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Gillespie, Illinois

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Big Four    CCC&StL
      Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago Railway
      Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway
      Indianapolis and St Louis Railway
      Indiana Bloomington and Western Railway
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company
Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago Railway    CISL&C
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis
The Illinois Terminal Railroad
Illinois Traction System
Macoupin County Extension Railway Company
Macoupin County Railway
Railroad Fatalities

Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago Railway    (CISL&C)
      This is shown on the 1875 plat map, going through Gillespie, Illinois.

1889 2
Big Four
Big Four Depot at Gillespie, IL.
Big Four Depot at Gillespie
Courtesy of Jill Secoy
      On June 30, 1889 , the railway merged with the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway and the Indianapolis and St Louis Railway to form the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known collectively as the Big Four. The following year, the company gained control of the former Indiana Bloomington and Western Railway.
      The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known as the Big Four Railroad and commonly abbreviated CCC&StL, was a railroad company in the Midwestern United States. Its primary routes were located in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
      In 1906, the Big Four was acquired by the New York Central Railroad. The Big Four's lines were incorporated into Penn Central in 1968 with the merger of New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Penn Central declared bankruptcy in 1970, and in 1976 many of Big Four's lines were included in the government-sponsored Conrail. Conrail was privatized in 1987, and divided in 1999 between CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Big Four Depot interior at Gillespie, IL.
Big Four Depot interior at Gillespie
Courtesy of Jill Secoy

Montgomery County, IL. -Four Kortkamp Miners Killed in Big Four Accident

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis
      Several railroads enter and cross Macoupin county. the Chicago & Alton enters the county on section 14, in Virden township and traverses the county in a southwestern direction, leaving it at Brighton, on section 19. the most important stations are Carlinville, Girard, Nilwood, Shipman and Brighton. In 1852 the road was completed between Alton and Springfield and in 1864 trains were running to East St. Louis. Later the road entered the city of St. Louis.
      The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis has for its main stations in the county, Bunker Hill, Dorchester and Gillespie; the Wabash, Staunton and Mt. Olive; the Jacksonville & St. Louis, Virden and Girard; St. Louis, Rock Island & Chicago, Brighton and Medora; Quincy, Carrollton, & St. Louis, Carlinville; Chicago, Peoria & St. Louis, Medora, Hettick, Modesto and Chesterfield; Litchfield & Madison, Mt. Olive and Staunton; Illinois Central, Mt. Olive; Macoupin county, under management of the Chicago & Northwestern, Sawyerville and Benld, Gillespie, Carlinville, Nilwood, Girard and Virden; Chicago & Eastern Illinois, track at Staunton. Most of these roads are coal feeders to other lines.

Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company
 logo of Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company
      In 1902 the Superior Coal Company began to open mines in the area.
The Superior Coal Company was owned by Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company,
Benld, IL. Depot
Benld, IL. Depot
Courtesy of Georgia Ferry

See also : History of Coal Mining in this area
November 22, 1913
To the Railroad and Warehouse Commission Springfield, Illinois.
General: In pursuance to instructions as per telegram hereto attached, I represented the Railroad and Warehouse Commission in a joint investigation on October 31st, concerning the train accident which occurred on the line of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company at Green Ridge on October 29, 1913. This investigation developed the following facts:
First -- The train accident referred to was a collision between the C. & N. W. southbound way-freight extra No. 1407 and some dongola cars spotted on the main track of the Macoupin County line at the pumphouse, a short distance south of Green Ridge. This accident occurred at about 5:40 p.m., on October 29th. It resulted in fatally injuring Conductor T. E. Scanlin of Belvidere, Ill., and Flagman C. N. Donaldson of Oak Park, Ill, both of whom died the following day.
Second --As indicated on the map attached hereto, this accident occurred on a portion of the Macoupin County Ry. line (operated by the C. & N. W. Ry. Co.), extending from the point of connection with the tracks of the Chicago & Alton R. R. Co., at Green Ridge, a distance of about two miles southward to the point of connection with the main track of the St. Louis, Peoria & Northwestern Ry. Co. (operated by the C. & N. W. Ry. Co.).
Third -- On October 28th Conductor D. Rutherford of work train extra was instructed by General Yard Master .1. Walliser to spot four gondola cars on the track of the Macoupin County line at the water tank, which is about midway between the point of connection above referred to. These cars contained material to be unloaded by the section men.
At 1:10 T.M. of the same date General Yard Master Walliser telephoned the train dispatcher, W. D. Meredith, at South Pekin and notified him of four cars spotted on the Macoupin County line.
Fourth -- Prior to September 18th, freight traffic from the Benld territory was handled by way of the Green Ridge connection on the line of the C. & A. R. R. Co. On September 17th the C. & N. W. Ry. Co. commenced hauling freight traffic from the Benld territory by way of the newly constructed line (St. L., P. & N. W. Ry. Co.) to South Pekin. On that date the switch connecting the main track of the Macoupin County Ry. Co. was set normally clear for the St. L., P. & N. W. track, the line which thereafter would be considered the main track. This point of connection is referred to as M. C. connection. After this date that portion of the Macoupin County line between M. C. connection and the Green Ridge connection was considered by Supt. F. O'Brien as a switching lead.
Fifth -- Since September 18th it has been the custom of northbound way- freight trains to leave cars destined for Green Ridge at M. C. connection, and for the southbound way-freight to deliver these cars to points of destination.
On this division there are two train crews in way-freight service running in. opposite directions. The crew, for instance, which would go south one day would return north the following day.
Sixth -- When General Yard Master Walliser notified Train Dispatcher Meredith on October 28th of the four cars spotted at the water tank, Train Dispatcher Meredith made a lead pencil memorandum which read as follows: "Three cars on bridge at water tank at Green Ridge on main line. Leave spotted if not unloaded."
Apparently through the medium of the telephone, on same day, Train Dispatcher Meredith took the precaution to notify Conductor Klug of southbound local extra 1387 to look out for the cars spotted on the main track at the water tank and to notify him what he (Klug) did with them. Conductor Klug notified Train Dispatcher Meredith that the work of unloading the cars had not been completed and that he had left them spotted at the same place.
Seventh -- To the memorandum made by the train dispatcher, Meredith, before he was relieved by the next train dispatcher, he marked Conductor King's name in ink, check marked it and left it on the desk for the information of Train Dispatcher C. W. Evans, who came on duty at 4:00 p.m.
Eighth -- When Train Dispatcher Evans came on duty at 4:00 p.m. on October 28th he found the memorandum referred to and concluded that nothing further was to be done in connection with the cars previously spotted and placed the memorandum in the files. That was the end of the memorandum relating to the spotted cars, and when Train Dispatcher Evans went on duty again the following day, October 29th, the following train order was addressed to C. & E. engine No. 1407 at Girard, Ill., at 5:12 p.m. and known as order No. 49, which reads:
"Engine No. 1407 run extra Girard to Green Ridge and return to Benld.
      Signed I. B. S."
Repeated at 5:12 p.m. 0. K.'d at 5:12 p.m.
Signed I. B. S. by Operator Sparks.

