Corwin Station, OH Circus Train Wreck, Sept 1888

Almost the first body found was that of Benjamin Cisbey, who was dead. A row of mattresses was laid upon the grass at the side of the track and upon these the wounded were placed. As soon as the collision occurred the doctors from Waynesville were summoned and did all they could for the wounded. As the work proceeded "Jack" Lacey was found dying. When the searchers found Frank Smith, colored, he was completely doubled up under a pile of timbers, dead. John Clifford was alive when taken from the wreck and talked rationally, but died an hour later from the effects of his injuries. Superintendent Ralph Peters, with a special train and physicians from this city and Morrow, arrived at 5:30 and the work of searching the wreck was soon finished and the doctors completed their examination and a schedule of fatalities of the wreck was made. It was as follows:


JOHN CLIFFORD, aged 60, Xenia, Ohio, died within an hour after the accident;
BENJAMIN CISBEY, aged 35 years, Grafton, West Va., killed outright; FRANK SMITH, aged 25, (colored) Richmond, Ind. killed outright;
JACK LACEY, aged 33, Chicago, killed outright.


B. Brown, Holliday's Cove, West Va., back badly hurt; John Mott, Cincinnati, shoulder crushed;
Andrew Smith, Petersburg, Ill., paralyzed;
Frank Larking, Jackson, Tenn., leg crushed;
Elmore Fairbanks, Coolville, Athens County, Ohio, badly bruised and cut; Dave Harrison, Delaware, Ky., body bruised and cut;
William Hopkins, Franklin, West Va., bruised and cut;
John Gardiner, Martin County, Ind., right leg hurt;
George Williams, Princeton, Ind., hurt in chest;
Albert McCarty, Tipton, Ind., hurt on the head;
Samuel Wright, Coal Valley, West Va., hip hurt;
Louis Butler, Lexington, Ky., bruised and cut;
Joseph Moncrief, La Platte, Mo., hurt on the head;
Edward Taylor, Louisville, Ky., leg hurt;
Dick Don, Mt. Sterling, Ky., hurt in neck and shoulders;
George Powell, Beverly, O., left side hurt;
Wm. Edwards, Newark, O., scalp and face wounds.

Besides these many others were injured, but refused to permit any surgical examination until the train should reach Morrow. Dr. John W. Schockey, Coroner of Warren County, went to the scene of the wreck on the special with Superintendent Peters and received the four dead bodies and turned them over to the railroad company. The bodies were placed in charge of Undertaker A. Malitt, who drove them to the railroad warehouse at Corwin, where they were prepared for burial.

The wounded received the careful attention of Dr. Kells and his assistants. Close examination found only eight seriously hurt and these were placed in an improvised hospital car and, in charge of Dr. Kells, brought to the Good Samaritan Hospital in this city. The circus train was made up and in a rear car the not seriously wounded were placed and sent to Morrow in charge of Dr. Mounts. After the wounded had been removed the circus train was sent on to its destination at Morrow. The wrecked sleepers Milford and Madisonville were piled up with the other debris and burned. The work of clearing away the wreck was pushed so rapidly that by 3 o'clock in the afternoon only the fine pieces of sticks and the spots colored by the blood of the mangled victims remained to show where, only 12 hours before, had occurred the most terrible wreck in the history of the Little Miami Railroad of of John Robinson's circus. The cause of the collision was due to the extreme carelessness of the train men. The question whether both crews are to blame or only one, and if one crew, which one, has not been settled.

The New York Times, New York, NY 10 Sept 1888