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The Kalispell bee. [volume] (Kalispell, Mont.) 1901-1901, August 31, 1901, Image 1

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The Kklispell
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VOL. II, NO. 64.
Runaway Freight Train Crashes
Passenger Train*
Thirty-Four Laborers Killed and Their Bodies Burned—
The Injured Number Fourteen—No Regular
Passengers Were Hurt.
The most frightful wreck in the his
tory of the Great Northern raiiroad
and one of the w.c-i. .u railroad his
tory of the United States occurred
near Nyack about 8 o'clock last night,
resulting in an appalling loss of life
and destruction of property. At the
present live dead bodies of victims of
the catastrophe lie In the morgue in
this city while thirteen others burned
and bruised in every conceivable
way are in the hospital. At the scene
of the wreck, amidst the ashes of the
wreckage, search is being made for
the bodies of 26 others who perished
in ihe flames of the burning coaches.
Among the dead are Assistant Gener
al Superintendent Downs of the Great
Northern, and his son who were in
their private car at the rear end of
the ill-fated train.
Passenger train No. 3, west bound,
while passing Nyack about 60 miles
east from Kalispell, was struck by
freight train No. 10, east bound, that
had broken loose at Essex, and com
ing down the steep mountain grade,
liae a meteor crashed into the rear
end of the passenger train, smashing
the three last cars to splinters and
the flames started from the overturn
ed lamps, literally roasted the Im
prisoned passengers to death.
The passenger was made up, count
ing from the rear end, of General Su
perintendent Down's special car and
next to that a car load of laborers
that had been shipped from Duluth
and were bound for Jennings, where
they were to be employed on the new
branch of the Great Northern. The
next car was the sleeper.
Ii was in the special car and the
one containing the laborers that the
great loss of life occurred.
The ill-fated train was passing Ny
ack at a speed of from 20 to 30 miles
an hour, the passengers laughing and
joking, entirely unsuspicious of their
approaching doom, when without
warning of any kind the crash came
The heavy freight train, made up ol
28 cars, the majority of them loaded,
came down the 14 miles of grade be
tween Essex and Nyack at an ever in
creasing speed, and at the time the
wreck occurred, was making ful.y 75
mites an hour.
rne trucks on the car of Superin
tendent Downs were knocked from
under it and several freight cars
loaded wi.h shingles were thrown by
the force of the collision on top of it
and the car containing the laborers.
Immediately fo lowing ihe shock the
wreckage caught tire and drove the
rescuers away, the intense heat
making it impossible to render any
assis ance. In the Down's special car,
containing three persons, Mr. Downs
nis son, and their cook, all were kill
ed. but the body of the cook was tak
en from the rains by means of long
pieces of wire that were looped a-ound
his limbs. The bodies of the father
and son were seen pinned under the
burning wreckage, but they were be
yond earthly help, and they were
soon lost to sight. It is not known
whether they were k lied or met their
death in the flames, but at any rate
their bodies were cremated, not the
slightest trace being found of them
afær the car was burned.
it was in the laborers car that the
loss of life was the greatest, only 16
out of the 47 men who had left Du
luth for Jennings being accounted
for. The freight cars were piled on
top of the coach and being filled with
dry pine shingles, ihe entire mass of
wreckage was soon burning fiercely
and the unfortunate inmates of the
car were pinned down and burned, be
ing unab:e to escape themselves and
outside assis. ance being cut off by
the burning debris. Of the for^y
3even occupants bu; twelve were
rescued, and of these it is expected
that several will die from their in
juries. The rest are unaccounted for
and beyond a doubt per.shed and
were burned to ashes
The news of the wreck reached
Kalispell alunit 9:20 p. m., the long
delay being caused by the fact that
there is no telegraph office at Nyack
and it was necessary to go to Belton,
about seven mi.es distant, to tele
graph the news to division headquar
ers in this city. No. 4, the east
bound passenger, was in the yards and
as quickly as possib'e a coach was
cut off and with a number of doctors
from Kalispell, proceeded with a.l
naste to the scene of the accident. No.
1 remained in the yards until about 4
»'clock this morning.
A short time after the doctors' spe
cial left, the wrecker was sent to Ny
xck and is there at the present time
putting the track in shape for traf
ic. The news of the wreck quickly
spread throughout the city and the
lepot was thronged by anxious inquir
ers after friends and relatives who
were on the train.
As all the coaches ou Number 3
excepting the sleeper and the two
:ars burned, were practically unin
ured. The dead and wounded not im
prisoned in the wreck were brought
to this city, the car arriving here
about 2:30 with its grewsome load of
dead and bleeding humanity. The
train was stopped at the crossing op
posite the hospital where teams and
uretchers were in readiness to con
vey the unfor um.es to the hosp ta!
where they could be properly attend
ed to.
