Farmer City, IL Head On Train Collision, Oct 1909

The scene of the wreck



Farmer City, Oct. 6. -- One is dead and many are injured, some gravely, as the result of the head-on collision between two Illinois Central trains, one a regular local and the other a state fair special, two miles west of Farmer City last night.
The Dead:
The Injured:
Engineer JACK CLARK, Clinton, right ankle torn apart in jump from engine.
Engineer McCUE, Clinton, right leg broken in three places.
FRANK McKINLEY, Farmer City, probably fatally cut and mashed in collision; three ribs broken.
BEN BARNES, Farmer City, cut and hurt internally.
DARIUS WALTERS, Farmer City, leg broken.
JOHN BATEMAN, Farmer City, forehead gashed, bruised and cut.
MRS. JOHN BATEMAN, Farmer City, hurt internally, may die.
Two MISSES McCORD, daughters of JOHN T. McCORD, near DeWitt, seriously cut and bruised.
MISS BELLE ROLOFSON, Clinton, injured about head and chest.
MRS. FRANK MAPLE, Clinton, bruised above right eye.
JAMES WATSON, Clinton, cut above eye.
C. L. MORSE, Clinton, seriously hurt about face and head.
Ex-Mayor E. S. McDONALD, Decatur, ankle sprained.
L. W. LARGE, baggageman of the regular train, scratched and badly bruised through lungs.
Fireman BOGGS, of train 525, left shoulder hurt by falling tank.
CHARLES SUMMERS, Chicago, minor cuts and bruises.
P. L. BOBB, Clinton, injured about eyes.
MRS. F. N. MAPLE, hurt about face and eyes.
Conductor DOCKENS of the special, severely cut and bruised.
The collision was between local No. 525, south bound from Chicago and a special state fair train from Springfield to Gilman. The regular train was pulled by Engineer CLARK with Conductor CARPENTER in charge. The special was pulled by Engineer McCUE with Conductor DOCKENS in charge.
As far as can be learned, the blame of the wreck lies on Engineer McCUE, who misread his watch and thought he had fourteen minutes more than he really had.
The trains met on a curve west of Farmer City at 9:50 o'clock. Both engineers applied emergency brakes when they saw the collision coming. The regular train came to a stop just an instant before the special, still tearing along the track, struck it.
Both engines were demolished and laid across the track. In the special the combination baggage car and smoker telescoped the first day coach, catching the unfortunate excursionists in a trap. The other coaches were unhurt, but all were jarred from the track.
In the regular train the baggage car was completely wrecked and the smoker was also wrecked. The day coach, one of the new steel coaches, recently adopted as the standard by the Illinois Central, stood the shock and stayed on the tracks. It was hardly damaged beyond being battered at the end. An ordinary wooden coach would have crumpled up like cardboard and doubtless taken lives with it, for the train was crowded.

The Daily Review Decatur Illinois 1909-10-06


Callie Claire Watson Parrish

Callie was my great grandmother. Her son Joseph Parrish was my grandfather. The newspaper has her name wrong. Not Caroline. She had gone to a fair and was riding the train home when the collison happened Oct 5 1909


Hello, Caroline Watson was my great-great grandmother. Her son Joseph Watson had two daughters, one of whom is my grand-mother, Virginia (Watson) Woolnough. Virginia was born and raised in Farmer City before moving up to Chicago and later Massachusetts.

I live in Farmer City and my

I live in Farmer City and my grandmother was June Pauline Webb Simpson. Her Sister was Elizabeth Webb Watson and they had a brother named Richard. Their Father's name was Charles Webb i believe. Elizabeth married Grover Watson and i believe he was a judge. I just stumbled across this as i was looking for history etc for Farmer City. I found it very interesting and wondered the same about this Watson that was killed on the train accident. One of my aunts has done a great deal of research on our family and I would be willing to pass this along to her and maybe she could help clear some of this up for us. At any rate it is nice to meet you. My husband and our children moved back to Farmer City about 10 yrs ago and we live on the farm my Grandpa Clarence and June Simpson lived. I do know that Grandma June Simpson moved out in the country from town (Farmer City). Her dad Charles Webb ran the furniture business. . It's kind of neat to trace our heritage......... I have some cousins that are Watsons from the Elizabeth and Grover Watson family..... I could possibly put you in contact with them as well. You might be interested to look at the site and also there is a new facebook page dedicated to Farmer City Hometown memories. You may search my name or the Farmer City Hometown Memories for a link. FYI we are also getting ready to prepare for our 175th Centenial ..... I believe there is a facebook site for that as well. Let's keep in touch.....I too am curious...Tammy

Just messing around on the

Just messing around on the computor and not really sure who this will go to but here we go. I believe that the Miss Caroline Watson that was killed was related to me but not sure who her father was. My father is the last living member of his family so I have just been kicking the idea around of trying to learn alittle more about the Watsons from Farmer City. My father is 88 years old, his father was Harry Lee Watson, my great grandfather was W.W. Watson he married a Armilda Webb. Her father was Richard D. Webb who sounds like one of the founding settlers in Hurley's Grove . Did this become Farmer City? Anyway I am just taking a long shot to see if I can connect to someone who is interested in or has some old history about these Webb's and Watson's.
Just for the fun of it,, Gene Watson Boise, Id. cel 208 440-4684 [email protected] 1 - 1 - 2010