Ashtabula, Ohio Train Wreck - Bridge
December 29, 1876
Cleveland, O., Dec. 29. - - A terrible
accident occurred at Ashtabula, Ohio. Train No.
5, bound west, went through an iron bridge and
down seventy-five feet to the river.
A heavy snow prevails there.
Later. In the incident at
Ashtabula, O., on the Lake Shore Railroad, it is
reported that seven coaches, together with the
baggage and express cars, were burned. One
person out of every five was killed.
Further Details. The scene of
the railroad accident at Ashtabula, Ohio, is a
few rods east of the depot. An iron bridge
spans Ashtabula creek, seventy-five feet above
the water. On both sides are high banks of
snow, which has been falling almost constantly
for the past forty-eight house, and a now a
driving storm is raging, making it difficult to
get news from the wrecked and
Burning Train, but assurances are
given that the citizens of Ashtabula, with a
competent corps of physicians are doing
everything possible for the sufferers.
List of the Sufferers. The
following is a partial list of the wounded:
Geo. W. Waite,
wife and son, of Ashtabula, badly hurt;
J. W. Martin,
wife and mother, thought to be from East
Avon, Livingston county, fatally injured;
J. M. Murray,
Hartford Conn., injured;
W. H. Shepherd,
Brooklyn, N. Y., leg broken;
White Hall, slightly bruised;
Thos. C. Wright,
Nashville, Tenn., slightly;
H. L. Brewster,
Rochester, N. Y., slightly;
Lew, Rochester, N. Y., slightly,
Rutland, Mass., badly;
Oakland, Cala., badly hurt;
Trueworthy's wife and daughter both killed;
Chicago, bruised slightly;
Karrall, Chicago, slightly hurt;
of Mrs. Mary Bradley,
of San Francisco, killed,
Mr. Barlow, supposed to be connected
with Wood's Museum, Chicago, badly hurt;
Chicago, dangerously wounded;
Busham, Milwaukee, slightly.
By Fire and Water. 10:45 p.m.,
the storm has somewhat abated and the weather,
fast growing colder. It seems that the
falling train and bridge smashed the ice in the
creek, and those not killed by the fall or
burned by the burning cars were held down by the
wreck and drowned before they could be
extricated, many too will be or have frozen.
All the good citizens of Ashtabula are at the
wreck, and as many as can are working to rescue
those that are not already claimed by death,
while hundreds of strong arms stand ready to
relieve those who have become exhausted with
toil. At this time they have been unable
to learn the name of a single one of the killed
except a little babe of
Mrs. Bradley, and know
there were a large number of eastern people on
the ill-fated train. It is said that the
seven coaches that fell through were all well
filled. The express messenger of the
American Express Company is missing and supposed
to be among the killed.
11 p.m. A special train with
physicians, nurses and everything for the
comfort of the wounded at the wreck, left Union
depot at 10 o'clock.
The weather still growing colder and only
four bodies so far have been taken from the
Number Killed. It is estimated
that there were one hundred and seventy-five
passengers on the train, at least one third of
whom were killed, burned to death or frozen.
The train was drawn by two engines. One
engine remained on the bridge, everything else
went down. The engineer and fireman on the
engine that went down were badly but not
seriously injured. The work of removing
the dead still goes on but very slowly.
Sedalia Daily Democrat, Sedalia, MO, 30
No. 5, Conductor Henn,
left Erie for Cleveland
one hour late, and neared the bridge at
Ashtabula about 8 o'clock. Very few
particulars can be learned at this hour, but
assurances are given that the citizens of
Ashtabula, with a competent corps of physicians,
are doing everything possible for the sufferers.
The following is a partial list of wounded ...
Vosburg, Buffalo, N. Y....
Edward Trustworty, Oakland, Cal., badly hurt ...
R. Karroll, Chicago, Ill., slightly hurt...
Burnham of Milwaukee, slightly burned...
Minerva Bingham of Chicago, Ill., dangerously
It is feared that Mr. Trustworthy's wife and
daughter are killed. A child of
Bradley of San Francisco, Cal., was killed.
