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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 10, 1896, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1896-10-10/ed-1/seq-1/

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Northbound Freight Train
Crashes Into Runaway-
Engineer Haggerty Killed and
Fireman Bowsher Badly
Twisted Iron and Splintered Wood
Piled Forty Feet High Upon
the Track.
1 PALO ALTO, Cal., Oct. 9.— A north
bound freight train on the coast division of
the Southern Pacific collided shortly after
2 o'clock this morning with three empty
boxcars, which had escaped from the Palo
Alto switch and were running down grade
on the main line. Engineer Henry Hag
gerty was instantly killed. Fireman Jo
seph T. Bowsher suffered fractures of sev
erai bones and internal in juries of a serious
nature. Trainman C. W. Bence was badly
hurt. Engine and train were piled in a
heap forty feet high upon the track and
reduced to a tangled mass of twisted metal
and splintered wood.
The grade falls rapidly from Palo Alto
as far down as Mountain View and the run
away cars had gained a five or six mile
momentum when the smashup occurred,
half war between Palo Alto and Mayfield.
How the empty cars got onto the main
track is not definitely known. It is said
that they were not "braked," as they
should have been, when sidetracked.
Others say that miscreants must have
started the cars, but there seems to be
little proof to back this assertion.
The train coming north waa composed
of eight heavily laden box and fiat cars,
and was traveling at the rate of thirty or
forty miles an boar as it does not stop or
dinarily at Palo Alto or Mayfield. The
cars were filled with sacked wheat, flour,
wool and asphaitum, and there was a
quantity of butter, eggs and fowls in one
of the cars. The train and the moving
cars met directly over a "trap" in tne
track, and to this was doubtless due a part
of the phenomenal telescoping that fol
lowed. The empty freight cars were
tossed twenty feet from the track, with
the exception of the first car, which slid
under the fore part of the engine and was
crushed to fragmelitK The engine turned
almost completely over; the cow-caicher
i being jammed into the ground and the
1 tender being thrown Into the air, resting
on the rear end of the locomotive fifteen
feet above the ground. The loaded cars in
the rear were piled up one upon another
to a height of thirty or forty feet on and
about the engine.
The force of the shock is evidenced by
the rails, which were bent like fibers and
snapped in places like needles, while solid
wheels and axles were broken into bits.
The heavy wooden backing of the bump
ers on the cars is sheared into long,
stringy splinters, each grain separated
from the others. Over the whole pile was
a promiscuous mix-up or wheat, flour and
potatoes. How any living thing could
have escaped is a mystery; nevertheless
most of the chickens did escape death in
tne wreck, but only to fall into the hands
of those standing about, who carted them
off, with little regard for their ownership.
Another peculiar fact was that a number
of crates ef ecg3 endured the shock and
were uninjured so far as external appear
ance goes.
Haggerty was probably killed instantly.
His mangled body was recovered under
the engine about an hour after tne colli
sion occurred. It was at first believed
that Fireman Bowsher was also killed, but
the rescuers heard his groans and cries
while at work and released him from his
dangerous predicament. He was at once
placed in the hands of a physician, who
did everything in his power to relieve the
sufferings of the injured man. Whether
any tramps were on the brakebeams is un
known ; the removal of the wreckage alone
■will show that.
Scene of the Freight Wreck Near Palo Alto. Engine and Cars Piled Forty Feet High in a Mass of Twisted Iron and Splintered Wood
The San Francisco Call
Haggarty.was a popular engineer among
his brother-engineers, and a trusty, care
ful man. For seven years he was engineer
on the Santa Cruz division, and had a
wide circle of friends in that section.
Bowsher is not so well known among the
train crews, but is a steady, cheerful fel
Said one of the grizzled old engineers
who watched the operation of ' laying the
switch about the wreck to allow passage
of trains : "That is one of the worst smash
ups I ever saw, and I've seen some bad
ones. Just think what the loss of life
would had been had it bean a passenger
train instead of a freight."
