Gower, MO Train Plunges Through Bridge, Aug 1875



A frightful accident occurred on the St. Louis and St. Joseph Branch of the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern Railroad on the morning of the 17th, by which one man, a St. Louis drummer, named ANGLINN, was killed, three mortally, and forty more or less seriously wounded.
A Gazette reporter says:
The train wrecked was the morning express from St. Louis. It was in charge of conductor SANDERSON, and at the time of the accident was running at the rate of eighteen miles an hour. Upon reaching the trestle bridge that spans Castle Creek, three miles south of Gower, and twenty-five miles south of St. Joseph, the engineer slackened the train's speed. Just before reaching the farther side, the engineer hearing the timbers crash, put on a full head of steam and let the steam brakes off.
The bridge fell almost immediately, the baggage, smoking and passengers cars going down, and the engine and tender just safely landed on the further side. The three coaches lay toppled over on their sides in the gulch, twenty feet below, terribly demolished.
The scene at once became one of fearful excitement. The screams of the wounded and terrified passengers were heart rending. Those who were uninjured, set themselves speedily to work to rescue the less fortunate. The engineer started for Gower and summoned assistance and telegraphed to St. Joseph for physicians and aid. Dr. H. P. Sanders, of Gower, was at the scene of the accident by noon, and did all in his power to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded.
The farmers residing in the vicinity of the accident turned out with their families en masse and contributed largely towards mitigating the painful condition of the sufferers. At 2 o'clock a special train arrived from St. Joseph, with Drs. Malin, Smith and Barnes, and medical supplies subsequently. An inquest was held on the remains of ANGLINN by Squire F. Beck, of Plattsburg, and verdict of accidental death was rendered. It seems that ANGLINN endeavored to leap from the car window when he saw the bridge give way, but became entangled in some way, and was crushed and mangled frightfully, death ensuing almost immediately. Captain W. H. B. WARREN, who has since died from the effects of his injuries, was seated in ladies' passenger coach at the time of the accident. He was thrown violently forward against one of the seats, receiving two frightful contusions and gashes on each side of the head, below and back of the ears, each gash measuring four inches. He did not regain consciousness after the accident. A rather singular fact is that not one of the many children on the train was injured. General RENICK, of this city, seeing passenger cars falling, seized two of Mayor HOSEA'S little children under his arms and leaped up as high towards the roof of the car as he could, thus breaking considerable of the shock of the fall. The special train returned to St. Joe at 6 o'clock, bringing the dead and wounded when they were taken to the Pacific House where they now are. There is but one explanation of the accident; the bridge was rotten.

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