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Ames, C. T. Dies in Accident 1922


Posted By: Ernie Braida
Date: 9/14/2011 at 00:26:18

Another frightful local accident, a one in which one man was instantly y killed and two others seriously injured, occurred shortly before six o'clock Monday evening at a Rock Island railroad crossing, one and one- half miles east of Knoxville, when a speeder bearing four men came in collision with a heavy motor truck.

The men on the railroad vehicle, (cf. the kind referred to as a speeder) were C. T. Ames, division superintendent of the Rock Island; H. T. Livingston, division engineer, F. D. Whaley, Master Carpenter and Lee Burt, Inspector of motor cars. Mr. Ames was thrown against the frame work of the motor truck in such a manner that his skull was fractured and other injuries sustained. He died instantly. Mr. Whaley has a fracture of' the left collarbone; Mr. Burt a fracture of the right leg, near the ankle. Mr. Livingstone miraculously escaped with only a few bruises and contusions. It is said that the force of the impact hurled him entirely over the motor truck, 25 to 30 feet front the point of the collision. All four of the railroad officials resided in Des Moines. The motor truck with which the "scooter" came in collision belongs to the Avery-Cleland hardware company of Knoxville and was being driven by Harry Avery, a member of the firm. Mr. Avery's companion on the trip (with him at the time of the accident) was J. M. Lenker, a representative of the International Harvester Company.

The incidents which led up this deplorable happening are as follows, as near as could be ascertained from the injured railroad men and from the Avery-Cleland company:

Mr. C. T. Ames, the dead superintendent and the three others mentioned as his companions, were out on a tour of inspection. They were traveling in Mr. Ames' private cay and had been to Delta. They arrived in Oskaloosa Monday afternoon, too late to attach the private car to the Washington-Knoxville passenger train and came on to this city in the "speeder” or "scooter", a sort of a hand-car equipped with a gasoline motor, capable of traveling at a high rate of speed. They spent some time in Knoxville and vicinity, starting back to Oskaloosa at 5:45, just before sundown.

Mr. Ames and Mr. Whaley occupied the front seat with Mr. Livingston and Mr. Burt at the rear, the latter driving the car. Parties who saw them pass the Knoxville tile plant and start across the farms to the death trap, say that they were at least "going the limit" which is probably true, as night was sure to overtake them between Knoxville and Oskaloosa, even at a high rate of speed.

At the first grade crossing out of Knoxville, that of the Pella-Knoxville main highway, they emerged from a cornfield just as the Avery-Cleland truck was squarely across the railroad tracks. The "scooter" struck the big motor truck at about mid-way of its length bending and twisting the heavy wrought iron framework, but not upsetting the vehicle. The scooter was derailed and its occupants scattered in all directions.

Mr. Ames died in a pool of blood on the north side of the track and the others were thrown in various positions on the south side. Mr. Avery and Mr. Lenker, in the motor truck, escaped without injury whatever. They had been putting up a piece of International Harvester machinery at the John Adair farm, and were on their way back to town.

Mrs. Ames and the daughter accompanied by Trainmaster F. L. Park came in from Des Moines Tuesday and perfected the funeral arrangements. The body was taken to Chicago in the dead man's private car, leaving Knoxville Tuesday. The funeral and burial will take place in Chicago, today, Thursday.

Some little explanation of the characteristics of the scene of the accident will be appropriate in closing.

The spot is exactly two miles east of the Knoxville Rock Island depot, 1˝ miles from the city limits. A cornfield grows up to the right-of- way on the north side; weeds and undergrowth to the south. The railroad tracks at the highway are just east of the mouth of a cut. The highway angles south southwest to the driver coming in the direction of Knoxville slightly up-grade, with no chance to see a train or a motor car coming up out of the cut until one is almost squarely on the crossing. This being the condition, it is doubtless true that neither the “scooter" driver nor the truck driver saw the other until the instant of the collision.

County coroner, Paul N. Little was absent from town. However, Messrs. Roberts & Evans, undertakers, were called to the scene, along with Dr. H. called to the scene, with Dr. C. S. Cornell, Rock, Island surgeon, Dr. H. E. White and Deputy Sheriff Moore. Moore gave the undertakers permission to bring the body of Mr. Ames back to town to be prepared for burial. The Bybee & Davis ambulance brought Mr. Burt and Mr. Whaley into the city. They were given first aid treatment and sent to their homes in Des Moines on the 7:30 train over the Q.

Mr. Ames, the man killed in the accident had been division superintendent since July; the trip was on Monday being his first official visit to Knoxville. He was superintendent of the Keokuk-Des Moines branch of the Rock Island and of the Washington-Knoxville branch and other east Iowa sidelines, collectively known as the Des Moines Valley Division. His home was in Des Moines where the he leaves his widow and one daughter. The latter is Miss Florence, aged about 17 years. She has just entered Drake University as a student the first of the present month.

Marion County Newspapers 1922


Marion Documents maintained by Allen Hibbard.
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