It is quite probable that the engineer
and tireman of the freight did not see the
runaway cars until they were directly
upon them, and Haggerty probably never
knew wnat happened. The night was so
dark that all beyond the range of the en
gine's headlight was absolutely invisible.
If the engineer did survive for a fraction
of a minute his agonies must have been
appalling, for escaping steam penetrated
every cranny of that portion of the wreck.
People who live near the scene of the
collision say that they were awakened in
stantly by the shock arid the subsequent
noise. From the moment the dreadful
accident occurred until long after dark to
night the wreck has been surrounded by
hundred* of onlookers. "*
The work of removing the wreckage
from the main line will occupy two days—
so the foreman of the wrecking crew states
—and in tne meantime trains are running
about the heap on a hastily constructed
Last fall a very similar wreck. was nar
rowly averted in the same spot, when a
number of cars laden with coal escaped
from the side track running up to the
Stanford University campus and missed
hitting a passenger train by but a few feet.
SAN JOSE, Cal., Oct. 9.— Coroner
Secord began an inquest this afternoon at
Palo Alto over the body of Engineer Henry
Hagjrerty, who was killed in the wreck
this morning. A jury of eight men was
impaneled and three witnesses were exam
ined to identify the deceased. '
1 — — » — '
Southern Pacific Officials Cannot Account
for the'jbisnstcr.
The Southern Pacific officials in San
Francisco declared they could not ac
count for the cause oi the Palo Alto
wreck — that is, how the two freigbt
cars happened to be on the main track.
All the information regarding the wreck
received at Mr. Fillmore's office came in a
telegram early in the morning. This con
tained the merest outline of the accident
and some additional matter in the Jorm
of a report which told the track had not
been cleared and a temporary track was
laid around the wreck so that trains could
run through on time.
The accident occurred at 2:10 a. m ,
which is known from a remarkable inci
dent of the smash-up. The conductor was
in the caboose when the crash came. He
was thrown up against the cupola with
great force and received a very bad
shaking, but the only real damage done
waa the shattering of his watch. As the
hands pointed io 2:10 it is known that is,
the time the accident happen- d.
Assistant Manager N. H. Foster stated
that all energy was at first expended on
restoring communication along the line.
Then an effort was made to discover the
cause of the wreck. According to official
reports two freight cars were on the siding
at Palo Alto, but somehow had become
free and moved on to the main line.
There is a slight grade downward toward
the south from the switch, and this ac
count* for the movement ot the cars.
It proves to be a wholly different ques
tion as to how the cars evf.r got away at
first. The railroad managers said they
believed it was the work of some miscre
ant who, under cover of darkness, delibe
rately turned off the orakes and let the
cars move from the switch by gravity and
their own momentum.
However, there was a possibility that
the trainmen, after switching the
two freigntcars at Pa o Alto, bad failed to
secure them by tightening the brakes,
with the result that the cars moved down
the gentle grade. Which theory is right
occupied the Southern Pacihc detectives
and operating department all day, but
the result of their inquiries was not satis
It would not be admitted that the brakes
and their attachments were at fault, hav
ing been in a worn-out condition and ut
terly incapable of holding the cars in
check. As the brakes were broken in the
crash all evidence of possible neglect was
Bowsher is stated to have been the only
striking fireman to be taken back by the
railroad. He used to lire for Littlejohn,
one of the oldest engineers running on
the western division to Sacramento. He
is well known in West Oakland.
Grand Army Posts Wel
come the Ex-Confeder
ate Veterans.
Truly the Past Is Forgotten iD
the Present Battle for
From East Tennessee and Virginia
They Journey lo Cheer the Next
CANTON, Ohio, Oct. 9.— ln addition to
the activity here to-day Major McKinley
was enabled to hear the shouts and sounds
from the great demonstration in Chicago
and the tramp of a hundred thousand
marchers by long-distance telephone in
Major McKinley's study and Mrs. Mc-
•A.3UT. I -A. , K33STC3-?
Kluley'a llving-ro<-ni. Th." telephone com
pany put a direct Chicago wire into the
McKinley house for use to-day and there
were twelve receivers attached to this
end of it.
