Ottawa, IL Train Wreck, Aug 1870
The Ottawa Republican of the 25th says:
"One of the most shocking accidents it has ever been our lot to chronicle occurred at LaSalle street crossing of the C., R., I. & P. R., R., track on Thursday of last week, which resulted in the death of two aged country people, MR. and MRS. JOHN WEATHERWAX, from Fall River Township. They were on their way to the Old Settlers' picnic, in Judge Caton's park. The testimony of witnesses was not clear as to whether the wagon was stationary on the track when it was struck, or whether it was in the act of crossing, some affirming that the occupants had stopped to converse with an acquaintance, while others that they were leisurely jogging along, and probably owing to deafness, were not aware of any approaching train until too late to escape. The locomotive of the train (12 o'clock passenger) struck about the middle of the wagon, hurling it some distance ahead and north of the track. Mr. and Mrs. W. fell back upon the cow-catcher, the latter higher up than the former, where she was found when the train stopped. Mr. W. rolled off and was run over and so horribly mangled, though unconscious, for several minutes after being carried into the room of the express office. After the coroner's inquests, the bodies were taken to the residence of Mr. Potter, a relative, in South Ottawa, and the following day interred in that place. Their ages were 63 and 58 prospectively. The train was going at unusual speed. The jury decided to call the attention of the City Council to the need of an ordinance regulating the passage of trains through the city, and if possible prevent the future occurrence of railroad accidents."
Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL 29 Aug 1870