It was a pitiful sight to s«e *h c
mangled an! differing m :.i taker,
from the car. Some had fractured
•ibs, others had limbs b oken and al
most to a man they bore traces of the
errible ordeal they went through.
Their faces and heads were scorched
md blackened and the skin in many
nstances was in great blisters.
In the baggage coaçh were the bo
lies of Superintendent Downs' cook
md the mangled remains of two la
jorers who were crushed to death.
They had been removed from the
vreck as soon as possible and were
jurned but little. One of the bodies
»resented a horrible sight. 'Ihe head
was crushed in and the body mangled
n a horrible manner. Two of the in
jured succumbed to their injuries and
lied on the train before it reached
Kalispell. Together with the bodies
rf the others they were taken in
:harge by the coroner and placed in
the morgue.
Freight train No. 16 was standing
>n the side track at Nyack and when
he trains came toge her some of the
reight cars of the runaway were
hrown against the caboose and the
ear cars, throwing them from the
rack and shattering them into small
lieces. Almost simultaneously the
vreckage burst into flames. Some
dea of the rapidity of the spreading
lames can be had from an incident
hat occurred when the crash came.
The conductor and rear brakeman
if No. 16 were standing on the plat
form of the caboose and the force of
the collision threw them fully 50
feet away. Fortunately they were un
injured and the brakeman made a
dash for the caboose to secure his
coat which he had left hanging there.
But before he could secure it the car
was a mass of flames and his coat
containing his watch and quite a large
sum of money was lost. The head
brakeman of the freight heard the
runaway coming but before he could
realize what it was it had dashed into
the luckless passenger. As it was
carrying no lights and was going at
a high rate of speed it was impossible
to see it in time to avert the collision.
Just how the freight train broke
loose at Essex has not been learned.
It is customary for the helper to meet
all east bound trains near the foot
of the hill and for both engines to
take coal and water at Essex. There
is a passing track at that place with
ihe water tank and coal chute a short
distance from the east switch. The
trains are stopped a short distance
from the east switch and the regular
engine is cut off and takes water and
coal while the helper stays at the rear
end to avert just such accidents as
took place Iasi night. It is said, how
ever, that sometimes both engines
leave the train standing and go ahead
to coal and water, the helper us ng
the side track to pass the train it is
assisting up the hill. It is reported
that such was the case last night and
that at the time the runaway started
boUi engines were on ahead with the
train crew. Another story is that
while the helper was taking on coal
and water the train bioke in two near
the regular engine and dashed away
on its errand of death and destruction.
A rigid investigation is to be held
when the true facts of the case will be
brought out. ^
Rear Brakeman G. H. Burke of the
passenger train was among the injur
ed and is at the hospital. While his in
juries are severe, no serious results
are feared. He is a resident of this
city and is quite well known her.
Assistant Superin'endent Downs
had charge of what is known as the
"west end," his jurisdiction extending
from Minot, N. D., to the coast. He
was on a tour of inspection and was
in Kalispell last Tuesday night, re
maining here until the next morning.
His son was acting as his stenograph
er, and accompanied him on his trips.
As yet the names of the laborers kill
ed have not been learned.
There were a number of Kalispell
people on the illfated train, but fortu
nately they all escaped without injury.
Among those on board from this city
were Mr. and Mrs. John O'Brien, Mr.
and Mrs. N. Nathan, J. E. Kendall,
Swan Halleen and a number of others.
Further information from the scene
of the wreck only tends to confirm
earlier reports of the horrible catas
trophe, and if possible, to add to the
horror of the affair.
The wreckage is still afire and in
the burning embers are the bodies of
from 30 to 35 unfortunate victims of
the wreck. It is impossible to trace
any resemblance to human beings in
the blackened bones and scorched
pieces of flesh that can be seen in the
flames. There is no possible chance
of identilying any of them and until
the names are secured from Duluth
from where they were shipped, their
names can only be surmised.
Today the leg of a man was found
and from the trousers on the limb and
a tan shoe on the foot it was identified
as belonging to the remains of Su
perin endent Downs. No other trace
of him has been found and the
hances are that the rest of the body
was totally consumed. As yet noth
ing whatever has been found of his
son who haB disappeared utterly.
It was reported that a lady sten
ographer was also killed in the wreck
but this is erroneous. A lady was on
the train who was going to work for
the missing superintendent and who
traveled in his special car. She had
left the car but a short time before
the accident occurred and when she
learned of the death of Mr. Downs
she was overcome by the shock.
Coroner Willoughby went to the
-cene of the accident on No. 4, this
morning and returned this afternoon.
He is making a thorough investigation
of the affair and will hold a coroner's
inquest Tuesday afternoon at 2
o'clock. Monday is a legal holiday
ml as it is impossible to get the dif
erent train crews together in so short
time he decided to hold the inquest
n the date mentioned.
