Enderlin, ND Train Wreck, Dec 1906

Enderlin ND Circa 1907



St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 23. -- Nine persons are known to be dead, six others are fatally injured, and at least twenty-five others were hurt in the wreck today of an eastbound accommodation train on the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad at Enderlin, N.D.
The train from Moose Jaw, Canada, is due at Enderlin at 11:45 P.M., but last night was about two hours late. The engineer was running at high speed to make up lost time. As he swung around a curve just before entering the yards at Enderlin, a switch engine was shifting a string of box cars to a side track. The cars did not clear the main track, and the passenger train hit the switch engine head on. It is supposed that the passenger train had made up more time than had been realized by the crew of the switch engine.
Both engines were wrecked and the passenger cars were thrown in confusion down a small embankment at the side of the track. Several of the day coaches were turned bottom side up and the passengers pinned beneath the wreckage, which took fire from the car stoves. The engineers and firemen on both engines leaped and saved their lives.
The passenger train was heavily loaded with people going to spend the holidays.
Enderlin is the divisional headquarters of the railroad, and a rescue party was soon at hand endeavoring to release the imprisoned passengers. Many persons were in imminent danger from the flames, which were fast spreading through the cars. The roofs of the overturned cars were broken open, and the dead and injured taken out as quickly as possible.
It was a race between the rescuers and the flames, but by unusual efforts all of the injured were removed before the flames reached them.
Nine bodies were taken out and laid beside the track, while the injured were taken in hastily improvised ambulances to hospitals and hotels.
All the fatalities occurred in the smoking car, which was telescoped by the baggage car. Here also were most of those who were injured, only two occupants of this car escaping injury. There are only four physicians in Enderlin, and a special train with physicians and nurses was hastily made up at Valley City and rushed to Enderlin.
Only a few passengers in the day coaches were injured. None of the sleepings cars left the track, and in these there were no casualties.
The dead are:
V. H. J. VOLKERING, Anamoose, N.D.
D. J. BERESFORD, Medicine Hat, Alberta.
W. J. DANIELSON, Sheldon, N.D.
A. O. ANDERSON, Starbuck, Minn.
One of the dead bodies has not been identified.

New York Times New York 1906-12-24


picture of passenger trqin wreck

Stu: I found your article on the North Dakota wreck online. I just found a picture of a passenger train derailment at a local antique dealers; it shows several cars off the tracks, some on their sides; persons standing along side, a small ravine on the near side with what appears to be a nurse descending into it to treat or talk with a small group of men. There are caskets along side the tracks as well. No signs of fire that I can detect, however. There are no identifying notes anywhere on this photo, nor does it show an engine with logo to tell what RR it is. The dealer said he had been told the location may be the Black Hills, because of the terrain. There is snow on the ground as well. The dealer has the original which he picked up at an estate sale. Sorry I have no other information; I am looking to see if anyone could identify this. Because of the clothing, I assume the date would be somewhere in the early 1900s. No sign of a town in close proximity either.