Melrose Park, IL Trains Collide, Apr 1904

BAD COLLISION KILL INDIANS AND TRAINMEN.

FOG WAS THE CAUSE -- THE ENGINEER COULD NOT SEE THE BLOCK SIGNAL FOR THE DENSE FOG AND DID NOT STOP.

Chicago, April 7. -- Three Nebraskan Indians were killed and twenty-three injured, three seriously, and an engineer and fireman slightly hurt as the result of a rear-end collision on the Chicago & Northwestern at the suburb, Melrose Park at 7:30 this morning. The express No. 6 from Omaha was stopped by the block signal. The fog was very dense. Behind them came the fast mail. The engineer did not see the block signal in the fog and the engine ploughed into the rear coach of the express. The bodies of the Indians were thrown into the air, and the coach completely demolished.
The injured were taken to Maywood hospital. The Indians were en-route to Washington.
In the rear car were three Indians of Buffalo Bill's wild west show en-route for England. The cars took fire. It was necessary to chop the passenger coach almost into kindling wood to release the injured and secure the bodies of the dead.
The dead:
CHIEF WHITE HORSE.
THOMAS RONESLAST.
CHIEF KILLS AHEAD.
The fatally injured:
KILLS FIRST, and five others.
The Indians came from Pine Lake, S.D.

Story of the Wreck.
The trains which collided were the Oregon Express and the fast mail, the former striking the rear end of the mail train. Physicians were promptly hurried to the scene. The injured were taken to Maywood and Chicago.
The coach containing the Indians was a light day car. It was completely wrecked. After the collision the passengers in the other coaches of the two trains hurried to the rescue and after a hard struggle pulled the injured from beneath the wreck.
CHIEF WHITE HORSE, in charge of the Indians on the train, was fatally injured. He said he knew his death was near and requested that he be placed near his dead companion. The chief was propped up and sat stoically while the physicians worked over his injuries. He smoked his pipe quietly and showed no signs of the pain he must have been suffering.
One by one other injured Indians were slowly taken from the splintered car and placed upon the ground near their dying chief and dead comrades.
Persons who were on the train said the collision was unquestionably the result of the dense fog which stretched from Lake Michigan today many miles westward.
A moment after the crash there was not a sound from the ill-fated coach. Then one by one those surviving the crash regained in part their senses and began shouting for aid. A terrified series of wild yells from the Indians were heard by the passengers. Jumping from each side of the cars, all the men passengers and many women on board the trains hastened to aid the Indians. The fact that one side of the rear car fell off with the impact undoubtedly saved the lives of many of the Indians,
who were thrown out on the prairie. The Indians were from the reservation near Rushville, Neb., and their journey in the east was primarily for show purposes in New York.

The Cedar Rapids Republican Iowa 1904-04-08