Ninth -- The train which received the order above quoted on October 29th was the southbound local known as extra 1407, in charge of Conductor T. E. Scanlin and Engineman E. R. Youmans. When this train reached M. C. connection it backed its train of caboose and five or six cars, including six cars coupled to the front of the engine, toward Green Ridge. The cars coupled to the front of the engine were to be left at Green Ridge.
The trainmen of this particular train had no advance notice of the cars spotted on the main track, and while the section men who were unloading the cars took the precaution to place a red switch light on the end of the car nearest to the train approaching it from the south, it apparently was not sufficient protection to avoid a collision.
As stated before, this accident occurred at 5:40 p.m. while it was very dark with a misty rain falling. Conductor Scanlin and Flagman Donaldson were on the rear platform of the caboose as the train was backing up and it was apparent from all the circumstances developed at the investigation that the red signal observed by these two men was too obscure to be of benefit, because of the weather conditions; and undoubtedly, as a result of these conditions, they were led to believe that it indicated an open switch in the yard at Green Ridge about 1,300 feet north therefrom.
The testimony develops the fact that at the time of the collision, the train was not making more than six miles per hour. An effort had been, made to stop the train upon signal from the conductor, but too late to prevent the accident. As the caboose on which the conductor and flagman were riding came in contact with the gongola cars the platform of the caboose telescoped under the gondola car with result above noted.
Tenth -- Regardless as to whether the track on which this accident occurred is a switching lead or the main track of what may now be considered a branch line, it is evident that the train dispatchers, Meredith and Evans, did not take the necessary precaution to protect the trains moving over that particular piece of road while the cars were spotted. Both men admit that the spotted cars should have been covered by a train order, and as a result of this admission and the conclusion of the officers of the C. & N. W. Ry. Co., that the spotted cars should have been covered by train order, the train dispatchers, W, D. Meredith and C. W. Evans, were discharged from the service. At least, I was so informed by General Superintendent Towne. From the same source of information I learned that Chief Dispatcher Sherman was demoted for not paying closer attention to the duties of the train dispatchers under him.
Respectfully submitted,
[Signed] F. G. Ewald,
Consulting Engineer.
      Chicago & North Western Railway Company owns the entire capital stock of Superior Coal Comapny ($2,000,000) and of the Macoupin County Railway Company ($10,000). Neither of these subsidiary companies has any bonded indebtedness. The Superior Coal Company owns about 45,000 acres of coal lands in Macoupin County, in the state of Illinois, upon which it operates three mines served by the Macoupin County Railway. these were opened in 1904 for the purpose of furnishing coal for the use of the North Western line; and they produce about 2,000,000 tons of coal per year, of which between 90 and 95 per cent is sold to the North Western line, the balance consisting largely of screenings being sold commercially, principally in Chicago.
      The Chicago & North Western has no track connection with the Macoupin County Railway but is now building a line from Peoria to a junction with it near Girard. The new line will be known as the St. Louis, Peoria & North Western Railway and will serve six independent mines when opened up.

Illinois Traction System
Illinois Traction system
      An electric trolley railway known as the Interurban. This is a small portion of the railway furnishing transportation through central Illinois, from St. Louis, Missouri through Alton, Edwardsville, Staunton, Sawyerville, Benld, Gillespie, Carlinville, and on north to Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, Decatur, Danville, and other points in between.
      The Illinois streetcar system of Champaign and Urbana was purchased by William B. McKinley in 1890 and thus began McKinley Lines, the basis for the beginning of this railroad. Through merging and connections with other lines, this became the Illinois Traction System and the route was completed through to Staunton in 1905. Another line between Alton and Edwardsville, the Illinois Terminal Railroad was bought by Illinois Power and Light in 1928 and then in 1956 these lines were merged to form the Illinois Terminal Railroad Company.
In March 1956, passenger service ended.
Macoupn Street of Gillespie, March 3, 1956
Macoupn Street of Gillespie
March 3, 1956
Courtesy of Jill Secoy

Staunton Star-Times
Staunton, Illinois
October 7, 1910

Wreck of the I.T.S.