The tirst delegation to arrive was that
from East Tennessee, about 500 strong,
and they were all enthusiastic and demon
strative. The spokesman was Editor Wil
liam Rule of Knoxviile. Among those in
the deleeation were the donors of the
large hickory stump which Major McKin
ley received some time ago Irom King
County, Tennessee. The candidate to-day
made use of the stump for the first time.
In addressing the Tennesseeans Major
McKinley spoke as follows:
The honor of this call is mine, not yours. I
appreciate that you have come a great dis
tance, almost the greatest distance of any
delegation which has yet visited me, to pay
your respects to me, not personally, but rather
to testify your devotion to the principles of the
Republican party and your determination that
those principles shall triumph at the election
on the 3d day of November. Your presence
here recalls pleasant and Inspiring memories
connected with the early history of your State.
A delegation of 500 miners from Mo
nongahela County, Fa., then marched
up to the house. Thomas Pollock made a
short speech of introduction, to which
Major McKinley responded. The next
delegation, also a Pennsylvania one, was
made up of citizens from Warren ana
Forest counties and numbered 600. Mr.
McKinley addressed them as follows:
If I ever had any doubt as to the extent of
the population of the State of Pennsylvania
that doubt has been removed since the St.
Louis convention. [Laughter and applause.]
I think that I have had the honor of a call
from nearly all Western Pennsylvania, and as
far east as Harrisburg, all coming upon the
same mission, all determined upon the game
• end— that of contributing their part to the
success of the grandest principles that were
ever advocated by any political party and of
the greatest party in the world. [Applause.]
We have had in this country since the be
ginning of the Government a trial of two reve
nue systems. One has been known as the tariff
for revenue only, the other has been the pro
tective system. We had had no experience
under the former for so many lone years that
people had totally forgotten the distress which
was the result of the inauguration of that sys
tem. We have had some experience with it
during the last three years and a half (A
voice — "We don't want any more ot It,
though"], and, as my friend says, we don't
want any more of it. [Applause.] This is one
of the things you have a chance to vote on on
the third day of November.
Clinton County, Ohio, farmers to the
number of 800 followed the last delega
tion. Clinton County is in tne rich agri
cultural section ot Ohio, and its citizens
are among the most prosperous farmers in
the world. It is a strong Republican
county. These points were brought out
by the spokesman, Judge Adon. Major
Mi Kinley had not been notified of the
coming of this delegation and his remarks
were wholly impromptu.
The speech which Major McKinley ex
pected to make first was made last. The
ex-Confederate veterans who were ex
pected to arrive at 8:30 in the morning
did not all reach Canton until 4p. m.
They came on three special Burlington
and Ohio trains from the Valley of the
Shenandoah, and the party numbered in
the aggregate nearly 2000. One-half of
them were men who had worn the Con
federate gray and fought under Stone
wall Jackson. The veterans were met at
the train by the Grand Army posts of
Canton and Btark County and by the
Continued on Second Page.
Auditorium Ticket De
clared Regular by Su
preme Court.
There Can Be Only One Legal
Convention for Each Party
in the Field.
Supreme Court Decision Which Laid Low Would-
Be Boss Kelly and Boss Buckley at the
Same Time- at One Stroke — Ruef
Is Crestfallen.
The Kelly- Mahon«y faction were
given a stinging blow by the Supreme
Court yesterday. " li. X,. worth, the
candidate of that faction for Superin
tendent of Streets of this City, and
James B. Brown, candidate for Sena
torial honors from the Seventeenth
Senatorial District, were denied the
writ ot mandate by -which they sought
to compel 'William M. Hlnton, Regis
trar, to file their certificates of nomina
Vi At the same time the court' denied the
petition for a similar writ to D, A. Mac
donald, the Buckley candidate for the
position of Superintendent of Streets.
• The Farns worth and Brown cases were
set up as tests' by the Kelly- 31 ahoney
ites, one concerning the ' strictly muni
cipal and the other the legislative
ticket. The Buckley Democrats rested
their case on the issue of the petition
of Slacdonald alone.
