Columbiana, AL Train Wreck, Sep 1874
Selma, Ala., Sept 24-A South bound train of six cars on the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad went through the bridge over Waxahatchie creek, sixty feet high, at daylight this morning. The train is a total wreck. The engineer, fireman and several passengers were killed-the balance were nearly all wounded; many dangerously. Among the killed were Judge W. M. Byrd, ex-Judge of the State Supreme Court, a prominent and much beloved citizen of Selma. Particulars are hard to get.
(The New-Orleans Times, Sep 25, 1874, p. 1, col. 4, digital image online, www. genealogybank.com)
The Alabama Railroad Accident-Columbiana, Ala., telegrams to the Montgomery Advertiser give brief particulars of the accident on the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad, on Thursday, which was reported by telegraph. The south-bound mail train, it is stated, broke through Waxahatchie Bridge, fifty-five feet high, with but one span, at 4:30 in the morning. The whole train of three freight and one baggage car and the first and second-class coaches, and engine, is a wreck. The casualties were:
Killed.-C. Duncan, engineer; Henry Melton, negro fireman; Judge W. M. Byrd, of Selma, and Rev. Mr. Willis, of Marion.
Dangerously Wounded-Mrs. A. G. Pitner, of Rome, Ga.; Mrs. Willis, Mr. and Mrs. Lide, Mr. Crenshaw and wife, of Marion, Ala.; Mrs. Carlisle, of Selma; Mrs. Lockett, George Switz; A. J. Neal, Dock England; John Bacon, of Selma.
Slightly Hurt-Mr. McLaughlin, of Birmingham; Mr. Barnes, of Alabama Furnace; William Blake, of Mobile; Henry Wilson, of Montevallo; Frank D. Butt, of Ludlow, Ky.; I. T. Tichenor, of Auburn; J. W. Schultz, W. B. Davis, and W. L. McGara, of Selma.
Many escaped without a scratch. The bridge was a new one, and has not been used more than one year.
(The New York Times, Sep 29, 1874, online archives)
The grand jury of Shelby have found true bills against James Baxley and Jasper Coker, whites, and McAfee, negro, charged with the Waxahatchie bridge disaster, on the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad, last September.
(Alabama State Journal (Montgomery, AL), Apr 16, 1875, Issue 15; col 4, digital image, GaleGroup.com)