Hazleton, IN Train Wreck, Mar 1897


Terrible Wreck on the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad.


Total Fatalities Not Known - Cars Telescope and Tumble Into the Water with Their Loads - All Thought to Be Dead - Conductor and Engineer Known to Have Met Death and Others Badly Injured - Small Washout the Cause of the Accident.

Princeton, Ind., March 10, - One of the worst railroad wrecks that has occurred in this vicinity for many years happened today at 3 o'clock to the limited south-bound over the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad one mile north of Hazleton.

The train was made up of an engine in charge of Engineer John K. McCutchoon and Joseph Bowman, fireman, a combination baggage and mail car, smoker, ladies' coach and one sleeper.

The engine went over the embankment, falling a distance of 15 feet into the water. The smoker was telescoped by the baggage car and the ladies' coach and sleeper remained on the track.

The engineer says he was running 25 miles an hour, and when he approached the washout saw nothing but a very small hole. The engine passed over it and went down the embankment. The dead are:

GEORGE A. SEERS, conductor.


Several passengers; names unknown.

The injured are:

JOHN K. MC CUTCHOON, engineer; bruised by jumping.

JOHN B. BANISS, brakeman, horribly mashed and otherwise bruised.

All the passengers in the smoker are supposed to have been killed. Four persons besides Conductor Seers were seen in the smoker as it broke loose, rolled down the embankment and floated off in the current.

HARRY J. HILL, the baggageman, was the only member of the train crew that escaped unhurt.

About 8 o'clock a large section of the levee broke, sending the baggage car and smoker down into the water and both subsequently floated away.

At 12 o'clock today the ladies' coach, which had been lying crosswise on the tracks, floated off.

The cars and engine cannot be taken out before the water goes down. Then the bodies of the unknown dead may be found, but the probability is that they will have been washed away.

The only passenger who went down in the wreck whose identity can be traced was a traveling man, representing W. B. Phillips of Fort Wayne, Ind. His grips, a pair of gloves and a card bearing the above information were found near the track.

W. H. HENDERSON, manager of Henderson Comedy Company, was in the wreck and sustained a broken leg.

It has just been learned that HERBERT ALLEN, a doorkeeper in the late Indiana legislature, was in the wreck and was probably killed. He lives at Evansville.

Idaho Statesman, Boise City, ID 11 Mar 1897


Thats crazy

it was scary to me when I heard it.I was actully where it happend I live in Hazelton and it was the first time I went boating ever.It was funny because a train went over us.Well it didn't actually go over us we went out from under the bridge.

Hazleton, IN Train Wreck


Frightful Railroad Wreck Near Hazleton, Indiana Yesterday

Seven Men Drown'd

The Flood Washed Out the Track and the Smoking Car Went Down

Every One in the Car Dead - Another Coach Washed Away by the Flood

Cinncinnati [sic], March 10. -- The Enquirer's special from Princeton, Ind., Hazelton, south bound train No. 94, the Chicago & Nashville limited, composed of a locomotive, combination baggage and mail, smoker, ladies coach and a sleeper, met with a fatal acccident [sic] by a washout from the back water from the White river. Engineer John McCullough, of Evansville, says the train was going 25 miles an hour when he saw an insignificant hole in one side of the track. The locomotive passed over safely and then took a plunge down a 16-foot embankment and was buried out of sight. At the same time the mail and baggage cards plunged into the flood head foremost telescoping the top off of the smoker, which followed it. The ladies's car and the sleeper remain on the track.

The killed, as far as known are George A. Sears, of Terre Haute; conductor in the smoker; Joseph Bowman, fireman, Evansville, buried under the locomotive; Herbert Allen, doorkeeper of the legislature, Evansville; four unknown passengers. Injured: Engineer John McCullough, of Evansville, scalded about the legs and arms; John Hausien, brakeman, Evansville, foot badly crushed. The seven above named as killed are known to be lost. Conductor Sears was seen in the smoker before it washed away several hundred yards by the flood. No one in the somker [sic] escaped. How many were in the smoker other than those mentioned no one can tell.

Not one of the dead bodies has been recovered. From a gripsack fount it is believed that one of the lost was a traveling man for W. B. Phillips, of Fort Wayne, selling ladies waists. This evening the flood swept away the ladies' coach, leaving only the sleeper on the track.

Grand Forks Daily Herald, Grand Forks, ND 11 Mar 1897

Hazleton, IN Train Wreck

The following are killed and injured:

Four passengers dead, names unknown. Their bodies floated down the White River with the wreckage.

Herbert Allen, doorkeeper of the Legislature, Evansville

George A. Sears, conductord [sic], killed. His body could not be rescued. It was seen in the car, one arm hanging out of a window.

Joseph Bowman was buried with the engine under water.

John B. Haines was caught between the cards with one foot pinned down. He remained their five hours, but was finally rescued.

All the passengers in the smoker are thought to have been killed. Four bodies were seen in it with Conductor Sears when it broke loose and floated away with the current.

... A grip and other baggage bearing the name of W. B. Phillips of Fort Wayne, were found in the wreck.

The bodies of the dead cannot be recovered until the water goes down. W. F. Henderson, manager of the Henderson Comedy Company, was badly injured, having a leg broken.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 11 Mar 1897