As is usual in a wreck of this kind
here were many heroic deeds done
nd many of the passengers proved
they had the stuff in them that heroes
I ire made of. One of the many in
i lances is the case of Jack Kendall,
'Ml known in this city, who imperil
led his life in rescuing Brakeman G.
*i. Burke from the flames. In one of
tye worst parts of the wreck where
the flames were roaring, and the
wreck, piled high in the air and in
danger of toppi ng over and covering
him with the burn.ng timbers, tin
unfortunate brakeman had been
caught and held fast with the flames
each instant crawling nearer and
nearer. Kendall saw bis desperate
plight and braving almost certain
death and after a desperate struggle
lasting some time, succeeded in rescu
ing Burke from his dangerous posi
tion. Then overcome by the intense
heat and smoke Kendall fainted
away and was himself rescued just
in time.
Further particulars tend to confirm
the repor, that the freight at Essex
was left wi hout an engine, either the
helper or the r guiar engine, and
when it started ther^ was no one
present to sec a brake or to keep it
from running wi d. Ii^/view of the
many curv-.s in ihe track from Essex
to Nyack ir is a miracle the c ars kept
the track under such tremendous
speed as they were mak ng It is os i
mated that the runaway cars were
making fully 75 miles an-hour or more
and it is hard to comprehend how they
failed to leave the track and go crash
ing down the mountain side.
There werè twenty-eight cars in the
runaway train, the majorny of the
cars being loaded with shingles, which
when they .caught fire burned like
tinder. The force of the collision
scattered pieces of the cars and hales
of shingles over the track and several
cars were thrown bodily on top of the
last two passenger coaches, the debris
being piled thirty of forty feed high
and when the wreckage caught tire it
formed a funeral pyre for the nun
caught and pinioned in the ruins o:
the cars.
The men in the laborers cv.T w ere
thrown in all directions by the shock,
and the majority wore fastened to the
floor and across the seats hv the tim
bers of .he car. As ' ' 'i <
been li^htid flames i ,
cated to the wood worn auu soon fire
was added to the horrors of the ca
By Associated Press:
St. Paul. Aug. 31.—General Superin
tendent Ward made the followin
statement concerning the wreck on
the Great Nor,hern near Kalispell,
Mont.: "In an accident of the 30th
near Essex, Mont., 18 cars broke
loose from the rear end of a freight
train and ran down the hill 16 miles
into Nyack station, where it overtook
passenger train No. 3. which was just
starting out from that station. In the
collision P. Downs, assistant goner
il superintendent in charge of the
lines west of Minot, N. D., was killed
ogelhcr with his son, Kirk T. Downs,
his cook, Henry Blair, and about 25
laborers, who were moving west in a
coach attached to rear end of the
train. None of. the regular passen
gers on the train were injured. The
wreckage took fire and the remains of
all except five of those killed were
burned. It is therefore not known,
positively, how many fatalities result
ed. In addition to those killed 12 la
borers and Brakeman Burke were in
Mr. Downs was born April 10th,
1847, in Ireland. He entered the rail
vay service Arr.i 1. 1888 as a brake
man on a pasenger train on the Bur
lington branch of the Central Vermont
railroad. His appo'ntment as vice
president of the Spokane Falls and
Northern would have been eff ctive
tomorrow, Sept. 1.
Canadian Pacific and Track
Have Agreed.
ly Associated Press:
Montreal, Aug. 30.—It is officially
announced that the trackmens' strike
>n the Canàdian Pacific railway Is
settled. "
Carnegie Plant Mills
Closed Down.
Closing of Ihe Duquesne Mills Would Have
a Far Reaching Effect on the Tin
Plate Company.
,iy Associated Press:
Pitt 'burg, At. : 1 — The n il s of
Ihe Cars o <■ .• an. nt l)u ,i esr.c are in
operation no. i hs andin g the report
last, night tua; h, p a r vu • bad I:
c rip; I d and would 1 k ly ha-e to
close down this morni lg. S veil y
ox ra p. liep w.re on duty end there
is no disorder. The s rikers claim the
.i-'ii are . leaving up . repa a o y :o
coming out. A shut down of the It i
qu -Tv s eel words, would have a far
reaching effect, so: io ,s!v crippling tin
Amène n t n plaie con piny.
Pi tsburg, Aug. 31.—A dispatch from
Duquesne says the open hearth de
partim n. of the Cnrno i > mill c'osed
at 3 o'clock, but that the remainder of
the plant is in :;:1 o'er ion. The
strikers clai niihty have at the da
men in line and expect to have the
night men soon. There is no disorder,
ant plenty of <> e.teuK-n:.
'«*„>« He Never Commented Adverse
ly on Atl nrcl Schley.
