Honda, CA Shriners Train Wreck, May 1907 - 37 Lives Lost
37 LIVES LOST
AWFUL WRECK HURLS TRAIN LOAD OF SHRINERS INTO ETERNITY.
“Song of the Open Switch”
Southern Pacific Passenger Train Making Sixty Miles an Hour Dashes Into Open Switch and Wrecks.
Santa Barbara, Cal. --- Thirty-seven known dead, with the probability that the list will be increased still more, was the result of the wreck of the special train crowded with Shriners on the Southern Pacific railroad, Sunday, May 12th.
While hurrying northward over the Coast Line, homeward bound after a week of fraternizing and fiesta in Los Angeles, 145 Shriners of Ishmalia Temple of Buffalo, and Rajah Temple, of Reading, with their families and friends, were hurled into the midst of death when their train, running fifty miles an hour, struck a defective switch at Honda, a lonely station on the sand wastes of the Pacific beach, derailing the train, smashing the coaches into flinders [sic], killing thirty-five almost instantly and injuring more than a score of others.
The bodies of twenty-five lie in the morgues of Santa Barbara, and ten more are at San Luis Obispo. The injured, many of whom are terribly hurt and will probably die, are in two sanitariums at San Luis Obispo.
List of the Dead.
The dead at Santa Barbara are as follows:
J. DOUGLAS HIPPLE, Reading, Pa.
H. K. GITTLEMAN, Reading.
A. L. ROTH, Reading.
C. GILBERT STEFFE, Reading.
A. D. WASSON, Buffalo, N. Y.
J. W. CUTTER, Binghamton, N. Y.
CHARLES M. LOWING, Pullman conductor, Buffalo.
S. A. BICKFORD, brakeman, San Francisco.
1. C. W. AUSTIN, New York, agent for McCann's Tourist Co., New York.
JOHN LACEY, negro dining car waiter.
R. W. SWENEY, negro dining car waiter.
MRS. WILLIAM W. ESSICK, Reading.
MRS. JOHN W. CUTTER, Binghamton.
MRS. HENRY J. FISHER, Cleveland.
MISS CORA YOUNG, Cleveland.
CHARLES S. HENRY, Lebanon, Pa.
MR. BRAMBACK, Reading.
GEORGE F. HAGENMAN, Reading.
BENJAMIN STOLTZ, Reading.
HARRISON N. HENDEL, Reading.
O. F. KAUFFMAN, Reading.
HARRY C. MILLER, Reading.