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John Brincks's Encounter with a Train, 1882

BRINCKS, WURZER

Posted By: David Reineke (email)
Date: 9/7/2008 at 19:01:43

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on Friday, 28 April 1882 Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

On Thursday morning, John Brincks from Pleasant Valley Township was driving to town with his father-in-law Michael Wurzer. Arriving south of the mill, they found the crossing of the railroad tracks blocked by a train and halted some distance back. When the train was separated in order to make a passage for both sides of the track, John Brincks wanted to pass through as quickly as possible, but met with another team coming through from the north side. At the same time, the railcars began to move backwards, and because there was not enough room for both teams to pass each other, John Brincks drove his horses backwards. But they were frightened by the moving railcars and bolted. Wurzer jumped from the wagon, and only Brincks was knocked out of the wagon, breaking his right anklebone. The injured man was brought to Keckevoet’s store and Dr. Emeis was called, who took him into his care and set the bone. It was a serious break, and the patient suffered much pain. After the event, some not very flattering remarks were made against the railroad company, and some of the bystanders stated that such a large corporation cares no more for the life of a person than for the life of a fly. It was also said that the railroad company should be compelled to station a flagman at every crossing in this town, so that everyone wishing to cross will know the time when it may be done safely. That indeed could not hurt, as we have often wondered that more accidents do not occur when teams are wanting to cross the tracks.


 

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