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Train Wreck at Green Mountain IA -- 1910


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 2/29/2020 at 18:56:20


"The Burlington Hawk-Eye"
Tuesday Morning, March 22, 1910
Front Page and Page 3

Train is Telescoped While Making Detour on Great Western Tracks Near Green Mountain.


Dead and Injured Are Taken to Marshalltown, Where Spare Rooms are Turned Into Morgues and Hospitals--Awful Sights Witnessed by the Survivors.

Marshalltown, Ia., March 21.--More than two score persons were killed and as many more injured, several fatally, today, near Green Mountain, when two trains of the Rock Island road, running over the Great Western tracks from Marshalltown to Waterloo, were wrecked in a peculiar manner.

The unidentified dead are in the undertaking shops at Marshalltown, many are so horribly mangled identification may be impossible. The Catholic hospital, the railroad Y. M. C. A. and apartment homes are converted into surgical rooms in which the injured lie moaning and groaning.

Every surgeon of Marshalltown, Green Mountain and Gladbrook, is doing everything possible to relieve the suffering. Around the various undertaking establishments citizens throng with tear-stained faces, each anxious to get details of those within.

Freight Wreck Night Before.

A little freight wreck on the Rock Island last night at Shellsburg was the indirect cause of the Green Mountain tragedy. The Rock Island from Cedar Rapids north was not cleared this morning and it became necessary to detour over the Great Western. Trains 19 and 21 were sent from Cedar Rapids to Marshalltown, coupled together. Both engines were coupled on in front, running backwards.

Thirteen Cars on Train.

The composite train consisted of thirteen cars. The Pullman was next to the engine. Then came the smoker and day coach, in which were many women and children. The train was going twenty-eight miles an hour when it reached a twelve foot cut at the top of a hill five miles beyond Green Mountain. In the cut the tender of the leading engine jumped the track.

Engine Thrown From Track.

This threw the head locomotive into the sides of the cut. The clay of the sides was soft and the engine went into and stopped instantly. The sudden stoppage ditched the second locomotive and the heavy train crushed the lay coach and smoker against the Pullman. The smoker and the day coach telescoped and hardly an occupant of either car escaped death or injury. While the final ten cars of the train remained on the track, the shock sent the passengers sprawling from their seats. Conductor Worst dispatched a trainman back to flag the following train. The trainman hurried to Gladbrook and Green Mountain for aid.

The Victims Land on Grass.

The uninjured passengers began removing the dead and injured. The dead were taken to an adjoining pasture and laid on the grass. A relief train from Marshalltown carrying surgeons and Coroner Jay was two hours in arriving and by that time the victims had been laid on the grass in rows.

The Known Dead.

MILTON PARISH, Cedarville, Mo.
JACOB MAUHOLZ, Cedar Rapids; conductor.
A. ROSS, Cedar Rapids; fireman.
ROSS CHARTER, Cedar Rapids; brakeman.
ARCHIE PRICE, Cedar Rapids, colored porter.
R. A. BORINSON, Cedar Rapids; engineer.
L. W. PARRISH, Cedar Falls; professor in Iowa state teachers' college.
MRS. LEWIS, Valley Junction, wife of Dr. LEWIS.
W. W. EGGERS, Waterloo.
F. D. LYMAN, Waterloo.
N. C. HANCOCK, West Liberty.
GEO. P. BUNT, Waterloo.
FRED L. COLTON, Washington, Ia.
H. L. PENNINGTON, Galesburg, Ill.
THOMAS G. LETTS, Cedar Rapids.
C. G. EVES, West Branch; half head off.
F. F. FISHER, West Branch.
WM. FLECK, Vinton.
EARL T. MAIN, banker, Williamsfield, Ill.
C. C. O. HOFF, Burlington.
ANDREW J. WHITE, colored, St. Paul.
G. W. BLAIR, Sedalia, Mo.; died at St. Thomas hospital;
MAE HOFFMAN, Waterloo.
Man supposed to be A. P. ADAMS, of Wilmar, Minn.
JOHN WHITE, Des Moines.
MRS. B. C. LYMAN, Cedar Rapids.
MRS. E. M. WORTHINGTON, Cedar Rapids.
WM. WARD, West Branch or Cedar Rapids.
FRANK HEINZ OR HURTZ, address unknown.
BESSIE SERVIC, Washington, Ia.

