Columbia, PA Train Wreck, Aug 1857


An accident, resulting in the death of THOMAS ELLER, a resident of this place, occurred on Monday last, on the railroad in the rear of A. BEITER'S house. In the morning six cars became detached from a freight train going east when a mile or two out of Columbia, and, having no brakesman [sic], descended the heavy grade towards town with fearful velocity. By the presence of mind of the tender of one of the switches, MR. JOHN COLLINS, the cars were turned upon the south track, and instead of running at a most dangerous speed through town, were brought up by coming in contact with a train of stationary cars. Four of the latter, YEARSLEY'S coal cars, were thrown from the track and much broken. A force or workmen from the Penna. Railroad shops were sent to remove the wreck, and while in the act of raising one of the car bodies with jacks, in order to get it on the trucks, it swung from its support, crushing ELLER'S head and the upper part of his body against the wall of MR. BEITER'S house, killing him instantly.

The unfortunate man was in the employ of the Penna. Railroad Company, and bore the best character as a workman and a citizen. He was 31 years of age, and leaves a family.

The Columbia Spy Pennsylvania 1857-08-29