Courtesy of Cindy Leonard

ITS Wreck Oct. 4, 1910
Appalling Disaster That Put The Spark of Life Out of 37 Souls in a Second
Coroner D.H. Karnes and a jury composed of Fred Johnson, foreman; George Denby, George Arnett, L. E. Ross, P. W. Kessinger and W. P. Dunn, all of Carlinville, have been busy for the past two or three days in fixing the responsibility for a wreck which caused the death of the list of persons named above, besides injuring twenty-four other persons, more or less seriously and in some instances probably fatally. Staunton has been busy the past few days - not with looking after the State Fair or the Veiled Prophet's pageants, but in looking after the welfare for the injured and the disposition of the bodies of the deceased in one of the most frightful wrecks known in history. All interest in aeroplane flights, in matter of breaking motorcar, pacing or trotting records has been forgotten and all interest centered on the discharge of duties, which most earnestly appeal to humanity. The coroner had just completed the holding of an inquest in the city hall Tuesday afternoon, when he was notified that there had been a serious wreck between Staunton and Benld, all the doctors of the city having been previously summoned to the scene. News was anxiously awaited and it was but a short time until people were advised that conditions were even worse than feared. A car rushed to the scene of accident brought back the body of Superintendent W. W. Street and loving hands carried him tenderly up the stairs at the station to the room that he used as his office. On the same car were the most of the injured, the most of whom were rushed without delay to the hospital at Granite City.   On Tuesday afternoon, October 4, [1910], a day that gives Staunton a mark in history, train No. 14, car No. 358, left Staunton a few minutes late. It was in charge of Motorman John Lierman and Conductor M. D. Leonard, who relieved the crew that brought the car from East St. Louis in this city, as was their custom. They had orders to meet the second section of train No. 73, car No. 359, at Wall's siding, more commonly known as No. 14 siding. For some reason the order was disregarded and train No. 14 proceeded and met second No. 73 on the main track between Cahokia Creek bridge and Dingerson curve. The cars must have been making a high rate of speed and the impact was terrific, one car going over half way through the other. Both cars were well filled with passengers, but the most of the dead and injured were on the southbound car. Both motormen saved their lives by jumping, after shutting off power and applying air brakes to the limit of their capacity or emergency point. The scene, which followed, rests as appall upon the community and is too harrowing to describe in detail. It was the most frightful wreck in the history of the Illinois Traction System and every energy of the company is being exerted at present to prevent a recurrence of such a disaster.
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Traffic was heavy on the interurban that day. The limited cars were nearly all running in two sections. Ordinarily, the local and limited cars through the day meet at the car barn, the station known on the time card as Spring Street. On this particular run it is understood that the local met the first section of the limited at the usual meeting point, but that the local after meeting 1st No. 73 was instructed to come to the station for further orders. Here the local crews changed the a. m. men being relieved by the men who finished the day. The officials of the road attribute the entire blame to the motormen and conductor of the local car, Lierman and Leonard, both of whom are kept under surveillance by direction of the coroner.
As much sympathy is being expressed for the accused as for the dead and injured. Members of the crew following the disaster did all in his power to alleviate the distress of the suffering and were easily to be found when officers of the law sought them. Both men are still in Carlinville. They may have erred and the evidence looks against them, but the fact remains that they have sought in no way to shirk the responsibility of their actions.
Shortly after the wreck and about the time the car left bearing the body of Superintendent Street and the injured to this city, another relief car went north, bearing twenty-seven of the dead to Carlinville, a number of the dead were still pinned in the wreck, but were released as soon as possible and late in the night were brought to this city.
  The official staff of the Illinois Traction System was seriously crippled through the tragic death of Superintendent Street, Berry, Price and Black, but surviving members of the official staff were energetic and the official car reached here about 11 o'clock after the wreck had been cleared. The cars, locked together were brought to this city by two locomotives after the dead and injured had been removed. They now stand in the car barn yards, covered with an immense tarpaulin, to in a measure, hide evidence of a disaster that rivals the erstwhile calamities that put Ashtabula, Ohio, Chatsworth, and Litchfield, Illinois and the Tay bridge of Scotland on the map.
For some reason known to himself Coroner Karnes did not empanel a jury until the following day, Wednesday, after he had reached his home. After viewing the remains of the dead in Carlinville, the coroner and jury came to this city and viewed the dead in the two undertaking establishments of this city, then going back to Carlinville to finish their deliberations.
All of Tuesday evening and night the telephone and telegraph wires were kept hot, with inquiries by parties for relatives or loved ones. Occasionally some one from the interurban force would come to the waiting room or door of the station and call for some name. Frequently the party called for would respond and would be informed that some relative at a distance was making inquiry for them. They would then be asked if they were all right and if they had any message to transmit to the person inquiring. Where such inquiries were responded to everybody seemed to feel better. More frequently calls would not be responded to and inquiries for identification were sent to the morgues.
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The metropolitan press was ably represented on the scene of the disaster. Representatives of the St. Louis Republic and Globe-Democrat and the Springfield Register and Journal were early on the field and covered the sad story well, each paper having a graphic account of the tragedy, embellished with realistic engravings.
Willing hands at the scene of the wreck did everything in their power to alleviate suffering and care for the dead. Valuables were taken care of and accounted for and no ghoulish pilfering has been reported.
The track was cleared about 11 o'clock p.m. and regular service resumed. Neither the track or overhead wiring were disturbed, a remarkable feature in so disastrous a wreck. A heavy rain the next morning washed away the crimson traces of the slaughter.
Probably nothing in the history of the wreck is regretted so much as the death of Superintendent W. W. Street. During the few years he resided in Staunton he won the respect of all citizens, and no superior officer was ever held in higher esteem by his subordinates. He was looking after the movement of trains and contemplated a busy week. His body did not appear to be badly mutilated and death was probably due to internal hemorrhage. Observing the impending collision he used all his energy to force the passengers in the smoker into the rear of the car.
W. W. Street, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Street, was born in Hedrick, Ia., and at the time of his death was a few days over 40 years and one month old. At the age of fifteen years he was employed in a country newspaper and with considerable pride would show friends some files of the paper he edited at that age during the absence of the editor. Later he went to Davenport, where he clerked in a store. The business he only followed
  a short time, then beginning his career in railroading. He was united in marriage to Miss Rilla McFarland, December 1895 in Chicago. He became acquainted with Miss McFarland some time before while she was visiting in Davenport. Mr. and Mrs. Street came from Iowa to Illinois, residing in this state about four years.
Recently they had been making their home at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. George. Mr. Street was high up in Masonry, having passed through the Blue Lodge, Chapter, Commandery and Scottish Rite Consistory. He also belonged to the Mystic Shrine of that order.
Brief but highly impressive services were conducted from the residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. George Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock by the local lodge of Masons, after which the remains were sent to his former home in Davenport, Ia. The floral offerings were profuse and included some of the most beautiful and expensive designs ever seen in this city, testifying in a silent way to the high esteem in which he was held by all with whom he became acquainted. The final obsequies will be held in Davenport and the remains will be laid to rest beside those of this mother who preceded him to the grave about fifteen years. Besides his widow, he is survived by his father who lives in Davenport; four sisters, three of who reside in Hedrick, Ia., and one in Texas, and one brother who resides in Los Angeles, Cal.
Mrs. T. D. Foose of Chicago, a sister to Mrs. Street, came to this city to be comfort to her in the most trying ordeal she has probably ever encountered.
Other developments will likely follow the items briefly recited in this chapter, and all we can hope for is that they may be no worse.
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BAUER, Herman, St. Louis, Mo., Bridge and building department Illinois Traction System.
BAUER, Mrs. Herman, St. Louis, wife of Herman Bauer.
BERRY, J. E., Springfield, assistant superintendent of motive power machinery, Illinois Traction System.
BLOTNA, Mrs. John, Benld, Ill., wife of John Blotna.
BRUEGGE, J., St. Louis.
BRUEGGE, Mrs. J., St. Louis.
BUNTON, Mrs. G. L., St. Louis
CLOUD, Mrs. William, Benld, Ill.
GALLOWAY, Dr. H. C. (colored), Decatur, Ill.
GALLOWAY, Mrs. H. C. (colored), Decatur, Ill.
HABBEGGER, J. R., Jamestown, Ill., merchant.
HENRY, S. T., Princeville, Ill.
HENRY, Mrs. S. T., Princeville, Ill.
HILL, S. C., Belleville, Ill.
HILL, Mrs. S. C., Belleville, Ill.

INDERMILL, Manuel A., Baden Baden, Ill., insurance agent.
KANE, Mrs. C. H., Granite City.

