CHRISTIAN FEDSON's DEATH|
#1 of 4 items:
Countryside Mourns For Man Killed
at Apple River.
St. Ansgar Correspondence -- Osage News:
The funeral of Mr. C. Fedson occurred at the Norwegian Lutheran Church Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.
Rev. Gist, of Cedar Falls, preached a very touching sermon in the English language. He spoke eloquently upon the enobling virtues of our dead citizen and friend and what their bearing should have been upon the lives of those who had gathered at his bier to pay tribute to his memory.
Rev. J. Olson followed in the Norwegian language, and while we were unable to understand the words spoken by that venerable gentleman, the moisture of the eyes that were visible on the hundreds that were present told of their character and feeling. It was one of the largest funerals held here for many years. People who were friends of the deceased came for miles to attend the last sad rites.
The floral tributes were many and beautiful. All the business places were closed between the hours of two and four o'clock and many of them were draped in mourning.
The remains were interred in St. Ansgar cemetery.
[Semi Weekly Iowa State Reporter, Waterloo, Iowa
Tuesday, February 18, 1902
#2 of 4 items:
The remains of Christian Fedson, one of the victims of the
awful wreck at Apple River, were brought to this city last night preparatory
to its being taken to his home in St. Ansgar. The remains were accompanied
by E. W. Priem, a stockman from St. Ansgar and a friend of Fedson's and who
also was in the ill-fated car.
A number of friends and relatives of Fedson came here from St. Ansgar to meet the body. Mr. Fedson was one the the best known men in that part of the state. He has been a resident of St. Ansgar for about twenty years and has been engaged in buying grain and stock,
He is about 51 years old and leaves a wife and three children who have nearly reached their majority.
[From The Waterloo Courier, Friday February 7, 1902]
#3 of 4 items:
C. FEDSON DEAD
Killed in a Wreck Monday morning at Apple River, Illinois.
St. Ansgar Grief Stricken.
Mr. Fedson left on a trip Sunday morning as he has left on many a trip during the past year and many, many more during the years that have past. The trains lost a good deal of time, and did not leave Dubuque until considerably after midnight. The traffic was so heavy that it had to be run in sections just as closely together as possible.
Ed Priem states that a number of times when the train stopped the rear train would come close enough to enable them to read by the light of the approaching headlight.
When the train left Dubuque there were two cabooses. The rear one was for the trainmen while the next was fixed up with berths for the cattlemen. There were 16 men on this car. At Apple River, 40 miles east of Dubuque, the train stopped at the tank for water. All the men in the front car were asleep with the exception of Frank Jacobs of Osage. He was awake and had gone out on the platform. That enabled him to jump in time to save his life. The following paragraph we quote from the Dubuque Times:
“The conductor and brakeman sitting in the caboose, heard
a rumbling sound in the rear and upon opening the door and looking out were
much surprised to see a train only a short distance from them, bearing down
with great rapidity, and even then the jar of the brakes could be heard with
the blast of the whistle. The trainmen saw that a disaster could not be
averted and jumped just in time to save their lives, while the second
train, now running at a greatly reduced speed crashed into the caboose,
hurling it from the track and then into the stockmen’s car, where twelve
men were sleeping, all unconscious of the terrible scene that was to happen.
In an instant the scene of peace and tranquility, which had reigned within
was changed to horror and fright as the iron monster plunged in among the
sleeping forms, hurling them right and left; crushing them against the side
of the cars or pinning them between masses of lumber. The still night air
was filled with groans of agony and cries of distress as the dying and
injured men awoke only to fight for their lives. The scene was appalling
in the extreme and enough to unnerve the stoutest heart, but as soon as the
trains had been brought to a standstill the trainmen. Armed with axes and
lanterns, commenced to clear away the wreckage and rescue the victims from
among the splinters and car wheels.”
