Plymouth, NH Train Collision, Aug 1895




Plymouth, N.H., Aug. 8. -- One of the worst collisions that ever occurred on the White Mountain division of the Boston and Maine Railroad took place one mile south of here at 5:40 o'clock this morning. Three men met with instant death, several received injuries and ten or twelve passengers received a fearful shaking up. Train No. 64 the Cannon-ball express, due in Boston at 9:40, left Plymouth on time at 5:35 in charge of Conductor EUGENE BENNETT of Concord.
It is the only vestibuled train running over the road, and consisted of an engine, baggage-car and two passenger-coaches. About one mile south of here, when rounding a curve at the Keniston interval, the train rain into an extra freight northbound. The two trains met with a fearful crash plainly heard here. The engines were completely demolished, both being thrown over a twenty-foot embankment and reduced to kindling wood. The bodies of the dead were frightfully mangled and so scalded as to be hardly recognizable.
The killed were:
FRANK STEVENS of Lakeport, engineer of the Cannon-ball.
GEORGE MERRILL of Lakeport, fireman of the Cannon-ball.
HENRY G. LINES of Woodsville, fireman of the freight.
Among the passengers injured are:
W. J. RANDOLPH, Boston Globe correspondent, injury to right leg and hand.
W. M. ROGERS, Boston, slight injury to leg.
Conductor EUGENE BENNETT, Concord, gash on the right side of head.
FREEMAN DOWNING, baggage-master, injured in the shoulder.
ARTHUR AUSTIN, Haverhill, brakeman on freight, fracture of skull, in a precarious condition.
When the collision occurred the Cannon-ball was running at about thirty-five miles an hour, and as the morning was foggy it was impossible to see more than a few yards ahead of the train. Fourteen new freight cars just from the shops were stove into pieces, as were the locomotives, one of them also new.
There is only a single track from Plymouth to Ashland, and as the accident occurred on a curve telegraph and telephone poles were destroyed for several hundred feet, and all communication by wire was cut off.
As soon as the news of the disaster had reached Plymouth crowds went to the scene of the wreck, and all possible assistance was given to the injured. The doors of the Pemigewassett House were thrown open to all who wished their injuries cared for, and they were attended by surgeons.
The freight was in charge of Conductor L. J. TYLER of Woodsville and Engineer MOSES T. EATON. Engineer EATON has just been transferred from the northern to the White Mountain division of the Boston and Maine, and was learning the road. His escape was miraculous. The first he knew of the affair was a crash, and the next instant he was crawling from beneath the wrecked locomotives on his hands and knees. Although he is considerably injured the result will not be serious. The freight was running extra and was on the main line of the road on the exact time of the Cannon-ball train.

San Francisco Call California 1895-08-09