  KIRWIN, T. J., St. Louis, salesman.
KUENZE, Adolph, Belleville.
McPHERSON, Miss Elizabeth, Gillespie, stenographer.
McPHERSON, Miss Lulu M., Gillespie.
MILLER, J. W., Gillespie, superintendent of the three mines of the Superior Coal Company.
PRICE, A. A., Champaign, Ill., auditor of disbursements, Illinois Traction System.
REEBEL, Frank, O'Fallon, Ill.
REED, Mrs. F. W., Peoria, Ill.
REDSHAW, Dr. B. F., Curran, Ill.
REDSHAW, Mrs. B. F., Curran, Ill.
ROSE, E. M., Chicago, solicitor Collier's Weekly.
ROBINSON, H. B., Benld, IL., merchant.
ROBINSON, Mrs. H. B., Benld, Ill.
SAWYER, Miss Ella, Belleville, Ill.
STREET, W. W., Staunton, Ill., division superintendent, Illinois Traction System.
SINNIGER, Miss Beatrice, of Springfield, Ill.
WERNER, A., Chapin, Ill.
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Wm. McCurlee, Springfield
Bert Edwards, Mt. Olive
Edith Lansford, Hillsboro
Mrs. J. R. Agee, Springfield
Julius Engelman, O'Fallon
George Miller, Troy
Mary Duffner, Nilwood
Daniel Tarrant, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mrs. G. B. Clifton, Staunton
G. W. McGehe, Shawneetown
Guy Smith, Shawneetown
John Hohe, Trenton
Edw. White, Decatur
  L. Y. Rains, Carlinville
V. T. McCall, Gillespie
J. M. Judge, Litchfield
E. J. Young, Staunton
C. S. Mehl, I.T.S. employ
C. F. Miller, Sparta
Mrs. L. E. Cordum, Gillespie
Joseph Clark, Benld
Unknown man
Hazel Sinniger, 1424 Lowel Ave., Springfield
James Scotland, Sawyerville
George Oehlers, Staunton
James Parker, Staunton
Henry Saul, Belleville.
Collision On Illinois Traction System Near Staunton, Ill.
Springfield, Ill., October 5, 1910. Hon. 0. F. Berry, Chairman, Railroad and Warehouse Commission:
Dear Sir -- In company with Commissioner J. A. Willoughby and Inspector Layman, I viewed the scene of a train accident on the line of the Illinois Traction System which occurred on Tuesday afternoon, October 4th, at 3:39 o'clock. Up to the present time we have not been able to obtain a complete list of the killed and injured. So far as it Is obtainable there were thirty seven persons killed and about thirty injured. Of the persons killed five of them were officials connected with the Illinois Traction System.
This train accident was a butting collision between northbound train No. 14, car No. 238, and the second section of southbound train No. 73, car No. 239. It occurred about half way between Staunton and Benld at a point about one mile north of Walls Siding on a 10-foot embankment. From a superficial examination, such as could be made at 1:30 o'clock in the morning, this point of collision is on a tangent about 300 feet south of the point of tangent of a curve running northerly, a part of which traverses a cut or excavation for the roadway. The mouth of this cut is about 500 feet in advance of the point of collision.
From additional data which has been obtained by Inspector Layman it would seem that the motorman of the southbound car could see the point of collision 600 feet north thereof. Quoting from Inspector Layman's data he says:
"Northbound train was probably 1,200 feet from southbound when both crews could have seen each other."
At the time of our arrival at the scene of the collision --1:30 a. m.- -all of the dead and injured had been removed and the two wrecked cars taken to Staunton. As a result of the collision the northbound car telescoped the southbound car for one-half of its length. The cars did not leave the roadbed but one pair of trucks of each car was off the rails. In an interlocked position the cars were hauled on their own trucks to Staunton a short distance south.
As a result of our informal investigation into the causes responsible for this collision, we obtained the following facts:
The Illinois Traction System operates its trains over a single track roadbed. When No. 14, the northbound train reached Staunton, the time card meeting point, it met the first section of train No. 73. At this point the crew which brought No. 14 in went off duty and a new crew took charge of the train. This train crew before leaving Staunton received orders to meet the second section of No. 73 at Walls Siding, about one mile north of Staunton. A like meeting order was issued to the train crew of the second section of No. 73. Both of these train orders, which were said to have been taken from the conductors of the respective trains by General Manager Hanshy, I saw and read. It Is also said these orders agreed with the dispatcher's records. However, Instead of obeying the instructions of the orders when train No. 14 reached Walls Siding this train overran the meeting point and resulted in colliding with the second section of train No. 73 at a point about one mile beyond the meeting point.
It will require a more searching investigation to gather all of the details connected with this collision. The wrecked condition of the cars indicate that both trains were traveling under a fairly high rate of speed, and in view of the fact that it was possible for the motorman of the respective trains to obtain unobstructed views covering the distances quoted by Inspector Layman, it might be interesting to know if either of the motormen made any attempt to apply the train brakes. This could not be determined from a physical examination of the equipment on account of its wrecked condition.
Respectfully submitted,
(Signed) F. G. Ewald, Consulting Engineer.

March 20, 19257
Illinois Traction System
Head-end collision between a passenger train and a work extra near Davis, Ill., on March 20, 1925, which resulted in the death of 6 passengers and 1 employee and the injury of 7 passengers and 6 employees.
this accident was caused by the failure of the motorman and conductor of the work extra to keep their train clear of the main track on the time of the passenger train, due to the fact that both of them overlooked that train.
This accident occurred on a single-track line over which trains are operated by time-table, train orders, and an automatic block-signal system; the signal system, however, was not in working order on the day of the accident, having been disabled by a severe storm. the point of accident was about 600 feet south of the south switch of the passing track known as Davis; approaching this point from the south the track is a tangent for more than 1 mile, followed by a 2° 03' curve to the right 1,278 feet in length, the accident occurring on the curve about 400 feet from its southern end; approaching from the north there is a 1° curve to the right 950 feet in length and 1,344 feet of tangent, followed by the curve on which the accident occurred. The grade is descending for northbound trains, being 1.06 per cent at the point of accident. The walls of a cut located south of the curve, as well as some trees on the inside of the curve near its southern end, restrict the view to about 1,000 feet from either direction.
The weather was clear at the time of the accident, which occurred at about 1:05 p. m.
Southbound passenger train No. 7, consisting of motor 250, of wooden construction, left Carlinville, Ill., 4.4 miles from Davis, at 12:55 p. m., 20 minutes late; it passed Davis, and had been brought practically to a stop before it collided with northbound work extra 1513.
Work extra 1513 consisted of a line car; when the order under which crew was working expired at 12:10 p. m. at Benld, 10.4 miles south of Davis, the crew requested and was furnished with an order authorizing them to run extra from Benld to Moody, the latter being the first station north of Davis. This order was made complete at 12:20 p. m. and work extra 1513 departed from Benld at about 12:40 p. m., colliding with train No. 7 near Davis while traveling at a speed estimated to have been between 25 and 35 miles an hour.
The open platform on the front end of the line car overrode the underframe of motor 250 and telescoped that car a distance of about 25 feet, both cars being badly damaged. The employee killed was the motorman of train No. 7.
Both the motorman and conductor of the work extra admitted overlooking train No. 7 and offered no explanation for their failure. it appears, however, that train No. 7 is due at Davis at 12:44 p. m., and when the conductor looked at his time-table it was about 1 p. m., and both he and the motorman apparently forgot that train No. 7 had not passed and looked at the time of the next train, which was train No. 95, due at Davis at 1:49 p. m.

