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Canajoharie, NY Train Wreck

September 27, 1889


In the Disastrous Wreck at Palatine Bridge.

Narrow Escape of Two Railroad Presidents From Death--Scenes of Horror After the Crash.

Sad Ending of a Wedding Trip, the Groom Dying a Few Hours After Being Injured in the Collision.

Canajoharie, N. Y., Sept 30.
--Four killed and a dozen or more injured is the summary of the terrible railroad accident on the Central railroad, two miles east of Palatine Bridge station, Friday night. The train to which the accident occurred was the St. Louis and Chicago express, bound west, which, owing to the heavy travel, was run in two sections. The first section left Fonda at 11:20, ten minutes late. The sections generally run ten minutes apart, which order seems to have been disregarded slightly. When the first section reached a point opposite Brandywine Rift, in the Mohawk river, engineer Weeks, of Albany, of the first section, noticed a giving out of the steam chest of his engine. He immediately stopped and the hind brakeman of the first section ran back.

It was not over five minutes before the crash came. The engineer of the second section says he made every effort to stop by applying the air brakes, but they did not work, and nothing was left for him to do but brace himself for the crash. He was pitched out of the window of his cab, and landed in such a manner as to break both his legs and otherwise injure him. His fireman, John Slater, went up twenty feet in the air, and landed on top of the Boston & Albany railroad’s baggage car, which was in the rear and which struck with such tremendous force that it was more than half way telescoped with the rear part of the engine.

Baggageman Wilcox, of Syracuse, was thrown into one end of the car and quite seriously hurt about the head. He was the first to come to the rescue of the unfortunate fireman on top of the car, and the latter, though badly shocked, was not seriously injured. The first section was made up of a baggage, mail, express and through passenger car besides a Wagner sleeper, the New Mexico, the private car Kankakee, of President Ingalls, of the C.,C.,C. & St Louis railroad, and the private car of President H. B. Ledyard, of the Michigan Central road. The latter car was on the rear, and is said to be the strongest and most perfect car ever constructed.

In President Ingalls’ car, the Kankakee, were his family, Mr. Johnson, his private secretary, and CHARLES FRANKLIN, a porter. The latter was instantly killed. All the others escaped serious injury. The Kankakee was next to the big Michigan Central car, and was shoved with great force through the Wagner sleeper ahead, which was packed with people. The two cars telescoped, causing a terrible crash and knocking out the lights and splintering both the cars. The persons in the upper berths escaped with slight injuries, several crawling out of holes in the top of the cars.

The most terrible part of the accident befell WILLIAM H. MANNING and his party. Mr. Manning resided at Marquette, Mich., and a few weeks ago came east to Westport, N.Y., where he married Miss Julia Davis, a wealthy young lady. They had passed a few weeks of their honeymoon in the East and started for their new home, where an elegantly furnished house awaited them. They were accompanied by Sadie Boyd, a maid servant, and George W. Allen, a man servant. Mr. Manning was injured internally and badly disfigured about the face. He was cut out of his berth and removed to the Hotel Wagner, in this place, and died soon after. His wife was injured, but not fatally. SADIE BOYD never spoke after the crash. Her remains were dug out and laid beside the track and covered. The man servant escaped injury.

In upper berth No. 7 was Charles W. Weed, a liveryman at Newburgh, who was on his way to Michigan to buy horses.. Before retiring he had a chat with REV. PRENTISS DEVEUVE of Dayton, O., who was to occupy the lower berth. Mr. Deveuve after the crash was found with his head bent upward and dead. He had evidently been instantly killed while asleep.

The next most unfortunate party were Robert A Fowler, William McKay and H. I. Lewis, of the lumber firm of Bennett, McIlroy & Fowler, of New York. They were all asleep and are all more or less injured, but not fatally. Among the passengers in the ill-fated car was Mrs. Tate, of Fredonia, N. Y. She was seriously injured. Also Harry H. Adams, county treasurer of Brooklyn and his cashier, T. J. Farmly and a friend, Peter Sinter, also of that city. Their escape was marvelous, but they have only a few abrasions to show that they were in the wreck.

The Salem Daily News, Salem, OH 30 Sept 1889


Fatal Railroad Wreck.

[By Associated Press.]

Canajohara, N. Y. , Sept 28--The killed in the wreck at Palatine are: REV. PRENTICE DUVE, of Dayton, Ohio; SADIE BOYD, of Westport, N. Y., a servant and CHARLES FRANKLIN, porter. Injured: William H. Manning, of Marquette, Mich., who will probably die; Mrs. W. D. Manning, of Westport, a bride, not seriously; Miss Tate of Fredonia, cuts; Engineer Horth, dangerously; R. A. Fowler, of New York seriously; William H. McEvoy, H. J. Lewis, W. H. England, of New York, slightly. Several others were injured slightly. The special car of President Ingalls, of the “Big Four” railroad, and that of President Ledyard, of the Michigan Central train, were wrecked, but none of their party were injured.

New York, Sept 28.--The following particulars of the railroad disaster at Palatine bridge last night, were received by the New York Central official’s: The engine of the first section of the train broke its cylinder head and stopped. It was composed of one baggage car, three coaches, one sleeper and a “Big Four” and Michigan Central private car in the order named.. The section composed of one baggage car and six sleepers, ran into the first section. The Michigan Central private car had its rear end broken. In this car was the President of the Michigan Central, H. B. Ledyard, who escaped uninjured. M. E. Ingalls was in a private car the third from the rear. He escaped unharmed, but Mrs. Ingalls received slight injuries about the limbs. The porter of the car which Mr. and Mrs. Ingalls occupied was killed--name unknown. Four persons in the Buffalo sleeper were killed, but up to the present time their names are not received here. The following persons are reported injured: William McElroy, New York; Mary Pate, Fredonia; William H. Manning and wife, Marlette, Michigan---Manning has since died; R. E. Fowler, of New York; H. J. Lewis, of the New York Cotton Exchange. Engineer Horth, of the second section, had both legs injured.

Another Account.

Palatine Bridge, N. Y., Sept 28.
--The St. Louis express, which left Albany last night, met with an accident two miles west of here about midnight. The first section broke down and stopped for repairs. The rear brakeman was sent back to signal the second section. The first section was made up of baggage, mail, express and three passenger cars packed with people and a sleeper on the end. The second section telescoped into the first section, knocking out the lights and plunging everything into darkness. A number of passengers were killed and injured.

Weekly Gazette Stockman, Reno, NV 3 Oct 1889


The injured by the Palatine Bridge Disaster.

Canajoharie, N. Y., Sept 30
.--The condition of Mrs. Wm. H. Manning who was injured in the New York Central wreck near Palatine Bridge on Friday night, is much improved. Miss Tate is still in a dangerous condition. She suffered much from hemorrhages and from the injuries to her jaw and neck. Wm. H. McElroy, of New York, passed a quiet day and is considered out of danger.

Saturday Herald, Decatur, IL 5 Oct 1889

Articles transcribed by Audrey.  Thank you, Audrey!


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