Mr. Fedson was in a lower berth and was killed by being
struck by the floor and brake beam of the rear caboose. Mr. Ed Priem was
in the upper berth on the opposite side. His escape was almost miraculous
as he escaped almost unhurt. That the whole wreck was not consumed by fire
is due to his efforts as with great coolness he saw the danger and cleared
the debris away from the stove. Three others, M. C. Tawter, Of Wall Lake,
H. F. Pancake of Wall Lake and
C. R. Blunt of Charles City, were killed and ten others injured. Frank
Jacobs of Osage was on the platform and jumped just in time to save his life.
Mr. Priem worked heroically to help rescue the injured and get out the bodies of the dead and in so doing, without shoes on, froze his feet badly.
It is impossible for us to speak more at length this week but in the death of Mr. Fedson, St. Ansgar and Mitchell County loses one of her most popular most public spirtited and enterprising men. The funeral will be in the N. L. Church at two this afternoon.
St. Ansgar Enterprise dated 1902; from St. Ansgar Museum Collection)
#4 of 4 items:
BODIES SENT HOME
Unfortunates of Apple River
Make Last Journey
STORY OF AN EYEWITNESS
Second Charles City Man
Stood on Caboose Steps
E. W. Priem of St. Ansgar Relates How He Escaped
Through the Crash and Came Out Unhurt from the Terrible Wreck.
(From Tuesday's Daily.)
Mr. Priem received only a few bruises and no severe injuries. He had scarcely recovered from the shock of the wreck and seemed too much stricken by its horrors to give a very good account of it.
The remains of Christian Fedson, one of the victims of the awful wreck at
Apple River, wre brought to this city last night preparatory to its being
taken to his home in St. Ansgar. The remains were accompanied by E.W. Priem,
a stockman from St. Ansgar and a friend of Fedson's and who also was in the
ill fated car. Mr. Priem received only a few bruises and no severe injuries.
He had scarely recovered from the shock of the wreck and seemed too much
stricken by its horrors to give a very good account of it.
Priem's Story of Accident.
"There were sixteen stockmen in the caboose sleeping when the accident occurred. There were two cabooses on the train. The one next to the train was used as a sleeping compartment for us and the other as quarters for the trainmen. At Apple River they told me our train stopped to take water. I did not know this as I was asleep as were almost all of the rest. The first thing I knew there came an awful crash and I was badly jarred. The second caboose had been completely telescoped into the one we were occupying, its floor passing into the car a few inches above the floor in our caboose. The trainmen were awake, had seen the train coming and jumped off. They quickly rushed into the car after the train had stopped and began to release those who were pinioned between the two floors. We had only one axe and the work was slow, nearly an hour elapsing before we had all the men out. Two other men and I were the only ones out of the sixteen that escaped uninjured.
One stockman named Jacobs of Charles City, had been unable to sleep and stepped out on the platform of the car when the train had stopped for water. He saw the train coming and thinking that it was coming pretty fast for being so near stepped off, not having time to awaken the rest of us. The engine men on the approaching train also jumped, one of the engineers alighting on a rock and was quite badly injured, being unable to walk for some time.
"The floor of the caboose was an awful sight, being completely covered with blood. Thirteen men were pinioned between the floors of the telescoped cabooses and how any of them escaped alive I am unable to explain. Four of the men were dead when we got them out and others were also injured. Two of the bodies were horribly mangled.
We found Fedson with a heavy beam across his body, it probably having crushed out his life as there were few other marks on his body.
The water tank is some distance on this side of the town where all the injured and dead were immediately taken. Strange to say the remainder of the train was little damaged, none of the cars being off the track. Some of them were slightly broken by the jolt which the collision gave and a few head of stock were also killed.
Fedson a Prominent Stockman.
A number of friends and relatives of Fedson came here from St. Ansgar to meet his body. Mr. Fedson was one of the best known men in that part of the state. He has been a resident of St. Ansgar for about twenty years and has been engaged in buying grain and stock. He is about 51 years old and leaves a wife and three children who have nearly reached their majority. He is fairly well to do and stood highly in the estimate of all who knew him.