February 26, 1937
      Sunday morning, a bridge on the Illinois Traction System aka Interurban was destroyed by a freight train going through it. The wreck occurred on Shoal Creek bridge between Sawyerville and Staunton. The two freight cars and 100 feet of the 200 foot span of the bridge went down into the creek bed.
      The Illinois Terminal Railroad, known as the Illinois Traction System until 1937, was a heavy duty interurban electric railroad with extensive passenger and freight business in central and southern Illinois from 1896 to 1982. When Depression era Illinois Traction was in financial distress and had to reorganize, the Illinois Terminal name was adopted to reflect the line's primary money making role as a freight interchange link to major steam railroads at its terminal ends Peoria, Danville, and St. Louis. Interurban passenger service slowly was reduced, and it ended in 1956. Freight operation continued but was hobbled by tight street running in some towns requiring very sharp radius turns. In 1986, ITR was absorbed by a consortium of connecting railroads.
      The McKinley Bridge across the Mississippi River, originally built in 1910 to carry the Illinois Traction System's trolley cars over the river to St. Louis, survives to this day. Some sections of the Illinois Terminal Railroad and its affiliated lines have become rail-trails, such as the Interurban Trail south of Springfield.

Macoupin County Railway
No. 1193 Railroad and Warehouse Commission
Macoupin County Railway
St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad
Citation to show cause such certain crossing north of Benld, Illinois, should not he protected
This is a citation by the Commission issued against the Macoupin County Railway and the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, to show cause why a certain crossing north of Benld, in the county of Macoupin and State of Illinois, should not be provided with some protection, and due notice having been served by the Commission upon the respective parties and this cause coming on for hearing, and each of the said railroad companies being represented by respective counsel, and after the hearing of testimony and arguments of counsel, and the Commission being fully advised in the premises, finds:
First -- That about the year 1905 a contract was entered into between the Macoupin County Railway and the St. Louis & Springfield Railway Company, now known as the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, permitting the St. Louis & Springfield Railway Company, now the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, to cross the tracks of the Macoupin County Railway near Benld, in the county of Macoupin and State of Illinois, the exact place of such crossing fully appearing on blue prints filed herein.
Second -- It further appears that said crossing is over a spur track used by the Macoupin County Railway from its main line to a certain coal mine in the immediate vicinity of such crossing, and that said Macoupin County Railway track at said point is only used for switching coal cars to and from such coal mine.
Third -- It further appears that the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad is an interurban road and runs a large number of cars for passenger service and also some in freight service: that there is one car of said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad going over such crossing about every thirty minutes each day, most of which are passenger cars.
The first clause of paragraph three of the contract hereinabove referred to, reads as follows: "The grantee will also, at its own expense, construct derailing devices in its own tracks at said crossings. Said derailing devices to be of the latest approved kind and to be approved by the Chief Engineer of the grantor. Said grantee will, after the construction of said derailing devices, thereafter maintain and operate the same at its own sole cost and expense."
Under such clause in said contract the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad placed a certain derailing device in said track for the protection of said crossing, which derailing device was set clear for the trains of the Macoupin County Railway and against the trains of the said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, and required the said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, upon approaching such crossing, to stop its cars and operate such device.
The second clause of said paragraph three in said contract, reads as follows :
"If hereafter any competent public authority shall require the construction and operation of an interlocking plant or other safety signal or device in place of said derailing devices at said crossings, or either of them, over the track or tracks of said grantor, and the question shall arise between the parties hereto or their successors or assigns as to the distribution between them of the cost of constructing, maintaining and operating such interlocking plant or other safety signals or devices (other than said derailing devices), it is mutually understood and agreed that said question of the distribution of such cost shall be submitted to and determined by the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois or such other public officers of said State as may then be exercising the functions now vested in the Railroad and Ware- house Commission of said State, and it is mutually covenanted and agreed by the parties hereto that in such case they will each abide by and perform such order as may be made at that time with respect to the distribution of said cost of construction, maintenance and operation of such plant or other safety device."

It was evidently contemplated by the respective parties at the time of the installation of such derailing device, that it would not be satisfactory to the public, hence clause above referred to, and the Commission finds that said derailing device so installed, is not a proper protection to the respective roads or the public.
A portion of paragraph ten of such contract reads as follows:
"In the passage of trains over said crossings the trains of the grantor (Macoupin County Railway) shall have prior right-of-way over said crossings in preference to the trains of the grantee (St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad)."

The Commission therefore being fully advised in the premises, finds, that the present derailing device is insufficient protection both for the safety of operation and the traveling public.
The plans submitted for the approval of this Commission by the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, provide for the installation or construction of a small tower or cabin, in which are located levers for the operation of derails on both tracks -- also the installation of signals on both tracks. The towerman or leverman, who will operate the levers as proposed, will be a trainman connected with the train operating over the crossing. It is also proposed that the derails and signals on the St. Louis. Springfield & Peoria Railroad tracks shall be normally clear, allowing its trains to operate over said crossing; those on the tracks of the Macoupin County Railway to be normally at danger. This plan is proposed in view of the fact that the Macoupin County Railway has but few trains per day, while the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad has a great many more trains per day; also in view of the fact that the trains of the Macoupin County Railway carry nothing but coal, and the track is a switching track only, while trains of the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad carry passengers from Springfield to St. Louis and return. At present the trainmen of the St. Louis Springfield & Peoria Railroad have to move the levers at this crossing; if the above plan be adopted that labor will have to be performed by trainmen or some one connected with the Macoupin County Railway. The real controversy between the parties, who shall perform this service? It is contended upon the part of the Macoupin County Railway that under the contract referred to, the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad agreed to perform this service. It is contended upon the part of the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad that the additional protection given to the Macoupin County Railway by the proposed interlocking device, will more than compensate said Macoupin County Railway for the additional service rendered by said company.
It is provided by the contract hereinabove referred to, that if the question shall be raised between the parties thereto or their successors, as to the distribution between them of the cost of constructing, maintaining and operating an interlocking plant or other safety signals or devices (other than said derailing devices), that the question of the distribution of the cost shall be submitted to and determined by the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois.
The contract entered into between the respective parties is binding between them, except in so far as it interferes with the service to the public, if it does, then it would be against public policy, and this Commission would not be bound to recognize that part of it as between the respective railroad companies and the public. The present plan of operating, the record clearly shows, stops some forty passenger trains daily at this crossing, and this necessarily delays traffic. It is exceedingly important that passenger service be as rapid as possible, and retarded as little as possible, except as absolutely necessary for the safety of the service. The record in this case shows that during the greater portion of the day there is a train over the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad about every thirty minutes, while the record also shows that during the entire day the Macoupin County Railway has only about sixteen trains moving over this crossing.
From a careful study of the situation, it is manifest that the present device does not give sufficient protection to either company. While the contract requires the conductor of the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad to cross the track and move the derail before flagging his train across, there is nothing to prevent the Macoupin County Railway train from running across and it is an easy matter as proven by experience, for a conductor looking up and down the track with a train coming with headlight, to think it is much farther away than it is and undertake to cross. Neither can he tell, looking down the track at a train, how fast it is coming, and therefore is liable to be deceived and thus cause an accident. In view of the large number of trains moved over the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, and the fact that they are passenger trains, we believe that the contract entered into between the respective roads, giving the Macoupin County Railway the right-of-way over said crossing, is against public policy and should not bind this Commission, for the reason that it necessarily delays passenger traffic.
The Commission finds, that while it is true that under the contract hereinabove referred to, the St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad operates the present derailing device, the Commission further finds, that the additional protection given to the Macoupin County Railway by the installation of the proposed device by the said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, will more than compensate said Macoupin Railway for the service necessary to operate said device.
The Commission further finds that the said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad shall install said interlocking device as shown by plans filed herein at its own expense.
It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed by the Commission that said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad proceed within sixty days from this date to install such interlocking device according to the plans filed herein, and that the same be installed at the entire cost and expense of the said St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Railroad, and when the same is installed said defendant road shall report the same to this Commission for its approval, and when so installed and approved, said crossing shall be controlled by such device, and the said Macoupin County Railway shall operate such device according to plans filed and approved herein.
By order of the Commission this 12th day of August, 1913, dated at Springfield, Illinois.
[Signed] 0. F. Berry, Chairman,
B. A. Eckhart, Commissioner,
J. A. Willoughby, Commissioner.

