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Matthew, Thomas B. 1845 - 1911


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 2/10/2019 at 12:02:36

Elkader Register & Argus, Thur., 16 Mar. 1911.


Engineer Tom Matthew was crushed to death and Fireman John Magnuson was badly bruised and scratched, when the engine jumped the track near Froelich about 7:50 o'clock yesterday morning. The Elkader train was making its regular morning trip to North McGregor, and, when about a mile and a half east of Froelich, the engine left the track breaking entirely loose from the tender, and rolled over on its side, leaving the track clear so that the tender and coaches remained on the track and ran several car lengths beyond before coming to a stop.

Mr. Matthew was pinned beneath the engine amid the wreckage of the cab and the escaping steam and it was about half an hour before he could be released. He was conscious all of the time and was able to give directions to aid in getting him out. He was taken to the baggage car, and lived about twenty minutes after his release. His body was taken to North McGregor, placed in a casket and last evening brought to his home here.

John Magnuson was thrown violently about the cab as the engine left the track and bears many marks of the accident but luckily none are serious. He had crawled out of the wrecked cab and was picked up in a dazed condition by the other trainmen, when they reached the engine.

The accident occurred where a highway crosses the track and at the entrance to a sharp curve. A part of a cattle guard and some other debris had been blown onto the track by the high wind of Tuesday night and this, together with the sharp curve, seem to have caused the derailment.


Thomas B. Matthew was born October 28th, 1845, in the District of Columbia, and thus was in his 66th year when he met his death through the derailment of his engine on Wednesday morning, March 15th, 1911.

His father was one of the earliest locomotive engineers in the United States and the son early followed in his foot steps. At the time of his death he had been an engineer for over forty years and was one of the oldest engineers in years of service on the C.M. & St. P. system. He had been on the Elkader branch about 27 years.

He was married twice. First, to Miss Eliza McGinnis, at Prairie du Chien. Eleven children were born to them, five of whom are still living: Tom, of Prairie du Chien; Harry, in Kansas; Mrs. Minnie Lewis, of North McGregor; and Myrtle and Mabel at home.

In 1896 he was married to Miss Grace Ploog at North McGregor and three children came to bless their union. They are Frank, Grace and Midgely.

Four sisters and one brother are living: Mrs. Hannah Barr, of Austin, Minn.; Nellie, Jane, Mary and David, living in California.

The funeral will be held Saturday morning, at ten o'clock, at the home, Rev. Franke officiating, and from there he will be taken to the East Side cemetery.

The sympathy of our entire community and of his many friends and companions of the railroad goes out to the stricken wife and family. He left his home in the morning bright with the love and companionship of his family and in less than an hour the dread summons came. Truly life is uncertain. Our only consolation is the faith in the wisdom of the One who "doeth all things well."; and our memories of the love and companionship of those who have "gone before."


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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