East Paris, MI Passenger Trains Collide, Dec 1903


Results of Pere Marquette Disaster Exceed First Report.

Twenty-two persons dead and thirty-eight seriously injured is the latest report regarding Saturday night's disastrous wreck on the Pere Marquette railway near East Paris, Mich.

In the head-on collision five cars and two large locomotives were jammed into a space ordinarily occupied by three coaches, and the wreckage was strewn across the railroad right of way from fence to fence.

According to statements made by officials of the Pere Marquette, the westbound train was traveling down grade at the rate of sixty miles an hour. The eastbound train was climbing the hill at a speed of forty miles an hour. The former carried probably seventy-five passengers, while the latter is believed to have been carrying at least 125 persons.

The two trains collided at about the middle of a long, sweeping curve three-quarters of a mile west of East Paris. On the inner side of the curve is a high embankment, preventing a view of the track ahead. When the engines met one turned completely over and lay with its nose in a direction opposite to that in which it had been traveling. The other climbed the wreckage of the first, its boiler, torn from the trucks, standing erect in the center of the debris.

Investigation by the Pere Marquette officials into the cause of the wreck has brought out some conflicting statements. Operator F. M. BOOTH at McCords states most emphatically that when he received orders to hold the westbound train at McCords he immediately displayed the red light and set the board against the approaching train.

Engineer WATERMAN, his fireman and Conductor NEIL all state that the signal lamp was burning, but that instead of a red light it displayed a white light.

Ogdensburg Advance and St. Lawrence Weekly Democrat New York 1904-01-01




Grand Rapids, Mich., Dec. 27. -- Tonight the death list resulting from the head-on collision between two Pere Marquette railway passenger trains near East Paris yesterday evening stands at twenty-two, with thirty-eight persons injured, several of them probably fatally.

The Dead:
MR. and MRS. J. L. BALDWIN, Muiliken, Mich.
LOUIS BALDWIN, their son.
MRS. DAISY GILES, Lowell, Mich.
BURT MYERS, Grandville, Mich.
WALTER JORDAN, Grand Rapids, Mich.
JOSEPH HULM, colored, Windsor, Ont.
AUSTIN I. WAGNER, baggageman, Detroit, Mich.
CHARLES A. STODDARD, Detroit, engineer No. 6.
CHARLES A. DEVINE, Grand Rapids.
WILLIAM HELMRICH, Detroit, baggageman.
F. M. GILLETT, Burr, Ok., or Portland, Mich.
ALLEN H. WELLS, Big Rapids, Mich.
FRANK BURNS, Detroit, Mich, fireman No. 5.
PETER W. WIERENGE, Grand Rapids, Mich.
GEORGE PALMER, Detroit, Mich., American Express agent No. 5.
WILLIAM SMITH, Saranac, Mich.
E. F. COYKENDALE, Lake Odema, Mich.
A. F. MAY, car repairer, Grand Rapids, Mich.
_____ PETERSON (or THOMPSON) Sioux City, Iowa.
One unidentified Man.