Bostian's Bridge, NC Train Disaster, Aug 1891

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Bostian's Bridge NC.jpg

THE GREAT WRECK !!

A FRIGHTFUL ACCIDENT.

TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE KILLED.

A PASSENGER TRAIN JUMPS THE TRACK ON BOSTIAN'S BRIDGE THIS MORNING -- LIST OF THE KILLED AND WOUNDED -- AN OCCURRENCE WITHOUT PARALLEL IN THE HISTORY OF THE STATE.

The most horrible disaster in the history of railroading in North Carolina occurred at 2 o'clock this morning at Bostian's bridge over Third Creek, two miles west of Statesville. At that hour west-bound passenger train, No. 9, which had passed Statesville on time at 1:52 a.m., was hurled from the top of the bridge a distance of 60 to 75 feet, the engine, tender, baggage and second class car, the first class coach, the Pullman sleeper car "Saluda" and the private car of Superintendent R. R. BRIDGERS, all going overboard. The bridge was swept clear of iron from end to end.
GEORGE BOWLEY, traveling for the Atlanta Rubber Company, and one or two other passengers who made their wasy from the car alive, came on foot to town and gave the news of the accident. In a little while the town was aroused, citizens in vehicles began hastening to the scene and the work of rescue began. Some of the passengers had crawled from the car and were perched, dazed, on their tops. Axes were put to work and the cars cut open, and so many of the passengers as could be found were dragged out -- some dead, some alive.
By dawn great crowds of people were on the ground and nothing was left undone. The dead and wounded were brought to town -- the wounded disposed of at the hotels and private houses, the dead laid side by side on the floor of the Farmers' Tobacco Warehouse, and the bodies tagged.
How many were killed or drowned it is yet impossible to learn. Nineteen dead bodies had been taken out up to 10 o'clock, but it appears probable that others are yet in the water under the cars. Twenty-five is probably not an overestimate of the number dead.

LIST OF THE DEAD.
Below is as complete a list as can be had up to this hour, 10:30, of the number who were killed or who lost their lives in the water:
Engineer WM. WEST, Salisbury.
Fireman WARREN FRY, Salisbury.
Baggage Master HUGH K. LINSTER, Statesville.
W. M. HOUSTON, merchant, Greensboro.
PERRY BARNETT, Ashville.
SAMUEL GORMAN, Ashville.
CHARLES BENNETT, Hendersonville.
JULE THEFER, Traveling Salesman
W. J. FISHER, Camppello, S. C.
W. E. WINSLOW, Asheville.
MR. DAVIS, Statesville, (one-legged man.)
J. B. AUSTIN, Hickory.
Lady, Unknown, ticket in pocket reading "Mrs. George McCormick and Mother," Elmwood to Alexander's.
Unknown Old Lady.
Unknown Lady, ring on finger inside of which is engraved, "T. H. W. to M. R. R."
Unknown Colored Man.
MRS. POOL, Williamston, drowned but body not recovered.
T. BRODIE, New York, traveling for a glove house, killed but body not recovered.
REV. JAS. M. SIKES, Clarksville, Tenn.
DOCK WELLES, colored porter.

The Injured:
GEORGE BOWLEY, Atlanta, injured but walked to town.
Conductor SPAUGH, hurt but will live.
Sleeping Car Conductor H. C. CLEPPER, head cut, arm and ankle sprained.
Colored Sleeping Car Porter.
O. W. LAWSON, Louisville, Ky.
MISS LUELLEN POOL, Williamston, N. C.
MRS. R. C. MOORE, Helena, Ark.
MISS OPHELIA MOORE, daughter of last named lady, supposed to be dying at the residence of A. J. EVANS as this report closes.
A. L. SINK and Wife, of Lexington, both seriously injured, he now dying at residence of J. BOSTIAN.
B. M. ESTES, JR., Memphis, Tenn., hurt but will live.
Flagman SHOAF, Lexington, N. C., hurt but will live.
JOHN GAZE, Asheville, injured, not seriously.
State Auditor GEORGE W. SANDERLIN, painfully hurt but not dangerously -- now at residence of JOHN S. McRORIE.
PATRICK E. RANSOM, of Northampton county, son of Senator M. W. RANSOM, cut on head -- not dangerously-- at residence of W. E. ANDERSON.
R. E. JOHNSON, newsboy, saved and at the residence of JOHN S. McRORIE.

Escaped Unhurt.
COL. BENNEHAN CAMERON, of Raleigh, a member of the Governor's staff.
OTTO RAMSEY, Norfolk, Va.
WORTH ELLIOTT, Hickory.

