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FIRST NAME


LAST NAME


LOCALITY


Exeter, Pennsylvania Train Wreck

May 12, 1899

TWENTY-THREE BODIES

TAKEN FROM THE PHILADELPHIA & REDDING, AND FULLY FIFTY PEOPLE INJURED

SEVERAL CARS SMASHED

Reading, PA. May 13
—A collision of passenger trains occurred on the Philadelphia and Redding railroad at Exeter, about six miles south of this city last night, and a great number of people were killed and injured. The number killed is variously stated to be from twenty-five to thirty. Fully fifty others are injured. The regular express train from Pottsville to Philadelphia connected at the station in Reading with a train from Harrisburg, which was crowded with excursionists who had been to the state capitol to witness the ceremonies in connection with the unveiling with the Hartranft monument. Many of the Harrisburg passengers at Reading went aboard the Philadelphia express, but, it being found that all could not be accommodated, it was decided to sent an extra train to Philadelphia, to run as the second section of the express. The extra train left twenty minutes later than the express.

At Exeter the express stopped for orders and while standing still the extra train crashed into it while moving at great speed. Three of the rear cars of the express were telescoped and the first car of the extra train was wrecked. The passengers in these cars were terribly mangled, many being killed outright, while others had limbs and bodies maimed.

Word was at once sent to Reading and a special with physicians and nurses was sent to the scene quickly as it could possibly be put into readiness.

The identified killed are:
JOHN LEAF, Montgomery County
WM. STALER,
Norristown
COL. GEO. SHAW,
Norristown
CHIEF JOHN SLINGLUFF,
Norristown
JOHN JOHNSON,
Mount Clair
WH. LEWIS,
Norristown
H. HUNCHDINGER,
Norristown
GEO. SOWERS,
Norristown
HARRY WENTZ,
Norristown
GEO. H. ANDIS,
Norristown
SAMUEL BATTY,
Conshohocken
HARRY THOMPSON,
Norristown
HIRAM SHELLY,
Hatboro
BENTON SIVIS,
Reading

The injured, as far as the names could be attained are:
EDDIE SMITH,
Norristown.
CHAS. WHITE,
Norristown
NATHAN O’NEIL,
Norristown
LUTHER CUSTER,
serious, Pottstown
JOHN JOHNSON,
serious, Mt. Clair
PATRICK KERN,
Pottstown
PASCAL WALTERS,
Swedeland
HARRY LEISTER,
serious, Phoenixville
LB VANDERSLICE,
Phoenixville
T. ADDLE,
Norristown
WM. FREDERBORN,
Norristown
CHAS. MADDIS,
Conshohocken
JOHN EARL,
Conshohocken
HARRY KANTZ,
Norristown
DAVID CARNEY,
Norristown
A.J. ASHENFELDER,
Norristown, hurt in chest.

The express train, which should have left at 8:30 p.m. for Philadelphia, was behind schedule time in leaving and stopped at Exeter for orders. A special train from Harrisburg bearing excursionists, left here twenty minutes later than the express train and at Exeter, while going at a rapid rate of speed, crashed into the express.
Great excitement prevails throughout the city. The railroad officials offer no explanation of the accident. The coroner will institute an investigation at once. Returning passengers say the scenes around the wreck are of the most fearful description

Exeter is a flag station and has no telephone communication. It is stated the passengers in the second train were mostly from Norristown.

LATER

READING, PA. MAY 13—
Daylight revealed the horror of last nights collision at Exeter between two passenger trains on the Philadelphia and Reading road. From the ruins there have been taken thirty-two bodies, some are already dead, some are seriously injured, and have died since. Beneath the wreck a great many more bodies are believed to be buried. The injured will probably run in the fifties.

The death list this afternoon numbers twenty-five. Many of the injured have been taken to Norristown. Several will die.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 13 MAY 1899

       

READING VICTIMS NUMBER 29

READING, Pa., May 15.
---The total number of dead as a result of Friday night’s rear-end collision on the Philadelphia and Reading railway at Exeter reached twenty-nine today. WILLIAM D. JENKINS, of Norristown, dying in the hospital at that place.
Of the large number of injured persons still in the hospitals here three are in a serious condition and small hope is entertained for their recovery.

They are WILLIAM FRIEDERBORN, THADDEUS S. ADLE and GEORGE W. HOLMES, all of Norristown. At least 10,000 persons visited the scene of the wreck today. The body which was yesterday thought to be that of C.H. HOWELL, of Phoenixville, was today positively identified as CAPTAIN CHARLES T. STREET, of Philadelphia.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 15 May 1899

       

RAILROAD IS RESPONSIBLE

THE CORONERS JURY RETURNS A VERDICT TODAY

READING ROAD PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE SIGNAL SYSTEM

NORRISTOWN, Pa., May 27.
---The coroner’s jury returned a verdict today in deciding the railroad disaster, in Exeter, in which twenty-nine persons’ were killed. The Reading Railroad Company is found primarily responsible because of inadequate system of signaling; also the employees made a mistake in running sections of wrecked train.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 27 May 1899

       

FIREMAN INSANE

Caused by the Horrors of the Exeter Wreck

Reading, Pa., May 20.
---Crazed by memories of the scenes at the Exeter wreck, FREDERICK HOMRICH was placed in charge of the authorities today. HOMRICH was a fireman on the Reading railway, and assisted in removing bodies from the wreck on the night of May 12. The horrors of the catastrophe so seized upon his mind in a few days he developed symptoms of insanity.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 29 May 1899

Articles transcribed by Trish.  Thank you, Trish!

       

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