lying there. In a few minutes an engine arrived from Hamilton and the men called on the passengers that could to come on board. Witness asked if they had brought out any doctors and they said no, being Sunday morning they could not get an answer to their telephone messages. There was a heap of debris over the locomotive, which he thought was the remains of the tank. Did not hear any screams or groans under the wreck. The cars were on fire when the first auxiliary came up, but the cars had not all caught fire when the second auxiliary came, about eight o’clock. Thought the train was not running more than twenty-five miles an hour for some time before the accident.
          James Dargie, the man who tried the wheels at Harrisburg, said it was his duty to examine the wheels and brakes of all trains that came in there. The wheel-tappers begin at the rear of the train and tap every wheel except the drivers, one man going on each side of the train. Remember tapping the wheels of the limited express on Sunday morning. It is timed to arrive there at 6:23. Examined all the wheels on the south side of the train, including the front wheels of the engine. Thought it took him five or six minutes to do it. Found no defect in any of the wheels. Occasionally do find defects, and always take the car off and replace it. The train stops there on purpose to be examined.
          Alexander Dargie, brother of the last witness, said he tapped the other side of the train and found it all right.
          Alexander Douglas, London, said he was a yardsman there and made up all trains. Made up the limited express with ten cars.
          The inquest then adjourned until Friday evening at 7:30. The jury will go out to have another look at the locality this afternoon.

          Mrs. McLeod, of Toronto, looked over the watches in the superintendent’s office, but found none she could identify.
          Mr. Dougherty, the traveller for J. M. Williams & Co., has been heard from. His wife received a telegram from Wiarton saying he is all right.
          Yesterday Chief McKinnon received a letter from William Long, of New York, inquiring about Henry Pringle, a young man from Chicago, who is supposed to have been killed. He had about $150 in gold in his possession.
          David Booth, of Toronto, who was supposed to have been one of the victims, has been heard from. He is safe in Chicago, not having started for home.
          The fact that more watches than there are victims were found in the wreck has been explained by the fact that one of the passengers was an agent for the Waterbury watch company and had several time keepers in his hand baggage.
          The public may as well understand that William Burrwell, who lives near the scene of the recent accident, did not charge anybody a dollar for keeping a horse on the day of the accident; neither did any horse remain in his yard all day without food.
          General Manager Hickson went out to St. George to see the wounded who still remained there, and subsequently visited the wounded from the junction at the hospital here. There are six wounded still at St. George : Mr. and Mrs. Marshall; W. Benedict, Belleville; Dr. Le Quesne, Cleveland; Miss Andrews, Belleville; and Thomas N. Doutney, temperance lecturer.
          Eugene P. Newhall, formerly of the SPECTATOR staff, and now of Omaha, arrived in the city yesterday in search of his brother-in-law, C. J. Fraser, of Toronto. Mr. Newhall traced the missing man as far as Detroit, and when he arrived here he found that Fraser’s watch had been found in the debris and identified by a Toronto relative, so that there is no doubt whatever that Fraser was one of the victims.

          “The Railway Horror”
        Spectator.   May 2, 1889
        The week’s WEEKLY SPECTATOR, published this morning, contains a graphic description of the terrible railway accident at the junction cut, list of the killed and injured, identification of the bodies, inquest to date, etc. May be had at SPECTATOR counting room, in wrappers, ready for mailing, 4 cents per copy. Also for sale at the bookstores.”

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Railway Disaster at the Junction - 1889 Part Two

Coverage of the Grand Trunk Railway aftermath as published in the Hamilton Spectator, April 30, 1889 :
       The inquest opened at eleven o’clock yesterday before Dr. A. Woolverton at the hospital. The following jurors were sworn : John Hoodless (foreman), Samuel McKay, George Magill, B. Winnifrith, Thomas Littlehales, C. R. Smith, George Luxton, Charles Bird, John Alexander, Samuel Thorne, John A. Barr, John A. Bruce, Henry Arland, Charles Black, Wm. Somerville, Wm. Newport, J. K. Applegarth, and Rudolph Rissman.
          In his opening remarks, Coroner Woolverton said that the frequent occurrence of these accidents made it necessary that a searching investigation should be made in the interest of the public. He was glad to see such an intelligent and representative jury empanelled, and hoped that no pains would be spared to sift the affair to the bottom, and determine on whom lay the blame.
