Joliet, IL DuPage River Bridge Train Wreck, Mar 1857

He Died At His Post.

A sad, but beautiful and touching, scene was witnessed at the accident at Du Page bridge. On the morning after the accident the slow tolling of a bell was heard. On looking to see whence it came, it was discovered to proceed from the engine as it lay submerged in the water. The waves as they foamed and surged over the sunken engine swayed the bell, which alone with the smoke-pipe appeared above water, and caused it to give it a tolling sound. When the engine was raised from the water the engineer was found in a standing posture, with his stiff, cold, icy hand firmly grasping the throttle valve, as though amid the thick darkness he had discovered the perilous condition of the train, and had sprang to avert the wreck. But it was too late, the engine and train, with its precious freight of life and property, went down, and during the dreary night, the engine bell and the mad rushing waters rang out a solemn requiem for the dead. It is probable that had not the freight train gone down as it did, the passenger train from Chicago, due two hours later, and loaded with sleeping passengers, would itself have taken the fatal plunge. -- Joliet Democrat.

The Agitator Pennsylvania 1857-03-19