Meadville, PA Train Wreck, Dec 1887

An Entire Passenger Train Wrecked By a Double-Header Freight Train

Wrecked by a Double-Header Freight

Meadville, Pa Dec 31,--At Eight o’clock this morning train No. 8, from the West, running fifty miles an hour, collided with a double-header freight four miles west of this city on the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio railroad. The entire passenger train is a total wreck, and forty persons are supposed to be killed.

All the physicians in the city and several hundred persons have gone to the scene by a special train

Meadville, Pa., Dec 31.-- 12:15 PM-- A report from the wreck just received says that only four persons are killed and three wounded. No passengers are reported killed.

Still Later
Meadville, Pa., Dec 31.-- ENGINEER SWANN, of the passenger train, ENGINEERS GOUGE and McFARLAND, of the double-header, and all the firemen are reported dead. All have families. It is said the number of wounded will reach one hundred.

Further Particulars--The Injured and the Killed

Meadville, Pa., Dec 31.-- The following particulars of the wreck have just been received here at 2 PM: The injured are all out of the wreck, and have arrived here by train, and are now at the hospital. The train men killed are: ARTHUR GREVIN, WILLIAM GAUGE and E.P. SWANN, of Meadville, and EDWIN HAINES, of Cambridge. The other dead man is a MR STEVENSON, a commercial traveler, from Toledo, who died after being taken from the wreck. The bodies of STEVENSON and HAINES are at the undertakers. The other dead are still in the wreck, and will not be recovered for several hours. The injured were all in the smoker, which was literally ground to kindling.

The Cincinnati sleeper had fourteen and the Chicago sleeper had sixteen passengers, all safe. Among the wounded are: JOSEPH BOYNTON, Meadville, express agent; PHILIP FOULK, San Francisco, right arm fractured; S.A. MALONE, Salamanca, right leg broken; ADOLF BUST, Cincinnati, both legs crushed;

The wreck was caused by the freight engineer leaving the Meadville yard in advance of orders. He was ordered to leave the yard as soon as train No. 8 arrived. He went in advance of its arrival. When YARDMASTER DECKER saw they were gone he boarded a switch engine and under all steam followed, but was unable to overtake the freight.

The scene at the wreck is horrible. Three engines are in a solid jam on the track, the baggage car and smoker are in kindling, the express car, a new Erie, is but slightly injured, although it ground both baggage and smoker to bits. Its strength, doubtless, saved the day coach from telescoping with the smoker.

Saturday Herald, Decatur, IL 7 Jan 1888


Five Engineers Killed

Pittsburgh, Pa. Dec 31,- The Leader’s Franklin, (Pa) special says that five engineers were killed in the Meadville collision. Twelve or fifteen other persons are severely injured, and there are many minor casualties.

Saturday Herald, Decatur, IL 7 Jan 1888




Seven Passengers Reported Killed Outright While a Large Number Are Injured--A Blinding Snow Storm Raging the While--Misunderstanding of Orders

Geneva, Pa., Dec 31--A fearful accident occurred on the main road of the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio, at 9:50 this morning, two miles east of Geneva, Pa. The passenger train between Chicago and Cincinnati to New York collided with Freight 23. The two engineers are killed and five passengers killed outright and about fifteen others either seriously or dangerously injured.

There is a blustering snow storm raging and the injured are suffering terribly. The accident occurred at Tracey’s cut, and was caused by a misunderstanding of train orders. It will be impossible to tell how many are injured until the debris is cleared away.

Both locomotives are standing upright in the air; the baggage express and two day coaches are all in a heap. The three Pullman sleepers did not leave the track, and the passengers in the sleepers were all O. K., outside of a little shaking up. The cars are not on fire. Tracy’s Cut is four miles west of Meadville, Pa.

All the physicians in Meadville and several hundred citizens have gone to the scene of the disaster by special train.

The Ohio Democrat, New Philadelphia, OH 5 Jan 1888


The following is [sic] killed:
Engineer E.P. SWAIN, of Meadville
Engineer WILLIAM GEORGE, of Meadville
Fireman ARTHUR IRWIN, of Meadville
Fireman EDWARD HUNER, of Cambridge, O
WILLIAM H. STEVENSON, of Toledo, O passenger on Train No 8, died soon after the collision.

The injured are:
H. E. HOLDEN, of New York, leg bruised
ADOLPH WAGNER, of Buffalo, N Y, leg broken
ADOLPH HOSEN, of Paterson, N J, leg crushed
H MELVEL, of Middlefield, Ont, one leg crushed and the other broken
MICHAEL O’BRIEN, boy of No 434 Thirteenth St, Buffalo, N Y, leg broken
F N NEWTON, of Shinglehouse, Pa., leg bruised
DAVID BEANLAND, of No 241 East Spruce st., Titusville, Pa leg broken
CHARLES E TREACH, of Sterling, Mass, leg broken
HORACE GRAHAM, fireman, returning from Kent, O, badly hurt across hips
M F WYMAN, brakeman, returning from Kent, O, foot crushed
JOSEPH BOYNTON, baggage man, leg cut, hand hurt and bruised about face and head
PHILIP FOULKE, San Francisco, Cal, arm hurt
J H WOODS, of Greenville, badly hurt
F A MALONE, of Salamanca, leg broken
ADOLPH BUST, of Cincinnati, leg crushed
? A CRUMB, fireman, crushed about head and shoulders

The Marion Daily Star, Marion, OH 2 Jan 1888


The body of ENGINEER SWANN was exposed, but it was so tightly wedged in the wreck that no attempt was then made to move it. A portion of the body of ENGINEER GOOGE, and also the arm and shoulder of FIREMAN IRWIN could be seen. The work of clearing the wreck was presented in the face of a driving storm and sleet that lasted the entire afternoon. Those of the passengers who were not injured were transferred and sent forward while the dead and wounded were brought to this city. The railroad officials did everything in their power for the comfort of the injured. Following is a list of casualties: Killed: ENGINEER SWANN, Meadville; ENGINEER GOOGE, Meadville; FIREMAN IRWIN, Meadville; FIREMAN HUME, Cambridge, O; WM. H. STEPHENSON, Toledo. Injured: H. E. HOHN, New York, leg crushed; ADOLPH WAGNER, Buffalo, leg broken; ADOLPH HOSEN, Patterson, N.J., leg crushed; H. MALVILLE, Middlefield, Ohio, one leg crushed and the other broken; MICHAEL O’BRIEN, Buffalo, N Y, leg broken; F N NEWTON, of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania., leg crushed; DAVID BEANLAND, Titusville, leg broken; CHARLES E FRENCH, of Sterling, Mass, leg broken; FOREST GRAHAM, Kent, Ohio, hips crushed; M. TWYMAN, brakeman, Kent, Ohio, feet crushed; JOSEPH BOCONON, baggage man, leg cut and body and face badly injured; PHILIP FOULKE, San Francisco, arm injured; J M WOODS, of Greenville, Pennsylvania, badly bruised; F A MALONE, of Salamanca, leg broken; ADOLPH BUSER, of Cincinnati, leg crushed; FIREMAN CHARLES CRUMB, bruised about head and shoulders.

The Standard, Ogden, UT 1 Jan 1888