          Mr. Hoodless suggested that a detective should be placed at the disposal of the jury, and the coroner said this could be done.
          The jury then adjourned to the morgue and viewed the bodies of Ederer and Guerney. The remainder of the bodies are still in the shells and were not looked at.
          On resuming Joseph Wallace, Chief clerk to Superintendent Stiff, was sworn: The wrecked train was No. 52 limited express from Detroit to Suspension bridge via Sarnia. At London the composition of the train takes place, sections coming over the Wabash from Detroit and the other over the Chicago and Grand Trunk via Sarnia. A sleeper and coach are taken on at Detroit and the train leaves Windsor at 1:40 daily. It is due at Dundas at 6:44. The accident occurred four and one quarter east of Dundas and it would take about eight minutes to run that distance. The train was due to leave London at 4:45, but left at 4:55. The following is the due time and actual time along from that point : Paris, 6:08, 6:19; Harrisburg, 6:23, 639; Copetown, 6:36, 6:52; Dundas, 6:44, 7:00. The wheels were examined at Paris, three minutes being occupied in doing so. Since the St. George accident, the engineers have had orders not to make up for lost time by fast running.
          Mr. Magill – Is it true that the St. Louis express felt a bad jar at that point on Saturday and had to run back?
          Witness – Had not heard anything of that sort. The running time of the limited is forty-three miles an hour? The St. Louis expresses east and west are timed for forty-five and forty-nine miles an hour. Trains should slow down to twenty miles at the point where the accident occurred.
          The Grand Trunk authorities put two cars at the disposal of the coroner, and they were run up to the Victoria avenue crossing, where the jurors embarked, accompanied by the coroner, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Barker, Mr. Hobson and Mr. Armstrong.
          When the wreck was reached, it was at once apparent that the large gang of men had been industrious during the night. The track was rebuilt, and all the wreck removed except the upturned engine and a nest of wheels and debris in the hole between the tracks. The jurors made a thorough examination of the surroundings and were facilitated in every way in the investigation. The only trace of the run off on the rails removed from the wreck was on the outside rail immediately east of the switch, where there was a deep nick in the in the end as if the rail just before it had spread and allowed the flange of the engine to light on the end of the rail. When the jury was looking over the ruins, the wreckers unearthed the front truck of the engine, the axle of which was broken. This was the only axle broken in the wreck, and some of the jurors thought it might have caused the run off., while others considered that the engine leaping headlong into the hole between the tracks might have caused the break by alighting on the front wheels.
          G. A. Black,
traveler for Young Bros., another Hamiltonian who was on the train, escaped unhurt. He was seen yesterday morning and told the following story about the catastrophe : “I got on the train at London, and was in the second passenger coach, four or five cars from the engine. After the train passed Dundas it was running very rapidly – about thirty-five miles an hour. The passengers were mostly Americans, and they complained because they could not get a good view of the scenery. I changed seats with one of those so that he could see the Dundas valley. The train slackened its speed, and I felt a jolting and concluded it was caused by the putting on of the brakes. I suddenly realised, however, that it was more serious, as the shock was followed by the smashing of timbers and glass. The car was badly demolished, the roof was taken off; the floor was broken and the right side of the coach was smashed in. The only passenger in the car who was hurt was a man who stood near the end of the coach. His head went through the car door and his dead body was found afterwards. I think the window was broken before his head went through. I assisted in getting the body out of the wreck. The survivors all willingly went to work to save the other passengers. I paid particular attention to a respectable-looking old gentleman, his wife and another gentleman on the train. They were all from Chicago and got acquainted on the train. They were in the first passenger coach. The lady’s husband left to go in and have a smoke, leaving the other gentleman to entertain his wife.  Afterwards the other man started to go into the smoking car, and was killed on the platform by the telescoping of the two cars. The scene which followed was a very touching one. The husband returned from the smoker, having escaped with a few slight bruises. When he found that his wife had been saved they embraced each other and could not speak for a few minutes. I had a conversation with the lady afterwards. She told me that the man who was killed had intended to take his wife with him, but fortunately she was left behind. I am almost certain that R. H. Climie, traveler for Know, Morgan & Co., was not on board the train.
          The Charred Relics
          The remnants of the burned victims were taken to Blachford’s undertaking establishment yesterday, and are now laid out there. So far as they can be ascertained at present, they are the remains of seventeen persons, and possibly eighteen. There is no doubt that three of them are the remains of women, and one is a child of five or six years, but whether a boy or girl it is impossible to say.