The Wreck And The Cause.
The train fell from the north side of the track. The engine lies partly up the embankment on the west side of the creek. The first-class coach lies on top of the second-class and Superintendent BRIDGER'S car partly covers the sleeper.
It is supposed that as the engine, which was making 25 to 30 miles an hour on a down grade, struck the bridge, the track spread. Why it should have done so is unaccounted for by the fact that the ends of the ties at the approach to the bridge were found to be rotten.

Incidents.
Engineer WEST was found pinioned under his cab. Within arms reach of him were the bodies of two of the unknown female passengers -- how their bodies got from the first-class coach to the engine will never be known.
MISS LUELLEN POOL held the head of her mother out of the water until her strength was exhausted when the head dropped and the mother drowned.
Parts of the sleeper and of the first-class coach are in the water.
Superintendent BRIDGERS was not aboard. His car was being hauled empty to Asheville.
A car load of convicts arrived from Newton early in the morning and the wreck is being cleared. The bridge is not damaged in the least and trains will soon be running over it.

The Very Latest.
At 11:30 o'clock there are 21 dead bodies in town and three of the injured are dying. The list grows.

THE DAY AFTER THE WRECK.

REVISED LIST OF CASUALTIES.

TWENTY-TWO KILLED, 26 WOUNDED.

ACCURATE PARTICULARS CONCERNING THE DEAD AND INJURED OF THE GREAT WRECK -- WIDESPREAD PUBLIC INTEREST IN THE DISASTER.

The foregoing account from The Landmark of yesterday, of the great wreck on the Western North Carolina Raillroad yesterday morning at 2 o'clock, was surprisingly accurate, and only needs amplification now from the fact that some ot the then unidentified have been identified since and that a few facts not then known have since developed.
We are enabled at this time to present absolutely accurate statements as to the dead and wounded and the lists follows:
The Dead.
DOCK WELLES, colored porter, of Salisbury.
REV. J. M. SIKES, of Clarksville, Tenn.
J. B. AUSTIN, Hickory.
A. DAVIS, Statesville.
W. M. HOUSTON, Greensboro.
CHARLES BARNETT, Asheville.
W. E. WINSLOW, Asheville.
PERRY BARNETT, Asheville.
SAML. GORMAN, Asheville.
W. J. FISHER, Campobello, S. C.
CHAS. G. WEBBER, Pittsburg, Pa.
J. C. BRODIE, Chicago.
WARREN E. FRY, fireman, Salisbury.
WM. A. WEST, engineer.
HUGH K. LINSTER, baggagemaster, Statesville.
MRS. GEO. McCORMACK, Rowan county.
MRS. PAGE, her daughter, Rowan county.
MRS. SUE E. POOL, Williamston
MRS. FRANK H. WHITE, Memphis, Tenn.
MISS OPHELIA MOORE, Helena, Ark.
HENRY PATTERSON, colored.
An Unknown white man with a ticket reading from Reidsville, N. C., to Corinth, Miss., and supposed from name on Testament on his person to be one A. L. BIGHAM.
Total, 22.

The Wounded.
WILL BRADFORD, Asheville, slightly.
JOHN GAZE, Asheville, slightly.
MARSHALL NIX, Asheville, slightly.
BENJ. SMITH, Reidsville, cut in face.
COL. H. C. DEMING, Harrisburg, Pa., slightly.
C. A. BAILEY, Danville, Va., slightly.
ANDREW GWYN, colored, slightly.
JIM DOBBINS, colored, slightly.
GEORGE BOWLEY, Atlanta, Ga., slightly.
Conductor J. F. SPAUGH, Salisbury, slightly.
H. C. CLEPPER, sleeping car conductor, slightly.
O. W. LAWSON, Louisville, Ky., slightly.
J. M. BROWN, Salisbury, slightly.
Flagman CHAS. L. SHOAF, Lexington, slightly.
State Auditor GEORGE W. SANDERLIN, Raleigh, slightly -- painful bruises the whole length of right side.
PATRICK E. RANSOM, Northampton county, slightly -- head cut in three places, finger cut, eye contused -- injuries superficial.
MR. STREETER, Person county, slightly.
OTTO RAMSEY, Norfolk, Va., slightly.
SAML. CARTER, Asheville, slightly.
MISS LUELLEN POOL, Williamston, painfully but not dangerously.
MRS. R. C. MOORE, Helena, Ark., badly but will likely recover.
A. L. SINK, Lexington, badly; thigh crushed and condition critical but better today than yesterday.
MRS. A. L. SINK, badly; cut on head and face and ugly gash in back; in rather better condition than her husband and has improved since yesterday.
R. M. ESTES, JR., of Memphis, Tenn., rather seriously; passed a bad night but his recovery expected.
R. E. JOHNSON, news boy, badly cut and condition grave but not alarming; is better today than yesterday.
J. F. HOLLER, Crossing, Catawba county, badly hurt but recovery expected.
Total, 26.

The Landmark Statesville North Carolina 1891-08-27