Hartsville, SC Baggage Car Fire, Apr 1911


Two Dead and Six Injured at Hartsville.


While Victims Sleep, Flames Burst Forth-One of Dead is Hartsville Man.

Special to The State.

Hartsville, April 8.-One of the most horrible accidents that have ever occurred in Hartsville happened this morning at 5 o'clock in the baggage coach of the negro show, "Silas Green." which was sidetracked in the Atlantic Coast Line yards. After closing an engagement of two days here, the troupe had packed and was ready to leave when fire was discovered in the baggage car. In this car were eight negro men, five Shetland ponies, a horse, a mule, trunks and other paraphernalia. It appears that the men, having worked hard, had fallen asleep. The doors of the car were closed, as a heavy rain had fallen during the night. As the fire burned on top and on the side, a natural inference would be that the fire was caused from ignited gas, but it is denied that there was any gas in the car.

Two Dead.

One man was taken from the car dead, being horribly burned about the face, hands and feet. One of the injured, WILLIE DUNDEE, Hartsville negro, died later. The others, six in number, were sent to the hospital at Sumter. All are very seriously hurt. Three are thought to be fatally injured. The physicians of the town have done all in their power to relieve the suffering of the injured, the wounds have been carefully dressed, and it is hoped that three will recover.

Pitiful Sight.

It is a pitiful sight. The faces of some are burned almost beyond recognition.

Three of the five Shetland ponies are dead, and two are injured.

The show is entirely a negro aggregation. There are 40 in the troupe, which has headquarters at Milwaukee, Wis. The owner is EPHRIAM WILLIAMS, the business manager R. C. PUGGSLEY.

The show travels in two cars, and its exhibits, consisting mostly of minstrel numbers and acting ponies, takes place in a large tent. It has been well received in the towns visited. The show came here Thursday morning from Darlington, and was to have appeared in Timmonsville tonight and Florence Monday and Tuesday.

What effect the loss, amounting to about $1,500, and the death and serioius injury of several of the employees will have on the show is not known. Much sympathy is felt here for the sufferers.

Magistrate TYSON held an inquest over the body of the negro who was taken out dead.

The State, Columbia, SC 9 Apr 1911