          The headless body of Ederer and that of the supposed Gurney are also at Blachford’s. There is now no doubt of Ederer’s identity. The initials R. J. E. are on his shirt. A careful examination of his scalp – to which a portion of the skin of the face is attached, reveals that Ederer’s hair was brown, and that he wore it short and cut pompadour; that he had a full beard and moustache, reddish brown and close cropped. He was a man of about five feet ten inches in height. The supposed Gurney had no mark on his clothing or anything in his pockets to identify him. A small sum of money - $8.15 in all – was found in one of his pockets yesterday. There were $7 in bills and the remainder in American silver, which was in an envelope bearing the name and a cut of the Leland house, Chicago. Gurney was a tall man, fully six feet high, and quite young.
          A Hamilton Survivor
          Robert McCauley, traveler for Atkinson Bros. was on the wreck. He was on his way home from London to spend Sunday with his parents. A Spectator representative saw him yesterday morning and got his version of the accident. He said : “I was in the passenger coach behind the smoker. The first intimation I had of the accident was when the train seemed to slacken its speed and the car lunged forward. The coach jumped the track and I was afraid that it would go down the embankment. I was thrown forward a couple of seats and got badly shaken up. I crawled along the floor and got out of the end of the car. I saw a woman with a child in her arms at the front end  of the coach. I think they were both cremated, because I did not see them after that. My arm was slightly hurt and my overcoat was torn. I think I was lucky to escape so easily.”
          Firstbaseman Phillips Safe
          Yesterday morning Manager Smartwood received a telegram from Bill Phillips stating that he had not left Chicago yet, but would leave in the afternoon. He will go direct from there to Syracuse. The reason Phillips did not leave sooner was because he did not receive the letter sent to him by Secretary Mackay. It is fortunate that Phillips did not get the letter earlier, as he most likely have been a passenger on the wrecked train.
          A Boston Man’s Story
          Malcolm McKay, of Boston, on his way from Chicago to New York, was injured. In relating his experiences he said : “I was in the smoking car and felt the car settle to one side, and placed my hand on the seat. That is the last I knew for some time. I have no idea how I received my injuries or how badly I am hurt. My right temple is very sore and I think I must have gotten a blow that made me unconscious. I have no idea how I got out of the wreck, but would not be surprised if I went through a window, as the doctor took several pieces of glass from the cut in my head. I am hurt here’ – placing his hand over his heart – “and can feel the pain through my body. I remember the doctor saying my back was all black and blue. I have a faint remembrance of two men helping me to stand, but I was halfway to Buffalo before I clearly understood what happened.”
          The Buffalo Courier interviewed some of the passengers at the Suspension Bridge and prints the following :
          Another Injured Man
was of slender build and accompanied by his wife, the only woman that got out of the first day coach alive. They were on their way from Chicago to New York to visit relatives there, to whom they intended their coming to be a surprise and refused to give their names. At the time of the accident of the accident he was in the smoker. His head was bandaged and plastered, and strips of plaster own his face told of the cuts they covered. When he left the day coach to go into the sleeper a train acquaintance promised to follow in five minutes, and F. W. Jefferson, of No. 806 Monroe street, Brooklyn, who was in the day coach told of how he started to keep his promise and “just as he was opening the door of the smoking car the accident happened, and I saw his body afterwards headless. It was cut right off.”
          A Heroine
          Not one of those who were in the accident but were loud in their praise of this woman, too modest to allow her name in print, for her really heroic efforts in releasing the injured from the debris of the wreck. She was apparently about thirty years old, dark eyes, wore a dark shirt with velvet trimmings, a short black jacket, from the pocket of which the end of a red-bordered handkerchief protruded, a brown straw bonnet trimmed with blue ribbon, and from her ears dangled small amber balls. “I saw her,” said one man, “using her whole strength to free a passenger from the broken timbers when the flames were right on them, and just as she got the timber loose a man aided her, and the passenger was pulled out just as the flames licked his clothes.”
          “ I can remember,” said she, “six women and seven men in our car that I have not seen since, and I think they must be lost. I think I am the only woman alive out of our car, and how I succeeded in throwing the timbers off of me I do not know. I feel bruised about my body, and it makes me shiver and tremble when I think of that man crying : “’Pull me out! Pull me out!” The flames came near catching my clothes.”