Macoupin County Extension Railway Company
      aka Macoupin County Extension
was a single-track line extending from Benld to Staunton, a total 4.374 miles.
constructed between June and December 31, 1913.
      Chicago & North Western -- The report of this company for the year ended June 30, 1913, shows that an aggregate of 54 miles of yard tracks, sidings and industrial spurs were added during the year, and to provide for additional yard tracks, the company bought 60 acres of land adjoining the right of way near Waukegan, Ill, and about 186 acres near Kenosha, Wis. The Des Plaines Valley Railway, a double track outer belt line, from the Proviso yard on the Galena division to a point between Northfield and Blogett, Ill., on the Wisconsin division, 20.51 miles, has been completed; The St. Louis, Peoria, & Northwestern under construction from Peoria, Ill., to a point near Girard, 90.6 miles is nearing completion. The Macoupin County Extension Railway was organized by the C. & N. W. in May 1913, to build a connection with the Macoupin County Railway near Benld, south about nine miles, to coal fields in Macoupin and Madison counties, Ill., and the Iowa Southern was organized in January 1913, to build a connection with the C. & N. W. in Monroe county, Iowa, southwestardly for about 25 miles, and construction is now underway on about 13 miles.

Railroad Fatalities
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, John, Blotnea, of Benld, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, Mrs. John, Blotnea, of Benld, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, Mrs. William Cloud, of Benld, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
June 14, 1918, Friday, Charles Crempleton, a brakeman died in the Litchfield Hospital from injuries received at about 3:00 a. m. on the Illinois Traction System when he was knocked from the side of a car and under the wheels
September 1, 1940, Monday, Edward Daly, aged 25 years, and Miss Margaret Watson, both of Gillespie, were killed when struck by a southbound Illinois Terminal Railroad freight train at the Clark Street crossing in Gillespie.
July 6, 1915, Tuesday, William Dearduff, manager of a concrete block factory, was killed by a Big Four passenger train, apparently due to the fact that he was deaf and he walked onto the track.

December 29, 1913, Tuesday, J. N. Flanning, died as a result of an accident at the Northwestern repair yards , near Gillespie, at about 9:30 a. m.
May 16, 1917, Wednesday, Jacob Fries, was killed by a west bound passenger train at about 3:30 p. m. on the tracks at the outskirts of Gillespie.
May 13, 1950, Saturday, Pete Goodin, aged 52 years, a transient died when being struck by an Illinois Terminal train near the south edge of Gillespie.
July 4, 1908, Saturday, John Jurick, about 50 years old, fell asleep on the track and was run over by a southbound train.
November 4, 1921, Friday, Louis Kortum, Jr., was killed when his auto was struck by a Big Four west bound passenger train at Kortum's crossing north of Gillespie.
September 16, 1959, Wednesday, Emil Leonard, aged about 30 years died when he drove into a Chicago & Northwestern train at the Henderson crossing about 1:30 a. m. He was a coal miner employed at the Little Dog Coal Mine, Gillespie, Illinois.
August 26, 1906, Sunday, Mrs. Maria McGow, a native of Ireland and a resident of Gillespie for 41 years, was struck by a passenger train on the Big Four Railroad while on her way home from church. In a torrential rain. The accident occurred while she attempting to cross the tracks on North Macoupin Street in Gillespie. She died at 1:55 p. m.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, Miss Elizabeth "Lizzie" McPherson, of Gillespie, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, Miss Lulu "Lou" M. McPherson, of Gillespie, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
March 20, 1925, Friday, Jeainie Rankin (nee Horne) Meinecke of Gillespie,
      The wife of William Anton Meinecke, died on Friday, March 20, 1925 in the big train derailment on the Illinois Traction System that occurred eight miles north of Gillespie near the Davis Siding.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, J. W. Miller, of Gillespie, Superintendent of the three mines of the Superior Coal Company; killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
January 5, 1947, Sunday, Miss Rose Petrunich, of Mt. Olive, aged 35 years, along with her brother-in-law, Merlyn O. Scheiter also of Mt. Olive, aged 26 years, were killed instantly about 9:00 a. m. by a south bound Wabash passenger train striking their automobile on an icy crossing north of Mt. Olive.
December 3, 1915, Friday, Kelly Pruno, a native of Italy, aged 54 years, a water carrier for the section gang, died from being caught under some cars t the Northwestern repair yards , near Gillespie.
September 19, 1927, Monday, Mrs. Hugh Rice, of Gillespie, was killed in an automobile accident east of Litchfield, where Route 16 crosses the Big Four tracks, while accompanying the driver and other ladies on a trip to Hillsboro. The engine of the car stalled with the front of the vehicle on the tracks and was hit by the train.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, H. B. Robinson, of Benld, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
October 4, 1910, Tuesday, Mrs. H. B. Robinson, of Benld, killed in a train collision on the Illinois Traction System about half way between Staunton and Benld.
September 25,1943, Saturday, Mrs. Margaret Roman, of Benld, aged 73 years died at 2:30 p. m. in Litchfield Hospital from injuries received when struck by a south bound Illinois Terminal Railroad freight train at the crossing two blocks north of the station in Benld at about 11:00 a. m.
January 5, 1947, Sunday, Merlyn O. Scheiter, of Mt. Olive, aged 26 years, along with his sister-in-law, Miss Rose Petrunich, also of Mt. Olive, aged 35 years, were killed instantly about 9:00 a. m. by a south bound Wabash passenger train striking their automobile on an icy crossing north of Mt. Olive.
February 27, 1914, Friday, Charles Sneeringer, a brakeman, at about 8:00 a. m. died as a result of an accident at the Northwestern repair yards , near Gillespie.
January 30, 1919, Thursday, John J. Staple, a miner employed at the Superior Coal Company's No. 2 mine at Sawyerville, was struck and killed by the No. 11 southbound train from Springfield.
April 12, 1925, Sunday, Georgia Lucille Stephens, aged 13 years, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Bert Stephens, was killed when hit by an Illinois Traction train south of Gillespie on the trestle.
April 1, 1923, Sunday, Steve Sudlich, of Benld, a native of Austria, died when a south bound Illinois Traction car collided with Mr. Sudlich's auto at the Main Street crossing in Benld.
December 8, 1908, Tuesday, John Tremozine, of Dorchester, and of Italian descent, employed at Superior Coal Company's No. 3 mine in Mt. Clare and a saloon keeper in Dorchester, died from falling from a train car on the Big Four, at the train yards. In Gillespie to vote in the miner's elections that morning, he and his companions drank a little to much and decided to "hop" a local train, they chose a coal car. Just after the train started moving he fell from the car and was run over. He leaves a widow and two children.
January 30, 1933, Monday, Arthur Ulcrici, of Gillespie, aged 60 years, was struck by a northbound Illinois Traction System train car about two miles south of Gillespie.
September 1, 1940, Monday, Miss Margaret Watson, aged 17 years, and Edward Daly, both of Gillespie, were killed when struck by a southbound Illinois Terminal Railroad freight train at the Clark Street crossing in Gillespie.
February 20, 1912, Tuesday, Harvey Whiteside, of Dorchester, a farm hand, was killed by being run over by the engine of a freight train in the blizzard at about 9:30 a. m. near Dorchester.

