Whitehall, WI Train Wreck, Jul 1880

A Terrible Accident on the Green Bay & Minnesota Railroad.

The western bound train on G. B. & M. R. R., last Saturday met with a fearful accident when about half way between Whitehall and Independence. The bridge over what is a dry gully at times, became filled with water, and washed out the mud sills of the bridge bents, and as soon as the engine struck the bridge it gave way. The tender had about four tons of coal aboard which was turned up so that it all went into the cab of the engine, crushing the engineer and fireman against the boiler head, breaking the glass water register and opening all the steam cocks so that the men were so completely cooked that the flesh came off their bones. The engineer was GEORGE HUBER of Valparazo, Ind. He leaves a wife and three children, who met his remains in Chicago on Monday. The fatal trip was only the second since his return from his home, where he had been to bury one of his children. He was a fine man and an engineer of very high standing. The fireman was a young man from Two Rivers, Manitowoc county, in this state; his name we were unable to learn. The disaster occurred about 4 p. m., and it was 10 o'clock in the evening before the bodies were recovered from the wreck. GEORGE P. HEBARD, U. S. Mail agent of Plover, was the only other one that received any severe injuries. At the time of the accident a hole was broken into the end of the car and MR. HEBARD was thrown with force enough to go nearly through the hole, but the car in settling down closed the hole together and fastened him in so thoroughly that they were obliged to release him by the use of the saw and ax. He received three dangerous wounds on the head, one of which was three inches long, running from the crown down the back of the head, one over the right ear, and one deep cut where the head and neck join. Take it all in all HEBARD thinks it was a pretty close call to his being removed from his position, nevertheless “he is glad he is alive.” The mail car is a total wreck and still lies in the ditch. The rail on the opposite side of the bridge struck the front end of the boiler and ran about half way through it. The passenger coaches were not thrown from the track, as was first reported.

The Stevens Point Journal Wisconsin 1880-07-17