Lincoln, NE Rock Island Passenger Train Wrecked, Aug 1894


Awful Disaster on the Rock Island Road.


Heap of Ashes and Twisted Iron Left to Tell the Story.


Evidence That a Fiendish Crime Has Been Perpetrated -- Spikes Were Drawn and Fish Plates Were Loosened So That the Train Left the Track as Soon as It Struck the Bridge -- Harrowing Stories of the Survivors -- Only One Man of the Twenty-Four Thought to Have Been Killed by Fire, as the Others Were Probably Crushed to Death Under the Wreck Before the Flames Spread.

Lincoln, Neb., Aug. 11. -- It was nearly dark yesterday evening before the frightful mass of debris occupying the ravine where the Rock Island express was wrecked and burned, a few miles south of this city had cooled sufficiently to enable the big crowd gathered at the place in the hope of learning something of the fate of friends or relatives to inspect the charred mass in detail, but any hope they may have entertained of securing from the great ash pile information as to the identity of those who lost their lives in the holocaust was soon blasted.
The tones of water thrown on the twisted relics of the train and the bed of embers had been insufficient to prevent every vestige of combustible matter being destroyed. Occasionally a charred skull or a partially burned human bone was raked from the bed of the furnace, but nothing more remained to tell the tale of those who went down with the ill fated train, and time was required to determine just how many persons were lost in the wreck. The list of killed and injured as furnished by the coroner swells the fatalaties to 24, and are as follows:
DR. C. H. PINNEY, Council Bluffs.
J. D. MAATTHEWS, commercial man, Omaha.
HARRY MORSE, Kansas City.
IKE DEPEW, engineer, Council Bluffs.
W. O. HAMBELL, lawyer, Fairbury, Neb.
C. D. STANNARD, conductor, St. Joseph.
JOHN MUNGER, grain dealer, Omaha.
H. R. PETERS, merchant, Council Bluffs.
E. H. ZERNIKE, lawyer, Lincoln, Neb.
Two unknown farmers.
ANDREW HANSEN, farmer, McPherson county, Neb.
Four unknown men.
CHARLES UNRUH, mother and son, Jansen, Neb.
A. B. EDDE, merchant, Pawnee, Neb.
M. BEAVER, merchant, Pawnee, Neb.
Two unknown farmers from Jansen, Neb.
Those marked as unknown are those passengers known to have been on the train by the brakeman and unaccounted for.
Colonel C. J. BILLS, Second regiment Nebraska National Guard, Fairbury; deep flesh wounds in left leg.
HENRY C. FOOT, brakeman, Council Bluffs; leg broken.
JAY McDOWELL, Fairbury; legs cut and face bruised.
C. H. CHERRY, mail clerk, Kearney; badly bruised and cut.
F. F. SCOTT, express messenger, injured internally.
MRS. FISH, wife of a Burlington and Missouri River engineer, badly bruised.
O. S. BELL, traveling man, Lincoln; internal injuries.
J. E. PUETZ, traveling man, Lincoln; internal injuries.
A passenger named SOMRET, hurt about the head.
MRS. FRITZ and sister-in-law, Lincoln; bruised.
The body of DR. PINNEY of Council Bluffs was found in the wreckage, and although fearfully burned and merely a mas of flesh it ws recognized by papers which escaped entire destruction. He was a prominent Iowa physician.