          She was loud in her praise of the employees of the road for the good work they did. “They did nobly,” said she, “and I will never cease praising them.”
          Not a High Rate of Speed
          A. D. B. Wylie, of Rock Island road, whose home is in Chicago said : “There is one thing that I want you to correct,” said he to a reporter. “I am a railway man and I don’t think the train was running over twenty miles an hour when the accident happened. The worst sight I saw was a man who had his head cut off. He had been the life of the whole train all the way from Chicago, and I was talking with him only a minute before the crash came.”
          A Woman Survivor
          Mrs. H. Benjamin was at Tucker’s hotel last evening and claimed that she was the only lady on her coach that came out alive. She said I was sitting on the left hand side of the coach looking out at the beautiful little hamlet in a sort of ravine below us. A gentleman had been standing near me talking about the picturesque view, and had started for the smoker. Just as he reached the door there came a terrific crash, a whirl of dust and stars (it seemed to me) and then everything was dark. In the next instant I came to my senses, and then everything was dark. In the next instant, I came to my senses and found that I was lying on my wedged in so tight that I could not stir. Near me, I could hear a man crying; ‘My God! my arms; get me out of here!’ His cries were something terrible, and somehow hearing them made me struggle.
          “All about I could hear the moans of people under the wreck, but this man was nearest me, and I cried out to him : ‘Wait a minute and I’ll get you out.’ I somehow got lose from the timbers, but just as I was trying to get the poor fellow out of his terrible place the flames came darting up between the timbers, and to save my own life I had to leave him to die. Oh, my God, it was awful! I wish I could forget it all. I remember a mother and a beautiful daughter whom all on the train had nothing, but nothing had been found of them when I left the scene. I think the railroad men ought to be praised for what they did. They did not stop for anything, but did all they could to save the lives of the poor creatures who were buried in the burning ruins. I remember one poor fellow, a baggage man, I think his name was Mills. His shoulder was dislocated in the accident, but he had the other men twist it into place again and worked all through the terrible hours that followed.”
          Gurney’s Remains Identified
          There arrived in town last evening a handsome old man named E. R. Saxton. He is a Buffalo man. His mission in Hamilton was to identify the body of R. S. Gurney and take charge of it. Mr. Saxton visited the undertaking establishment where the body lay, but the face was so disfigured that he hesitated to pronounce it the face of his friend, with whom he had shaken hands at parting only a fortnight ago. Several of the articles of which had been taken from the clothing the dead man were, however, recognised by Mr. Saxton as undoubtedly the property of Gurney. When a little later, by the skill of the undertaker, the dead man’s distorted face was made to wear a more natural expression, Mr. Saxton recognised him. “Yes,” he said, “there’s no doubt about it now; it’s poor Sam. To a Spectator representative, Mr. Saxton said : “I am a very old friend of the family, and am here because of a telegram which I received from the young man’s father, my friend, Fred B. Gurney, of New York. Sam was quite a young man – not more than twenty-five, and he was, in many ways, a model young man. His father, an Englishman, is agent for of the most important of the English cutlery firms, and dows a very large business, which extends all over the country. Sam was his only son. Some years ago he joined his father in the business, and such was his tact, energy and ability that he very soon acquired management of the whole business. He was on one of his regular trips through the west, and stopped over to see me at Buffalo two weeks ago. He said to me then : “On my way home I will stop over at Buffalo to test your vaunted hospitality, and then we will go on together to New York to take in the centennial. Poor fellow !” Mr. Saxton’s eyes grew moist and his voice faltered. In a few moments, he continued : “This will be a frightful blight on a bright and happy home in Brooklyn. Mrs. Gurney is a superior woman – a perfect lady. Miss Gurney, the only other child, is a lovely and accomplished girl. Sam was idolised by his mother and sister, and he deserved to be, for he was a good son and brother – always kind, cheery and thoughtful. I will leave here early tomorrow morning. My poor old friend Fred Gurney will meet me at Buffalo and I will go with him to New York. I dread the thought of our reception there.”