The opinion of the court was .-written
by Justice McFarland, and Justices
Hens haw, Van Vleet and Temple . con
curred. Justices Harrison, Beatty and
Garroutte dissented.
The point of the decision Is that "a po
litical party which at the last election
polled at least 3 per cent of the entire vote
can be represented only by one conven
tion," and that "where two or more bod
ies claim to be the convention contem
plated by the code the Registrar must de
termine which one of the bodies was an
organized assemblage of delegates repre
senting, the particular political party
For days .' the Kellv-Mahoney faction
has been : anxiously watching for this de
cision as a drowning man might grasp at
a straw. Fifteen , minutes after the deci
sions of the courts were handed into the
office of the clerk a woe- begone delegation
from the - Kelly-Mahoney , headquarters
filed in and read with growing solemnity
the decision which ended their attempt to
force ' the , Registrar to give them official
"You may be happy yet," a bystander
jocularly suggested to A. Ruef.
"I shall not get happy on such decisions
as this," said Ruef, with deep melancholy.
Ruef was paler than usual, and it wad
apparent to the most casual observer that
he felt the blow keenly. The delegation
with him were equally depressed. They
sat in silence for awhile and then put out
the gas and went home utterly broKen ia
The court took up first the case of Mao
donald against Uinton and rendered the
following decision :
The writ should be denied. Whether a Beg.
istrwr, in filing or refusing to file acroS-tred
certificate of nomination by a convention, acts
ministerially or judicially, it is clear that he
cannot be commanded by mandamus to do an
act which the law does not require him to do.
Now, sections 1186-87 of the Political Coda
clearly contemplate that a political party
which at the last election polled at least 3 pel
cent of the entire vote can be represented by
only one convention. A contrary view would
certainly defeat the purpose of the law. There
fore when each of the two or more bodies
claim to be the convention contemplated by
the code the Registrar must determine in the
first instance, at least, which one of the bodies
was "an organized assemblage of delegates
representing" the particular political party
To say that the presentation of a certificate
in due form is conclusive of the essential fact
upon which the alleged right rests is to an
nounce the principle that each party to a con
troversy is the exclusive judge of his own case.
If the issue were presented here whether or
not the convention which the petitioners
represent was the convention which in fact
represented the Democratic party, then this
court would have to consider whether or not
it would, upon mandamus, hear evidence and,
after a trial here, itself determine the essen
tial fact in dispute.
But this proceeding was submitted upon the
admission that the convention represented by
petitioners only "claimed to be," but was not
a convention representing said political party,
and upon the theory that a Registrar was
bound to file their certificate because it was ia
due and regular form.
Therefore tha question whether or not this
court should, upon mandamus, inquire into
the fact and determine whether such conven
tion did or did not represent said political
party is not before us.
It tnerefore does not appear that the
Registrar has refused to do any act which the
law enjoins upon him as a duty. The pe
tition for the writ of mandamus is denied and
the proceeding dismissed.
The decisions in the cases of Farns
worth against Hinton and Brown against
Binton were in few words as follows:
Upon the authority of Macdonald vs. Hinton,
S. F. No. 684, this day decided the applications
for writs of mandamus in above cases are
denied and the proceedings dismissed, the
cases being substantially alike and having all
been considered together.
A special dissenting opinion was filed
by Justice Garroutte in the case of Mao
donald, which is as follows:
I dissent There are three constructions to
be placed upon the statute: 1. That the action
of the Registrar is final and conclusive. 2,
That it is the duty of the Registrar to decide
as a fact whether or sot the certificate pre
sented to him comes from the regular and
genuine Democratic or Republican party
which it purports to represent, and that suca
decision by him is reviewabie by this court.
3. That it is vhe duty of the Registrar to fill all
certificates which upon their face comply with
the statute, and that upon rejection by him
of any such the remedy is by mandate of this
To hold that the action of tne Registrar is
final I cannot indorse for a moment Every
»|Bj| ba 118 Ij 1 TmMS

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