Mary Frame of Rochester, N. Y., is fatally
Evening Gazette, Port Jervis, NY 30 Dec
All witnesses so far agree as to the main
facts of the accident. It was about eight o'clock,
and the train was moving along at a moderate
rate of speed, Ashtabula station being just this
side of the ravine, when suddenly, without
warning, the train plunged into the abyss, the
forward locomotive alone getting across safely.
Almost instantly the lamps and stoves set fire
to the cars, and many who were doubtless only
stunned, and who might otherwise have been
saved, fell victims. ...
The Scenes Among the Wounded were as
suggestive almost as the wreck in the valley.
The two hotels nearest the station contained a
majority of these, and as they were scattered
about on temporary beds, on the floors of dining
rooms, parlors and offices, various scenes of
horror were transpiring while over it all there
were brooded that awful quiet which always
accompanies such calamities. Toward
morning the cold increased and the wind blew a
fearful gale, which, with the snow which had
drifted waist-deep at points along the line,
made all work extremely difficult.
The Fallen Bridge. From an
interview with Collins, chief civil engineer of
the railroad, I learn that the bridge was a Howe
truss, built entirely of iron and eleven year
old. It was sixty-nine feet above the
water and had an arch one hundred and fifty feet
long in the clear, the whole length of the
bridge being over one hundred and fifty-seven
feet. It has been tested with six
locomotives, and at the time of the disaster was
considered as being in perfect condition.
It was built in the Cleveland shops.
Collins gives no opinion as to the cause of the
accident, expressing himself as being utterly
unable to do so. He estimates the loss on
the bridge alone as being near
seventy-five thousand dollars, but has no
opinion as to the total loss by cars, and as
soon as the debris is cleared away and the
bodies all taken out, which will occupy a couple
of days, a temporary bridge, which was built for
the Wilson avenue crossing and in at Cottonwood,
will be put up. He expects to have a
running connection made within ten days.
Statement. The following special to
the Leader is the very latest received up
to one o'clock: Charles S. Carter, of
Brooklyn, N. Y., says he was sitting in the
palace car with three others, engaged in a
friendly game of cards, when suddenly he heard
the window glass in the forward part of the car
breaking, and almost instantly the car began to
fall. He was seated with his back toward
the front, and as he went down he sat as quiet
as he could and held on. When the car
struck at the bottom of the ravine he found
himself almost unhurt, although one of the
gentlemen playing with him, whose name he did
not know was killed instantly. While
another, a Mr. Shepard of New York, had a leg
broken. The front of the car was much
lower than the rear, and the flames in front
began to eat their way upward an spread with
great rapidity. He turned to the
assistance of Shepard, and with great difficulty
succeeded in getting him out, his broken leg
impeding their advances. When Shepard was
fairly out, Carter returned to the assistance of
a woman who was calling for help at the front of
the car. He got her out, and as she was quite
thinly clad he gave her his overcoat, and after
reaching the hotel he found himself severely
bruised in several places.
A Heartrending Incident. In the
great peril of the hour a man rushed down to the
scene of the disaster, ready to help. He
saw a woman struggling for life and went to her
assistance. He carried her by main force
to the solid ice, and then, urged by the cries
of the mother went to rescue the daughter, a
sweet child of three or four years. The
treacherous wood, in splintering, had caught the
child in its grasp, and the fire completed the
horrible work. The man was compelled to
see the child enveloped in flames, and to hear
her "Help me, mother!" ringing out in the agony
of death and on the ears of the cruel night.
In a moment she was lot, swept up by the sharp
tongues of the fire, while her mother, in
helpless agony, fell to the earth in a deadly
Fortunate Family. There was on
board a family named Bennett on their way from
New York state to Jefferson, Ashtabula county.
The father and mother got out of the wreck, and
the children were only saved by being tossed
from the arms of one man to another over a pile
of burning wood, one of the four being seriously
injured and all scratched slightly. On
Saturday morning the mother, who was enciente,
gave birth to a child, the event being hastened
by the excitement she had undergone. ...