          Examining the Remains
          Yesterday afternoon the burned fragments of the seventeen unfortunate passengers were examined by Dr. Ridley, Mackelcan, White, Gaviller, and A. Woolverton. After a minute anatomical examination, the doctors came to the conclusion that the charred lumps of flesh and bones represent the mortal remains of four women, two children, seven men and four individuals whose sex it is impossible to ascertain. During the afternoon, B. Weller, 264 Parliament street, Toronto arrived, and on looking over the remains thought he recognised one of the bodies as that of David Booth, of Toronto, who was expected from Chicago on that train.
          No more bodies have been discovered since last reports.
          Constable Bainbridge, who has charge of the inquest, brought in a small bag from the wreck containing valuables of various kinds, including gold watches melted into nuggets.
          Instructions have been received to forward the body of Ederer to Chicago.
          The injured at the hospital are doing well – all but Hamilton Clark, whose condition is still critical.
          Coroner Woolverton gave orders that no material be destroyed until after the inquest.
          Mr. Barker has telegraphed full particulars regarding the dead and injured to the company’s agents at New York and Chicago.
          It is now definitely known that Andrew Dallas was not on the train. Mr. Dallas’ relatives in Hamilton have heard from him.
          After returning from the wreck Coroner Woolverton adjourned the inquest until Wednesday evening at eight o’clock at No. 3 station.
          Knox, Morgan & Co. have heard from the traveller, Mr. Climie, who was supposed to be on train. Mr. Climie is all right.
          It is likely that W. A. Robertson, formerly mechanical superintendent of the Great Western railway, will be employed by the jury as an expert in the case.
          The engine on the train had been in use for six years. Four years ago it was converted from a small wheel to a large wheel locomotive, especially for speeding purposes.
          Amongst the baggage recovered from the wreck was a trunk addressed “Dan Ferguson, joiner, Boston, Mass.” As it not been claimed it is probable that he was killed.
          James A. Palmer, of Ilion, N. Y., and Andrew J. Carpenter, of Yankton, Dakota, the injured travellers who left the hospital and went to the Royal hotel, went east yesterday.
          W. Vallance, of Wood & Leggat, received a telegram yesterday from the friends of L. S. Gurney, the commercial traveller who was killed, asking him to look after the body until a representative of the firm arrives from New York.
          Among the debris were found two notebooks belonging to “E. Simons, Pueblo, Colorado.” The owner was evidently a foreigner from Poland, and arrived in America on Oct. 8 1886. An arithmetic with the name Edmond Johnson was also found.
          A.L. Doney, one of the injured at the hospital, has a railway accident policy which he took before leaving Danville, Illinois, and he feels joyful over it. It is said that this gentleman when the accident occurred, though badly hurt, caught up a flag and ran back round the curve to protect the train from any that should follow it.
          D. J. Peace, sir knight commander of the Alpha division, Knight of Pythias, received a message yesterday from Byron Synder, of Amsterdam, N. Y., inquiring about a missing man, but not giving any description. Mr. Peace wired him to send a description of his friend’s baggage as the most likely way to decide whether the missing man is among the dead.
          Dr. Mackelcan was at the scene of the accident before the auxiliary train arrived. He was the only surgeon there, and, unassisted, dressed the injuries of the wounded and accompanied them to the city hospital. When the other doctors arrived on the scene, there was nothing for them to do.
          Each of the Toronto papers yesterday had a note to the effect that the staff of the Toronto hospital offered to supply material and surgical assistance. This is true; but there was no occasion to accept the generous offer, for the resources of the Hamilton city hospital were fully equal to the emergency, and would have been equal to a much greater pressure.
          Herein is a mystery : On the legs of one of the charred female bodies were a pair of white stockings. These were removed yesterday afternoon, and the legs which they covered were found to be burned black. The mystery is how the legs could be burned and the stockings preserved almost intact.
          William Lipsey and Hamilton Clark, two of the wounded passengers, are members of Guiding Star, L. O. L. 169, Chicago. The former is secretary and Clark is chaplain of the lodge. When W. Nicholson heard that they were Orangemen, he visited them at the hospital and explained that the local brethren would give them any assistance they required. The travellers were on their way to the Washington centennial.
          A Hamilton gentleman who doesn’t want his name mentioned said to the Spectator last night : “I was a passenger on the St. Louis express on Saturday evening. It is due here at 6:35 p.m. When we reached the exact spot where the disaster occurred yesterday morning, there was a sudden jolt which everybody noticed. The train was stopped, and some train hands were sent back to examine the rails.” The next fast train to pass over this spot was the ill-fated limited express.