Eufola, NC Train Wreck Kills Chickens, Jul 1907


Nine Cars Derailed, Four Demolished and a Trainman Injured -- Train Carried Poultry, Cattle and Sheep and There was a Great Loss of Fowls.

While running at high speed about 10 o'clock Sunday morning, nine cars of an east-bound freight train were derailed at a point on the Western road one and a quarter miles east of the Catawba river, nine miles west of Statesville, and as a result Mr. W. H. Bible, of Midway, Tenn. is in the sanatorium here painfully injured, about 5,000 chickens, ducks and turkeys are dead or injured, four cars are demolished and the road bed was so badly damaged that traffic was delayed several hours.

The cause of the wreck is yet to be determined.  The train was in charge of Engineer Roby and Conductor Henry Tomlin (the latter formerly of Statesville) and consisted of about 20 cars, a number of which were loaded with cattle and sheep, in addition to three cars of poultry billed from Tennessee to New York city.  Engineer Roby claims that he was running only about 30 miles an hour, when nine cars suddenly left the track as the train was crossing a fill.  Four of the cars, including one of the poultry cars, were almost completely demolished, while the others only left the track, one of them, a poultry car, running some distance from the track before stopping.   The engine and four cars broke loose from the derailed cars and ran some little distance before they could be stopped, and the caboose and a number of the rear cars also remained on the track. Mr. Bible and another trainman, Mr. C. E. Brooks, were in charge of the poultry and cattle cars and at the time of the wreck were busy feeding the chickens.  When the first jolt was felt Mr. Brooks, who was in the third chicken car, ran to the door immediately, and seeing that the train was leaving the track, jumped far out in the bushes below the fill and escaped with only a few scratches.  The car containing Mr. Bible was one of the first to leave the track and the others piled on it, mashing poultry into jelly and covering Mr. Bible beneath the huge pile of splintered wood and iron.  As soon as the train stopped the trainmen rushed to the chicken cars.  When they saw the sickening sight of blood and flesh they decided that Mr. Bible was dead.  But a few minutes later groans were heard and after moving part of the debris a foot was discovered and a little later the injured man was pulled from his perilous position.

In the meantime the engine had proceeded to Eufola, a half mile away, put the cars on the siding and the engineering reported the wreck and returned to the scene.  Mr. Bible was placed on the engine and taken to Eufola.  No doctor was found there and after passenger train No. 21 from the east arrived and got on the siding, the engine brought the injured man to Statesville.  He was taken to the sanatorium and on examination it was found that he was badly bruised about the body and had received an ugly gash on the head.  Although very painful his injuries are not thought to be serious.