More Wreck Details
Apple River is the third station east of Galena on the Illinois Central. The trains which collided were the fifth section of 53, which was in the lead and the second sectiono of NO. 62 which was in the read and was the one that ran into the first.
These two trains left Dubuque in the neighborhood of 12:30 to 1:30 Monday morning the first about an hour ahead of the second. At Scales Mound fifth 52 was twenty-five minutes ahead of second 62. The former stopped at the tank, which is about one quarter of a mile this side of the town, to take water and it was here that the accident took place.
The first train was made up of twenty-eight stock cars and was in the charge of Conductor Judd of Waterloo. The second was a double header, with Engineers J. C. Payne in charge of the first
engine and 8. Willy in charge of the second. There were thirty-six cars on this train and they were all loaded with stock.
While fifth 52 was standing at the tank, conductor and brakeman, sitting in the caboose, heard a rumbling sound in the rear and upon opening the door and looking out were much surprised to see a train only a short distance from them, bearing down with great rapidity, and even then the jar of the brakes could be heard with the blast of the whistle.
The trainmen saw that a disaster could not be averted and jumped just In time to save their lives, while, the second train now running at a greatly reduced speed, crashed into the caboose, hurling it from the track and then into the stockmen's car, where twelve men were sleeping all unconscious of the terrible scene that was to happen. In an Instant the scene of peace and tranquility which had reigned within was changed to horror and fright as the iron monster plunged in among the sleeping forms, hurling them right and left; crushing them against the side of the cars or pinning them between the masses of lumber.
The still night air was filled with groans of agony and cries of distress as the dying and injured men awoke only to fight for their lives. The scene was appalling in the extreme and enough to unnerve the strongest heart, but as soon as the trains had been brought to a standstill the trainmen, armed with axes and lanterns, commenced to clear away the wreckage and rescue the victims from among the splinters and car wheels.
The car in which these stockmen were sleeping is what is commonly known among railroad men as a "bunk car.". It is provided by the railroad company for men who are going to market with their stock, and while the interior is not fitted up as luxuriously as a Pullman car, still It has bunks in which to sleep and every way is arranged in comfortable manner.
This car was at the rear of the stock cars and just in front of the caboose, sixteen men were sleeping within and out of this number only two escaped without injury.
As soon as possible after the wreck had taken place the headquarters of the division at Dubuque was notified and a wrecking train dispatched to the scene of the accident without delay.
Following close on the heels of this was a special containing Superintendent Harriman, Trainmaster Beachley, Dr. Staples and several other physicians. Doctors and surgeons from Galena and Warren were also present.
The water tank is about one-third of a mile from Apple River, situated on a clear, stretch ol track. As was stated the second train had slowed considerably so that when the collision
took place it was running at a comparatively slow rate of speed. Besides the caboose and bunk car only one car of stock was thrown from the rails. On the second train the first engine was badly damaged, but the other one and the car loads of stock in the rear were not injured in the least and soon as the track was cleared and went on to Chicago as did the first train. The damage to the, rolling stock is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,200.
Although badly battered both the caboose and bunk car are in such a state that they can be repaired and put into service again.
The reason the stockmen were hurt so badly was because they were sleeping. They, had no warning of the danger and the collision happened when there were wholly unprepared.
The four who met death were killed instantly and when picked up by the train men, life extinct in each. In , each case the cause of their death was broken bones and internal injuries, but while many of them were badly crushed and mashed they were all recognizable
and identification was.easy.
The men injured were in a most pitiable plight and excited the sympathy of all present. The cold dark night added to their discomfort and It was not for nearly an hour that they
were removed to beds in houses at Apple River and medical aid was administered. They suffered severely from their injuries, while the zero degree weather added greatly to their discomfort.
The exact cause of the accident is not known as yet, and perhaps never will be. The officials are making an investigation and the public will have to wait until they have finished to be satisfied.
Semi Weekly Iowa State Reporter
Friday, February 7, 1902