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William A. "Will" Chamberlain 1868-1891


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 10/3/2013 at 22:18:08

Two Fatal Accidents on the B.C.R. & N.
Wednesday, February 18th, two fatal accidents occurred on this branch of the Burlington road. Two freight trains, one going south and the other north, left Estherville about 2 p.m. The train going south was the one known as the through meat train from Sioux City, and was in charge of Fred McCullough. When the train was near Graettinger and between the signal ropes (known by railroad men as the tickler) and the bridge, the head brakeman, George Little, climbed on top of the cars to set the brakes. Although he has been running over this piece of road since last October, he evidently forgot about the bridge that struck him on the head killing him instantly. The unfortunate young manís parents life in Odell, Ohio. One of his brothers, Frank L. Little, is a fireman on this division, and another brother, Grant Little, is agent a Popejoy. As soon as the accident was reported, Assistant Superintendent G.A. Goodell went down to Emmetsburg to secure particulars regarding the accident and make arrangements for the interment which will take place at Alden, Harden county. The deceased was a kind-hearted young man whose sudden and unexpected death is regretted wherever he is known.

The north-bound train was in charge of Conductor J.G. Forrest. When the train was approaching Ocheyden, in Osceola county, his rear brakeman, William Chamberlain, who resided in Estherville with his widowed mother, attempted to climb on top of the car next to the caboose. Slipping in some manner the poor boy lost his hold on the ladder and he fell down on the track, the caboose alone passing over him, cutting off both legs and arms. The accident was at once reported to the officials here, and with a special car Mrs. Chamberlain and a Spirit Lake surgeon were taken to the scene of the accident. The mangled limbs were dressed, and the unfortunate young man made as comfortable as possible under the distressing circumstances, but at about 11:30 that night he passed over the silent river. He was conscious to the last. Young Chamberlain was a nephew of Trainmaster, J.P. Forrest and of Conductor J.G. Forrest, both of Estherville, and was the support of his mother, one sister and a little brother. He was an honest, industrious young man, and those who were best acquainted with him speak in high terms of him. The highly respected family will have the general sympathy of this community in their great sorrow. (Northern Vindicator, Estherville, IA, February 19, 1891)

Two B.C.R. & N. brakemen were killed on this division Wednesday. William Chamberlain, near Ocheyedan, and George Little, near Graettinger. The latter has lived in Estherville several years. The boys who engage to scale the freights and turn brakes havenít an even chance to live three years, or to keep their person whole a single year. Strange, strange, indeed, that they should so willingly enter upon this hazardous work. (Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, IA, February 20, 1891)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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