The List of Injured.

Irene Cowan, arm cut.
P. J. Swift; compound fracture of right leg; head bruised; serious.
J. Switzer; internal; serious.
A. H. Nagel; leg and arm broken.
A. R. Brown; badly bruised.
A. X. Brown; legs broken; all of Waterloo.
G. W. Thompson, Vinton; chest bruised.
L. E. Eggleston, Vinton; badly bruised.
Lizie Anderson, Vinton; legs broken.
August Swanson, Vinton; badly bruised.
Florence Winn, Vinton; leg cut.
Alma Swanson, Vinton; scalp torn off.
Geo. Downey, Vinton; leg bruised.
Mrs. L. Patterson, Louisiana Mo.; badly bruised.
Cora Wilcox, Louisiana, Mo.; badly bruised.
J. S. Goodnough, Cedar Rapids, fireman; face and body burned.
E. S. Pritchard, Cedar Rapids; engineer; slightly burned.
C. W. Patterson, Cedar Rapids; head cut.
Charles Davis, of Inland, Minn.; will probably die.
P. A. Russell and Mrs. Russell of Grand Forks, N. D.; badly bruised.
Mr. and Mrs. A. S. McDonald, of Perth, N. D.; not serious.
W. B. Kennedy of Burlington, Ia.; legs broken and head cut.
Francis Swanson of Burlington, Ia.; legs bruised.
E. A. Burdage of Davenport; slight.
W. I. Southwell of Washington, Ia.; leg and hand cut.
William Arnett of Independence, Ia.; chest bruised.
Edward Hill of Muscatine; badly bruised.
L. M. Wallen of Washburn, N. D.; head cut.
Alfred Abraham of Cleremont, S. D.; bruised.
Wm. Moody of Minerva, Wis.; fracture of arm.
Frank Swanson of Wilton, N. D.; legs cut.
Dr. Geo. Newman of Mt. Vernon, Mo.; shoulder bruised.
N. Jenkins of St. Louis; slight.
C. J. Lamb of Chicago; badly bruised.

Some Beyond Recognition.

The dead were crushed and mutilated in many cases beyond recognition. Heads were severed from bodies, and arms and legs were cut off. Here lay a bleeding trunk, there a head with the agony of death on its countenance. A second rescue train relieved the first after the first trainload of injured had been brought to Marshalltown.

Coroner Badly Injured.

Coroner Jay, while hastening in an ambulance to the hospital, was thrown to the pavement as it rounded a corner. It is believed his back is broken he cannot live.

The hospital at Marshalltown was soon filled. Then other rooms were pressed into service. It is believed only two of the dead were in the Pullman.

So complete was the destruction of the smoker that not a single upright was standing. The floor alone remained as a mute witness of the frightful impact of the car ahead. The day coach likewise was torn almost to splinters. The baggage car behind the day coach was jammed in front, but was not demolished.

To-night the scene of the wreck presents an uncanny sight. The flickering of torches of the wrecking crews seemed to be reflected in the crimson streams that dyed the ground on either side of the track.

Track Clear by This Morning.

By morning it is expected the track will be cleared and train service renewed. The body of Prof. L. W. Parrish, of Cedar Falls, teacher of economics in the State Teachers' college, was one of the first taken from the ruins. He was mortally wounded and died in the ambulance.

Dr. J. W. Devrey, of Chicago, and Dr. Durham, of Sioux Falls, were on the train. Although injured, they turned their attention to the injured and worked faithfully. James McNamara, assistant head clerk of the Modern Woodmen of America, of Rock Island, was in the smoker. He escaped without injury.

L. P. Clark, conductor of the Pullman, was another who escaped remarkably. He was in an upper berth, but aside from a few bruises was not injured.

One Survivor'ss (sic) Story.