.iy As: Ociuu d Press :
Washington, Aug. 31.—Acting Sec
retary Market: lias made public a Int
er receiv'd from Admiral llowison
dated August, hi, denying the au hen
ieity of the in.erview in which ho is
made to comm, nt adversely on Ad
miral Schley. The ac mg secretary
iias therefore continued Admiral ilow
ison as member of the Schley court of
Taxes Religious Communities ae Bcy
rout and Jerusalem.
t.y Acs-a d.u tl I*, eve
Paris, Argus,
says dial Hi. s
T —-1 he M itin today
a i's lirai re alia i m
Ygainst Fi
n e i an ir d
e. wi-iulraw
-usions, and tax
or ihe F
lunch rd.gi.ii:;
com in unity
t 1 * ;• r<Ml
nvniiiiB n
, Syr. m. r l he
ri s.,i< m ai
reneh c im
a!so to lie
Formally Appointed Governor cf Por
to Rico by President.
Washington. Aug. SO.—IT id nt
McKinley to ay appnin d Vu. II.
Hunt of Montana, 'error , i P> Si
UP o.
■ iy As;-o< iat<- : ; .,
Washington, Aug. hf).—Judge Hum
phreys of Honolulu called at the de
partment of justice today. The at
torney general lias arranged for hear
ing the charges against Judge Hum
phreys next Monday or Tuesday.
Humphreys will be present, as will
also Frederick W. llankey, who rep
resents (lie members of rhe Hon > ulu
bar an'agonistic to the judge.
<>' Associated Press
Kansas Ci y. Aug. 31.—Th" kil in ;
of Miss Mary Hender on at Columbus.
Missouri, took a sensational turn to
daj. This afternocn the chase was
practically given up. A special to
the Star says there are dozens of men
in Johnson county who believe Fran
cis was paid to murder Miss Hender
son by white persons who wanted her
out of the way.
For Governor. At Least Not
Yet, So He Says
Were Not Authorized by Shaw.—Big Ma
jority in Iowa Will Be Shaw's
First Aim.
tty Associated Press:
O . aha. Aug. 31.—Governor Shaw of
low t. as k 'd re a. ding S na or Dolli
ver,', announcement at Chirago last
a. in as to IPs candidacy for the
m esteem y mad 1 the following state
"1 neith r inspired n r encouraged
'■ .ren, ion of my name in eonnec
u vi h 1001 Dolliver is correct in
hi. » tuen. ear hot it is too early to do
er ..in . The first thing for Iowa to
1 o is to ro 1 up for our own tic ket the
hi go.- - ; n ajoriiy ever polled in the
■Pi.:,' and this we will do."
. or.olitution ard Columbia to Engage
in More Races.
ly Associated Press:
Bate mans Point, Aug . 31.—Af.er
two ni .ni lis' preliminary sailing, dur
ing which each boat defeated the other
ei ,ht time , Constitution and Colum
bia w. nt oui to Trenton's reef light
ip i his morning for the first of a
rh s oi trial races for the purpose of
droid:; g which shall sail against Sir
Thoim.H LipL n s Shamrock II. Both
• ' a s are in tee very best condition.
At the finish of the first race the
Columbia brat the Constitution by 4
,tin ut- s 28 seconds.
And the Lack of Trco i
easincss. ,
.iy Associated Press:
Tu con. Ariz , Aug. 31.—Over 200
Pali.ii s are gathered near Fort Thom
as ho d ng a meeting discussing griev
hiKci. in i. in are coming from the
r lent Park re.-ervat'oti. Sopers
are feeling uneasy at Fan Carlo, sixty
is distant l'r
>m Uk
nearest post
ere are only
six i»r
v îtes and a snr
: ' < '
mt at the f.
r .
Vo Wire Order d to Stop Practicing
■ A::: o dated Prism
T mm a, Aug. 31.—The revenue
• r Ruth r urned today to Sitka
'. a'uiat. where she went to
u rim- nidi-, n troubles which
d a' rin a 1 on g the whites,
d e 1 , r..ff o Si ka held court
ar : Hi,:- Hush and nine men were
v.c o' s- ! n. liquor and rioting.
M lr ne-, va, c'na ed 189 Indians,
lor Bra y warned them that
: y mu t o h y tip* lays and refrain
d s. i or. Natives were also or
»' d o up . raid icing polygamy.
V ivos WisH Him to Retire For
Health's Sake.
, A.-. luted Pi ess:
1 rmd : l, \>i-. 31.— The A Siclxte i
* a ! arns thu: the ru • ors of Lord
i i b tv - re i eaunt is due to the
:• m" - of n a itaUon within the
ii.-vs own family, who urge that
la. o the step in order to preserve
s heal h. This s ep is opposed by
g der ■ of th ■ unionist party, who are
la ly to preva 1 for the present.
Associated Press;
.v York, Aug. 31.—Yankee won
v tuti.rity by a length; Lux Costa
second, Barron third.

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