October 27, 1919
Hillsboro Journal
Hillsboro, Montgomery County, Illinois
October 1919


Courtesy of Michael Odle

George Conley, Frank Bellaver, Frank Tuz and Thos. Reck
            Meet Death on Way Home From Their Work.
      Ploughed into by a Big four fast passenger train running at fifty miles an hour, four men were killed on the track near Collavo's crossing in Kortkamp Monday afternoon at 4:31 o'clock, three of them instantly killed and the fourth dying at the Hillsboro Hospital at 8:35 o'clock the same evening. another man, Joseph Novak, jumped from the track in time barely to save his life.
            The dead are:
            GEORGE CONLEY, Hillsboro, married.
            FRANK TUZ, Schram City, married.
            FRANK BELLAVER, Kortkamp, single.
            THOMAS RECH, Kortkamp, single.
      The tragedy happened during the down-pour of rain Thursday afternoon and at a time when a freight train had pulled into town from the east simultaneously with the passenger train. The smoke of the freight, slightly in advance of the passenger train, trailed down in front of the passenger train, veiling the track and blinding the engineer, and the noise of the freight drowned his whistle signals for the two crossings he had just passed. Allison Carter, the fireman on the passenger, which was Big Four No. 11 saw the first man hit. but neither he nor his engineer knew they had hit more than one man until they reached St. Louis, where they were advised by wire.
      The four men were going home from the Kortkamp mine where they had been at work and were walking single file down the track, but rather close together, having taken the track because it was better walking and according to the testimony at the inquest because it was a rather general practice to take the tracks. Frank Tuz, who but a short time before he was struck, had stepped between two uncoupled cars on the track switches to take the main track was the first man hit. he was walking along the end of the ties on the east bound main track and was hurled for yards down and to the side of the tracks. the other three men were probably hit at about the same time, although so far as is known no one saw them struck. Bellaver, evidently was carried for two or three hundred yards on the pilot of the engine, and when he rolled off a wheel severed his right leg at the hip. he was found lying beside the track. Reck was also picked up near the track, but Tuz and Conley were thrown into the air and for yards away from the track.
      Reck, an Italian about twenty-four years of age, died at the hospital of his injuries, after having suffered heavy blood losses. he and Mr. Bellaver, another Italian, and Mr. Conley, apparently were struck practically at the same time. Bellaver and Conley were killed instantly and badly mutilated. Struck at the fast speed at which the train was proceeding, they were hurled and carried for many yards on down the track from the point where they were struck and two of the men were thrown into the road running parallel to the track. Rech's right leg was severed below the knee and his left leg was almost severed at about the same place. He had sustained a severe compound fracture of the nose and numerous scratches and tears of the body. three doctors took charge of him at the Hillsboro Hospital at six o'clock, but it was impossible to save his life. After his death at eight-thirty, the body was taken to Evans Brothers' Undertaking Rooms, where an inquest was held over him the next afternoon by Coroner Norvell.
      A short time after the accident, a C & E. I. passenger train which came from Hillsboro from the east a short time after the other train, backed up and took some of the dead and injured to the depot. The mine had been advised immediately after the accident, and miners had picked up the bodies of Conley and Tuz and taken them to the old Covallo store building. Bellaver and Rech were taken in the baggage coach to the depot., when Evans ambulance hurried Rech to the hospital and the ambulance of Welge's Undertaking Company took the body of Bellaver to town. Later the bodies which had been carried to the store near the Covallo crossing were brought into Welge's Undertaking Rooms, where Coroner Norvell held a triple inquest Tuesday afternoon.
Fireman Description Accident