C. W. Moier, of Walla Walla, Wash., was in a lower berth on one of the rear Pullman couches.

"I did not realize that it was a wreck," said he. "It sounded as though a man had thrown a brick on the floor, in the front of my car were the mail and baggage cars. Ahead of them were the smoker and the Pullman. I looked out and saw an engine overturn. It did not feel like a wreck. I saw some terrible things. One man's head was cut off above his eyes. Another man was driven head first into a window. The glass was broken, cutting him where his head rested on the sill, and he was under an awful weight from above. He screamed for some one to kill him. I broke the glass under his cheek, and the man's lower jaw with a bone and five or six teeth in it fell on the ground at my feet."

Prettiest Girl in Waterloo.

Miss Mae Hoffman, of Waterloo, was accounted the most beautiful woman of Waterloo. She was one of a party of three couples starting on a pleasure trip. She was horribly crushed and mangled. She took the third prize in a national beauty contest, and recently won a prize as a stenographer in a competition.

George W. Downing, of Vinton, who was in the smoker, said: "The first I know the other came right through ours. Two met (sic - men) sitting in front of us were crushed to death. They were down on the bottom with what seemed the world piled on top."

Blood Pouring Over Them.

On a seat with Downing sat F. G. Fulmer of Vinton. "We were sitting in a double seat," said he. "A man sat facing us. He and the seat came crashing back on us and flattened us to the floor. There we lay under a living man and two dead men who were smashed, and whose blood ran down on us through the wreckage." Outside of a scratch on the arm Fulmer escaped injury.

Two young girls from Waterloo tonight identified among the dead their father, mother and two sisters. The father's name was BROWN. He conducted a candy kitchen in Waterloo.


Fred M. Colton and Miss Bessie Purvis of Washington, Iowa, Meet Death at Green Mountain.
[Special to The Hawk-Eye.]

Washington, Ia., March 21.--Fred M. Colton, a member of the Geo. H. Paul Land Co., of this city, was killed in the wreck at Green Mountain this morning. Washington is in mourning for its dead citizen, for he was most popular. He is survived by his widow and one daughter.

Mr. Colton, accompanied by W. J. Southwell, left on Sunday evening for a trip through Minnesota in the interest of the Paul Land Co. He was a Knights Templar, and it is supposed that organization will have charge of the funerarl (sic) obsequies.

At a late hour it was learned that Miss Bessie Purvis, another Washington resident on the same train, was killed.


Fred M. Colton Had Lived There Many Years.
[Special to The Hawk-Eye.]

Columbus Junction, Ia., March 21.-- The sad message was received late this afternoon by relatives here that Fred M. Colton, of Washington, formerly of this place, had been killed in the wreck that occurred this morning at Green Mountain.

Mr. Colton, in the company of S. B. Southwell, of Washington, left Columbus Junction last night at 10:23 o'clock, going up north in the interest of the Paul Land Co., of Washington, by whom they are employed. They were in a Pullman when the wreck occurred. Mr. Colton was found among the dead, and Mr. Southwell was badly injured but able to have a message sent to their families in Washington, who telephoned the sad news to this city.

Mr. Colton is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Colton, of Columbus City, and nearly all his life had been spent here. For a number of years he was cashier in the Louisa County National bank at this place. He leaves a widow and a daughter, Miss Greta, in Washington; two sisters, Miss Elsie, of Des Moines, and Mrs. S. Johnston, of Columbus City.

Frank Colton and son-in-law, R. S. Johnston, departed on the evening train for Green Mountain.

Copied with permission from The Fairfield Ledger, Inc. IAGenWeb Bylaws PROHIBIT the COPYING AND RE-POSTING OF THIS MATERIAL IN ANY PUBLIC VENUE such as Ancestry or Find A Grave without WRITTEN permission from the poster ~ copyright restrictions apply.
*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.

Note: The BROWN family, father Alfred X., mother Rosetta Belle KELTNER BROWN, six-year-old Eva Grace and 12-year-old Lenore Alice, were all interred in Wright Cemetery, Jefferson County, IA.


Jefferson Documents maintained by Joey Stark.
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