Knobnoster, MO Train Wreck, Jul 1908

Knobnoster, MO Train Wreck, Jul 1908

KNOBNOSTER, Mo.,  July 2. -- Six persons were killed and at least thirty six injured two miles east of here when the fast California special train from St. Louis on the Missouri Pacific collided with the St. Louis special train from Kansas City at 5:20 this morning.

Both trains were going at full speed.  The California special left St. Louis on time last night, carrying five cars, including two mail cars.  The train from Kansas City was held two hours to await the two cars of discharged soldiers from Fort Leavenworth.  This train carried eight cars.

A. Strang, train dispatcher at Sedalia, issued an order for the trains to meet at Knobnoster. Later this order was changed and the meeting place fixed at Lamonte, seven miles eas of here.  Whether the dispatcher at Sedalia failed to deliver the train order to the crew of the St. Louis train or the operator of at Lamonte erred in not flagging the train is a mystery for the official investigation.

Both engineers reversed their engines and jumped.  The impact of the two engines threw both of the engines off the track. The cars piled up on the wreckage, four cars on the St. Louis train and three cars on the train from Kansas City leaving the rails.

J. S. Snediker, superintendent of the Missouri Pacific at Ossawatomie, Kan., was a passenger on the train from St. Louis.  Wrecking trains were ordered from Sedalia and Kansas City. The dead and injured were taken to Sedalia.

Riverside Independent Enterprise, Riverside, CA 3 Jul 1908


The dead:

MICHAEL J. BURK, lineman for Western Union Telegraph company, 28 years old, Poplar Bluff, Mo.

S. R. ENGLISH, lumberman, Olena, N.Y., and representative of Miller county

FRE DSTORY [sic], lineman Western Union Telegraph company, Frankin, Ky.

W. J. FIRSBIE, St. Louis, salesman for Robert, Rand Shoe company.

JOHN HOOD, Hurley, Mo., lineman

W. H. HARDING, negro mail clerk, St. Louis.

BAGGAGEMAN CAMPBELL and two assistants.

Idaho Statesman, Boise, ID 3 Jul 1908



A Charge of Manslaughter Against the Missouri Pacific Operator at Lamonte.

SEDALIA, MO., July 8. -- Charles Taylor, a Missouri Pacific telegraph operator at Lamonte, who was on duty on the night when two Missouri Pacific passenger trains collided head on near Knobnoster last week, was arrested at Dresden, today on charge of manslaughter.  Eight persons were killed about thirty injured in the collision. Taylor and a dispatcher, F. W. Strange of this city, were held responsible by the coroner's jury.  Strange has not been arrested.

Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO 9 Jul 1908