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Obituary ~ Cyrus S. Coffin
September 19, 1870 ~ November 24, 1906

Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
December 6, 1906

C.S. COFFIN, formerly of this city, was killed near Cottonwood, Utah, Sunday, November 24th, while serving as brakeman on the Rio Grande Western. He had for some time been employed on the Oregon Short Line but just a short time before his death, had entered the employ of the above road as freight brakeman, running from Salt Lake City south.

On the day of the accident, he was standing on the top of a box car at (can't read) in the morning as his train was nearing the town of Cottonwood when he was struck by the upper part of a covered bridge and thrown from the train. The Rio Grande Western was formerly a narrow gauge road and had recently been changed to a standard gauge and the rolling stock accordingly increased in size. The bridge, however, had not been changed in any way with the exception of the rails, and the large box car on which MR. COFFIN was standing did not leave sufficient space above to clear the brakeman's head.

MR. COFFIN was terribly injured, the back of his skull being crushed and his right leg and arm being broken. He was hurried to Salt Lake City, a distance of l25 miles, where he was placed in St. Mary's Hospital. Everything within the attending physician's skill was done, but death resulted that evening.

His sister, MRS. OLIVE RADCLIFFE, of Wathena, Kan., had been notified of the accident and she had in turn telephoned to her brother, ED COFFIN, at Council Bluffs, and notified her brothers, CHARLES and VIN, of Leon. MRS. RADCLIFFE, accompanied by her husband, hurried to Council Bluffs where with ED COFFIN they awaited further news, ED COFFIN had notified their brother, W.W. COFFIN, who is (can't read) master for the Union Pacific at Evanston, Wyoming, and he started immediately for Salt Lake City, a distance of l35 miles. He arrived there Monday and started for Leon with the body at 8 o'clock Tuesday evening, arriving here Friday afternoon at 2:4l p.m.

The funeral was held at the Christian Church, Saturday afternoon, Rev. J.L. Boyd, Pastor of the M.E. Church, conducting the services. [Interment was made at Leon Cemetery.]

He was born in Leon, September 19, 1870, being a son of MR. and MRS. JAS. COFFIN, both of whom have passed away. He was the second son of that family to meet his death while railroading. GEORGE COFFIN being injured at Afton on the main line of the Burlington, Septemer 16, 1882, and death resulting at Creston, where he was taken for medical attention. ED COFFIN also lost a foot in the railroad service.

CYRUS studied telegraphy in his youth and was for several years, station agent at the old D.M. & K.C. Station at the foot of west Commercial Street in this City. He was a popular and worthy young man who made friends readily. He carried a life insurance policy for $1,350 in the B. of R.T. in favor of his sister, MRS. OLIVE RADCLIFFE, of Wathena, Kansas.


Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
September 23, 2001