Moving the Wounded. A special
train loaded with some the injured left
Ashtabula at 8:15 o'clock this morning,
consisting of an express, a passenger and palace
car. In the latter the beds had all been
made and in them placed the worst of the
victims, those able to set up being accommodated
in the front car. The names and
destinations of these are as follows:
Lovebaragh, 26 Ross street, Cleveland;
Charles Ricker, A. Gibson, W. B. Sanders, John
I. Lalor, R. Monroe, A. Burnham, R. Austin,
Walter Haze and
Charles Patterson go to the
hospital in Cleveland
W. H. Lew, 81 Walnut Street, Cleveland;
Tilden, 52 Hamilton street, Cleveland;
Champlin, 53 Water street, Cleveland;
J. A. Davis goes through to Cincinnati.
Correct List of Saved and Wounded....
A. E. Hewitt,
Bridgeport, Connecticut, slightly
J. C. Earl,
B. B. Lyons,
New York, safe;
McGlee, residence not given, safe;
Mrs. Anna Graham,
New York, slightly;
John J. White,
Boston, leg broken;
Mrs. William H.
Bradley, Chicago, slightly, child and
Marmandville, Albany, head and
Mrs. M. Bingham,
Chicago, leg broken;
Wm. B. Sanderson,
Auburn, Missouri, slight;
Rutland, Massachusetts, head back and
Burnnam, Milwaukee, slight;
W. H. Lew, Rochester, slightly;
Charleston, Illinois, probably fatal;
Nausman, dangerous, residence not
Miss Mary Frame,
Rochester, probably fatal;
C. E. Jones,
Beloit, Wisconsin, slight;
J. M. Martha,
East Avon, ribs broken;
Seevenboro, fireman, slight;
Carey, Ohio, slight;
Henry W. Shepherd,
Brooklyn, N.Y., leg amputated;
John J. Tabor,
Mrs. F. A. Davis,
near Indianapolis, not hurt;
J. A. Thompson,
Dr. C. A. Griswold,
Maillard, California, back and head;
D. H. Clark,
Ormsby, Boston, head, slight;
Miss Marion Shepard,
C. H. Tyler,
St. Louis, hand broken;
Somerville, Mass, leg broken;
Lexington, Ky., dangerous
Lobdell, N. Y.;
Charles S. Carter,
Brooklyn, N. Y., slight;
H. T. Tomlinson,
Bridgeport, Connecticut, arm and leg;
G. M. Reed,
Cleveland, injuries not given;
C. N. Gage,
Charleston, Illinois, fatal, died;
Waterbury, Connecticut, back and head;
Beauchate, Kent's Plains,
Chas. C. Richard,
Biddeford, Maine, arm, head and leg;
Lewellins, Illinois, head, severely;
H. Parsloe, Wood's Museum, Chicago,
Burchell, Chicago, slight;
G. D. Folsom,
North Adams, Massachusetts, slight;
H. L. Brewster,
Oakland, California, rib; his brother is
supposed to be killed;
Hern, conductor, safe;
H. D. Champlain,
Cleveland, legs hurt;
Chesterfield, Essex county, New York,
head and internally;
A. White, Westhersfield, Connecticut, back and
George A. White,
Portland, Maine, slight;
Port Clinton, Ohio, severe, head and
Mrs. and Mrs. Swift,
North Adams, Massachusetts, slight;
Mrs. Frank Eastman,
Rochester, New York, probably fatal;
Coller, Elmira, New York, dangerous;
Thomas C. Wright,
Nashville, Tennessee, serious, hip, etc.;
unknown residence, probably fatal;
Mowry, Hartford, Connecticut, ribs.
The Dead List can only be ascertained when it
becomes gradually apparent that those who were
known to have been passengers on the ill-fated
train do not make their appearance.
Bliss, the Evangelist, Among the Killed.
Chicago, Dec 30.-- Private dispatches confirm
the report that Mr. [Peter
P.] Bliss, wife and two children were
killed by the Ashtabula disaster. Mr.
Bliss was extensively known as a singer and
Removed to the Hospital.
Cleveland, Dec. 30. -- A. Gibson of Cairo, R.
Austin of Chicago,
and John Salor of Chicago, were to-night removed
to the Cleveland hospital.
Burlington Hawk Eye, Burlington, IA 4 Jan
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