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Danville, VA Mail Train Wreck, Sept 1903

Southern Mail Flyer No. 97, Demolished near Danville, Va., Killing Nine, Injuring Seven.

Four Postal Clerks Among the Dead and All of the Injured Men Were of the Railway Mail Service - Engineer and Conductor Killed.


Left New York Shortly After Midnight and Was Due in Atlanta a Few Minutes After 11 O'Clock Last Night- Train Was Utterly Demolished in the Fearful Wreck - Details of the Accident.

Following are the names of the known dead and hurt in the wreck of No. 97, Southern railway, near Danville, Va., there being nine killed and seven injured out of the sixteen persons on the train:
JAMES A. BRODIE, engineer, Statesville, N. C.
J. THOMAS BLAIR, conductor, Central, N. C.
A. G. CLAPP, fireman (white), Greensboro, N. C.
JOHN L. THOMPSON, postal clerk, Washington, D. C.
W. T. CHAMBERS, postal clerk, Midland, Va.
D. T. FLORY, postal clerk, Nokesville, Pa.
F. N. ARDANRIGHT, postal clerk, Mount Clinton, Va.
S. J. MOODY, flagman, Raleigh, N. C.

LOUIS W. SPIRES, postal clerk, Manassas, Va.
FRANK E. BROOKS, postal clerk, Charlottesville, Va.
PERCIVAL INDEMEYER, postal clerk, Washington.
CHARLES E. REAMES, postal clerk, Culpepper, Va.
JENNINGS J. DUNLOP, postal clerk, Washington.
M. C. MAUPIN, postal clerk, Charlottesville, Va.
J. HARRISON THOMPSON, postal clerk, St. Luke, Va.

W. F. PINCKNEY, express manager.

Charlotte, N. C., September 27 -“ While running at a high rate of speed, No. 97, the Southern railway's southbound fast mail train, jumped from a trestle 75 feet high, half a mile north of Danville, Va., this afternoon at 2:50 o'clock and as almost demolished. Of the crew of sixteen men on the train, eight were killed and seven injured, and one was unhurt. The ninth person killed was a boy, the son of Postal Clerk THOMPSON.
All of the injured men are seriously hurt and have been carried to the hospital in Danville. The recovery of Mail Clerk SPIERS is not expected and other clerks are though to have received mortal injuries.
The trestle where the accident occurred is 500 feet long and is located on a sharp curve. Engineer BRODIE was a new man on that division of the Southern and it is said that he came to the curve at a very high rate of speed.
The engine had gone only about 50 feet on the trestle when it sprang from the track, carrying with it four mail cars and an express car. The trestle, a wooden structure, also gave way for a space of 90 feet.

Entire Train Reduced To Pile Of Splinters
At the foot of the trestle is a shallow branch with a rocky bottom. Striking this the engine and cars were reduced to a mass of twisted iron and steel and pieces of splintered wood. As the cars went down they touched the sides of the Riverside cotton mill, which is very close to the trestle.

Continued on page 2

article | by Dr. Radut