Coldwater, MS Train Wreck, Feb 1909


Chicago Flyer Rushes Into “Cocked” Switch at Coldwater, Miss.-One Person Dead and Nearly a Score Injured-Miscreant Turned Switch.

Meager details have been received telling of a wreck at Coldwater, Miss., as a result of which one person is dead and several are injured. The accident happened in front of the post-office at Coldwater, the train hitting an open switch and every car turning over except the last Pullman. MARTIN STANLEY of 1083 Raymurn Boulevard, Memphis is dead.

The more seriously injured are:
George Barnett, engineer, 1024 Patton Avenue, Memphis, badly scalded and bruised.
J.A. McDonald, postal clerk, Raines station.
Three or four other postal clerks are reported injured.
Unknown Italian.
J.T. Talbert, president Commercial National Bank, Chicago, slightly injured.
E.W. Washburn, instructor in chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., back sprained.
F.E. Lackman, St. Louis, cut in hand and injured about neck.
Mrs. Eleanor Marx, New York City, private secretary to Dr. C.H. Parkhurst, slightly injured.
Ike Cohen, 1519 South Compton street, St. Louis, badly bruised about body and cut seriously.
George B. Matthews, express man, legs broken.
Musco Victoria, stealing a ride, badly crushed and cut.
Hugh Wickley, 482 Johnson Avenue, Memphis, badly hurt.
J.F. Stevens, 196 Union Avenue, Memphis, bruised and internally injured.
J.T. Neuderfer, superintendent of the Mississippi division of the Illinois Central, knocked unconscious and badly bruised about the face and head.
E.D. Cameron, baggage man, legs broken.
Mrs. C.L. Harbert, Brownsville, Tenn., arm and face cut and teeth knocked out.
Frank Jones, negro porter, slightly hurt.
Frank Malone, negro, badly injured.
L.F. Lieber, postal clerk, cut about the head and shoulders.
H.T. Euges, negro porter, slightly hurt.
A relief train was rushed to the scene from Memphis. The train wrecked was the Chicago Flyer.

Work Of A Wrecker

The train, traveling at a high rate of speed and thirteen minutes late, ran into what is known as a “cocked” switch-about half thrown-the danger lantern only half showing and out of the vision of the engineer. The engine turned completely over and crashed into the wall of a compress. The mail and baggage car were splintered and a Pullman and the library car were derailed.

The other coaches which made up the train remained on the track.

Superintendent H. McCourts, who went to the scene early today,. Returned to Memphis late this afternoon and declared that every indication was the outcome of a deliberate attempt. The position of the switch, one that had not been used for several days, he considered ample evidence, and said that developments would probably follow shortly. That the wreck was accomplished by a man who had been ejected from a train of the road several days ago is the belief of the railroad officials.

The crash of the wreck was heard for a mile in the country. Farmers up at that hour drove to the scene and turned their wagons into ambulances. The residence of Mrs. Sam Sneed of Coldwater was temporarily made a hospital, and the injured taken there and cared for by the local physicians until the arrival of the relief train from Memphis.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, Biloxi, MS 9 Feb 1909