Glendale, OH Trains Collide In Flames, Jan 1890




Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 17. -- Glendale, a suburb fifteen miles out from here, is largely inhabited by leading business men and prominent citizens. A special accommodation train is run for the town by the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Road, stopping only at Winton-place. It was at this point to-night that a shocking collision occured. The accommodation had just begun to move away from the station when the Chicago vestibule train, drawn by one of the new strong engines and running from fifty to sixty miles an hour, plunged into its rear. In making up the accommodation the baggage car had been put on the rear end. To this is due the comparatively small loss of life.
The big engine plowed half way through the baggage car, pushing it and the two coaches in front off the track into a ditch. The stove in the baggage car set fire to it and the three cars were soon in a blaze, while a number of helpless people, pinned in the debris, were screaming for relief, or in their madness cursing their fate. The baggagemaster, BOB STEVENSON, and his assistant, as well as both the fireman and engineer of the vestibule train, were gotten out by hard work. All were terribly injured -- STEVENSON has just died -- while the others are believed to be fatally hurt. The scene about the burning cars was indescribable. The hundreds on the trains who had escaped uninjured, reinforced by hundreds from the adjoining suburbs, stood almost crazed with grief at their helplessness. A score of wounded persons were gotten out by heroic effort and laid in ghastly rows on the station floor.
Inside the blazing cars could be seen here and there forms caught by splintered timbers. They writhed and twisted in their awful agony, biting their flesh and tearing their hair. The number has not yet been definitely told because of the number missing and because of the possibility that all the bodies have not been found.
Two fire companies from Cincinnati were soon on the scene, and, with a relay of police, began searching the ruins. The body of JOHN H. WILSON, Superintendent of the New York Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, was the first one found and identified.
Two of those injured in the wreck have been received here at the hospital. Their names are JAMES STALEY, forty-nine years old, of Carthage, Ohio, terribly burned about the face and arms; WILLIAM KLAMITZ, also of Carthage, a plumber, aged nineteen, scalp wound and burned hands and arms.
MR. CHARLES NELSON, the new General Superintendent of the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railway, has just arrived from the scene of the wreck. He says the dead are JOHN WILSON, Superintendent of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of Cincinnati; residence, Winton-place; F. W. WITHERBEE, conductor, of 77, residence Toledo. An unkown[sic] woman. Two of the dead bodies are in the Morgue in this city. These are all the killed. They were burned to death.
The wounded are: JAMES STALEY, baggage master of train No. 77; residence Dayton, Ohio; terribly burned and scalded about the head and chest; he is in the Cincinnati Hospital suffering terribly. WILLIAM KLAMITZ, a passenger, a mere boy, plumber by trade, home Carthage, Ohio; seriously but not dangerously burned about head, face and hands. He is in the Cincinnati Hospital. WILLIAM COAGLEV, engineer of No. 31, and GEORGE MAGEE of No. 31, both hurt by jumping. These two men are at Winton Place receiving medical attention. Their injuries are reported slight.
No. 77 was an accommodation train of five cars from Glendale, due in this city at 7:05. No. 31 was the Chicago vestibule train of a baggage and three coaches, all the cars extremely long. No. 31 was due here at 7:10, only five minutes later that No. 77. No. 77 at the time of the accident was five minutes behind time on account of time lost by a previous train. Both 77 and 31 were in the same block, which is a violation of running orders. Superintendent NELSON says this was because the operator at Carthage gave No. 31 the wrong signal. That is according to his best information at the present moment.
No. 77, the accommodation, had stopped at Winton Place, and had just pulled out and rounded a curve, when No. 31 came thundering past. Side tracks at that place obscured the engineer's view till he got within 200 yards or less of the train in front. He reversed the engine, turned on the air brakes, and jumped. His was the Strong engine No. 1. Mr. Strong, the manufacturer, keeps an engineer with that engine all the time, but he never turns a throttle. Picked engineers in the employ of the road do that. This extra engineer did not jump. He sat like a statue on his seat and was not hurt, not even scratched. Not a passenger and not a car on No. 31 was hurt.
In Train No. 77 were thirty passengers, nearly all in the front car. All who were killed or injured were in the rear car, which was a combination baggage and smoker. The blow of Train No. 31 smashed this car and piled up the next two in front of it in a common wreck, and the two rear cars burned up. The Cincinnati police and the Fire Department from near stations rushed to the scene and citizens poured in from the polulous suburbs so that no one suffered or perished from delay in rescuing. Superintendent NELSON says he has been in the business twenty-one years, and this is the first case of death from accident under his supervision. It was only at midnight that passengers from the wreck arrived in Cincinnati.
Later. -- JAMES STALEY and WILLIAM KLAMITZ, at the Cincinnati Hospital, both died this midnight, making the killed five in number.

The New York Times New York 1890-01-18