New York, NY Train Accident
January 9, 1889
KILLED A GIRL.
A Shocking Accident in Third Avenue Last Night.
Mangled by a Motor While the Storm Was at Its
Height – Struck Down in the Presence of Her
MR. STEPHEN H. MARTIN,
TILLY and KATIE MARTIN and
MISS GEORGIE TAYLOR were all walking
down Third avenue last evening at 7:45 o'clock.
MR. MARTIN is a well to do farmer who lives with
his large family at the foot of Sixty-first
street. He and his daughters had left their
house before the tornado arrived, desiring to
attend services at the Fourth Avenue M. E.
Church where a week or prayer is proceeding.
They were caught in the great storm and so
blown about that when they attempted to cross
Third avenue their minds were pretty fully
occupied with keeping their feet. There is a
very steep grade at this point on the railroad
track, and trains from Fort Hamilton have to
apply the brakes pretty strongly. Coming down
this steep grade from Fort Hamilton at the very
same time that the
MARTINS undertook to cross was one of
the steam surface trains of the Brooklyn City
Neither the girls nor their father saw the
locomotive till it was almost upon them. Then
all sprang aside with the exception of
How it happened is not precisely known by
anybody, but the girl was struck and instantly
killed. The train came to a standstill and the
agonized father pulled his daughter's body from
under the can step where it was crushed.
The body was conveyed to the house of a
neighbor and DR.
PARSHALL, of Fifth-fourth street, was
summoned. He found only a large black and blue
mark over the heart. No bones were broken and no
blood was shed. The body was not mangled or
bruised in any other way, for the train was
coming to a halt when it struck the girl, and
the brakes were applied immediately and
prevented the body from being dragged.
was 25 years of age, a great, rosy healthy,
quick intelligent girl, who was much beloved by
her family and friends. She was the organist of
the church and, when the news of her death
reached the worshipers, there was great
consternation and more grief than could be
An Eagle reporter visited the house
this morning and found a great assemblage of
friends who had gathered to look on the dead and
condole with the survivors. The unfortunate
father is wandering about dazed with grief; the
blow was so sudden and terrible that is seems to
have paralyzed his brain. None of the family
were in a condition to talk intelligently on the
accident and its cause. They blame the train
men, but have no explanation except that the
train was going too fast.
aged 50, of 1,237 Third avenue was the engineer.
He and conductor EDWARD
WALLACE were both arrested. WALLACE
was discharged from the custody of the
Eighteenth Precinct Police, as he did not see
the accident at all, and Justice Massey released
BRONCK this morning as no complaint appeared
There are many theories as to the way in which
the accident happened. People living along the
line of the track favor the idea that it was the
carelessness of the trainmen; that the brakeman
was off his platform taking shelter from the
storm in the car and that the train was
descending the steep grade at a higher rate of
speed than the law allows. A great howl is going
up for the steam surface trains to be taken off.
A more reasonable theory is that the train
was running as usual and the headlight shining
as brightly as usual, but that the umbrellas of
the party hid the sight of the train from them
and the sound of the wind covered, the noise of
An umbrella is an ugly thing to carry in a high
wind, when anyway near a moving railroad train.
The wind was high enough to blow
in front of the train from the sidewalk. The
police have the idea that no one was to blame.
WALLACE have made a report to the
president of the City Railroad Company, who sent
out orders to all employes [sic] who knew
anything about the matter to say nothing to
anybody. The Eagle reporter who
investigated the matter this morning found that
these orders were strictly obeyed.
He visited President
Lewis and the following conversation
“You have received a report from the engineer
who was operating the locomotive Gowanus when is
struck and killed MISS
MARTIN last evening?”
“Will you let me print it in the Eagle?”
“Certainly not. It is a matter in which the
public have no interest.”
The reporter expressed some astonishment at this
view of the case, and the president then said:
“We can't afford to give away one side of the
story. There will be a lawsuit over this thing.
I will tell you nothing about the accident.”
Brooklyn Eagle New York 1889-01-10
Submitted & transcribed by Stu
Beitler Thank you,
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