      Allison L. Carter, of Mattoon, fireman on the train by which the four unfortunate miners was struck, offered straightforward and from all indications, strictly truthful evidence of the tragedy. His most material testimony was as follows:
      "I was fireman on train No. 11 at the time of the accident. When we came past Kortkamp were running alongside a Big Four local going in the same direction we were going. The smoke from the local engine was blowing down on the main track on which we were running. When we were within, I should judge, about fifty yards of these men and the smoke lifted for a few seconds, I saw the outline of the men on the track. They seemed to be walking single file down the center of the track in the same direction we were running. When I saw the men I yelled to the engineer but he didn't seem to hear me. Just as i called to him one man stepped off the track. he was the one we were closest to. (Ed. Note: This was evidently Novak, the man who escaped.) It appeared that the next man (Frank Tuz) was going to get off too, for he stepped from the middle of the track on the ends of the ties on the outside of the rail. I thought he was trying to get out of the way, but evidently he had just changed his place to walk. this fellow walked on the ends of the ties until we struck him, all of which happened very quickly. When we struck the man I concluded the engineer hadn't heard me, so i rushed over to his side and told him we had killed a man. I didn't see the other three men struck at all. I suppose they were struck in the short time I had stepped across the cab and told the engineer of hitting the first man."
      Continuing his testimony, Mr. Carter said :
      "The man I saw struck was about 100 feet east of the road crossing west of the mine when we struck him. We whistled for the Kortkamp crossing east of the mine and for the crossing I spoke of west of the mine and the automatic bell was ringing. The man nearest to us got off against the coal cars beside the track and we did not hit him. It was raining at the time and the weather was very bad. The wind and the rain were blowing more into the side of the cab where the engineer sat. It wasn't dark. We were going fifty or fifty-five miles an hour or the neighborhood of that speed. After we discovered we struck this man we came on down to Hillsboro and to the coal dock and Mr. Reynolds, the engineer, went up to the tower and reported it. None of our crew, I don't think, went back to investigate. After we reported the matter we went on with the train. The whistle had been sounded before I first saw them when apparently they were about fifty yards ahead of us just a short time. I saw the other men down ahead of us dimly when the smoke lifted but did not see them struck. These men evidently were expecting a train from the west and evidently did not expect a train from the east. They were walking against traffic. The accident happened about a mile from the station. the freight train was on the west bound and we were on the east bound running against traffic, going from Matoon to St. Louis. We were on that track because we were being run around freight trains, which were running with traffic. Not being acquainted with railroad rules I don't think they had reason to expect a train from that direction. We were running on the south track, track nearest the shaft, known as the east bound main track."
      J. T. Reynolds, of Matoon, engineer, said : "I was running against the current traffic and train No. 55 was running with the current of traffic, and I caught their caboose at the first road crossing east of the Kortkamp mine and at about at that time the engineer on No. 55 shut off and the smoke trailed down in front of me so I couldn't even see the ground. At about the time we got down around the mine, the fireman hollered and about a minute and a half more he said we hit a man. When he hollered I made a service application and about that time the smoke cleared up and I whistled for the town of Hillsboro, and I knew it would take longer for me to get back on account of having to flag back to protect the hind end, so we could back up, while the switch engine could get the block to go up there. I reported to Mr. White, the superintendent, that we had struck a man. The C & E. I. train picked the man up. This train was right behind us. It appears to me that the noise of the freight train running parallel to us made so much noise that the men on the track couldn't hear us and the smoke trailing down evidently blinded them as well as it did me."
      Joseph Novak, the man who saved himself just in time, testified: "I came down between the loaded cars on the switch about two yards behind Frank Tuz, about fifteen minutes after four. There was where the cars on switch came close together and we go out between the cars uncoupled and start to step on the main track. Frank Tuz stepped out on the track ahead of me and started down it and the fast passenger train shoot by and hit him and miss me about six inches. i jumped up against the side of the coal cars and the railroad was full of water and I had just started to step across it when the train came past. Frank Tuz was the first man the train hit. I did not see the other men hit, but saw them picked up later after they were hit. I couldn't see the other fellows on down the track because of the cars. Tuz was on the left side of the track going toward the side of the track going toward the station, and was hit and thrown on the left side of the track. The other fellows were about ninety feet on the other side of Covallo's crossing. After the accident one man was laying in the road, and Tuz he was lying about seventy-feet east of the crossing, Covallo's crossing. The train was going west and there was a freight on the other track. The trains on the track where the passenger was, usually go east and we no expect one going west. Tuz had got only to the side of the track when he was hit. it was raining hard at the time. We had been in the habit of walking up and down these tracks before. We had always done that."
      Fred W. Welge, one of the undertakers said: "I was called by phone at 4:40 and advised that a train had hit four people at Kortkamp. i went directly up there with the ambulance and found the train stopped on the crossing. a seriously wounded man in the baggage coach of this train. I was advised there was another man farther on down the track and dead. I sent Mr. Robertson down to pick him up. he did so and put him on the train. This man was Ballaver. He was put on the train and taken on the train to the depot, where I went and got him and brought him to my undertaking parlors. Upon examination I found one leg completely severed from the body at the hip, with the entrails protruding. His scalp was completely bursted open and the skull was bursted open and the brains absent entirely. The right side of trunk was badly crushed and mutilated. the body of Bellaver I think was picked up about 150 yards down west of that crossing, known as Collavo's crossing."
      Tuz' neck was broken and mashed almost to a pulp and he had sustained severe body and scalp wounds and was probably injured internally. The body of Mr. Conley also was badly mangled.
      The circumstances of the deaths of the men, the terrible condition in which the bodies were left to the bereaved relatives and the fact that two of the men leave wives and small children, make of the accident on of the most sorrowful and tragic of recent years in Hillsboro, used to facing death or serious accident all the time while at work at the mines, they little dreamed of hazard at the time they were so suddenly hurled out of the world. Although they were walking on the track, a hazardous thing to do especially during a storm, the men had no reason to expect a train from the direction in which the train that killed them came. Trains taking that track usually travel to the east and there is little doubt but what the four unfortunate men were keeping a lookout to the west, in which direction they were walking, at the same time watching not to get on the parallel track on which the expected freight train had just came in. Wholly unexpected from the direction in which it came and its signals drowned in the noise of the freight train, the fast passenger bore down on them before they had time to realize what had happened, crushing and hurling them into the air. Three of them no doubt died instantly as any death possible of befalling man and of course did not suffer. The severe head injuries in each of the three cases were such as to have precluded any suffering. It is considered likely that Rech was still conscious when taken to the hospital and was talking when laid on the operating table and until put under the influence of an anaesthetic for the operation. he was speaking in the Italian language, however, and no one knew what he was saying and for that reason could not clearly tell whether he was delirious or conscious. He had suffered great blood losses and his injuries too were very severe.
      When the train that hit the men stopped at the tower in Hillsboro, the fireman found an umbrella on the pilot of the engine and it is presumed one of the four men had been carrying this. As it was raining hard at the time and the sky was dark from overhanging clouds, the miners were naturally hurrying along and probably with heads bent forward as people go in a rain storm, and totally oblivious of the impending disaster.
      The news of the tragedy quickly spread to the mine where other miners were still ascending from the shaft. They took stretchers and rushed to the scene of the accident, retrieving two of the bodies and taking them to the store building mentioned above. Ballaver's body was found farthest down the track, indicating he had been carried for a distance on the pilot of the engine. The other three bodies were found near Covallo's crossing. Ballaver's body, the miners said, was picked up near the far west end of the mine switches. Telephone calls to the undertaker were sent from Covallo's store.
      The verdict of the coroner's jurors was that the men came to their deaths from injuries sustained when they were struck by Big Four train No. 11 while walking along the railroad track near Kortkamp. The jurors were L. F. Haag, Harry Cunningham, William E. Cole, J. H. Young, Chal White and Thos. P. Grisham.
Frank Bellaver
      was born in Italy and was 32 years of age. he was a cousin of Matt Bellaver of Kortkamp, with whom he boarded and who has been a resident of Hillsboro for the past fourteen or fifteen years. Matt lives to the rear of the Schram City school. Frank came to Hillsboro about four years ago from Pennsylvania and had since that time worked in the Kortkamp mine, lately as a machine runner. he had been in this country about ten years and
[ rest of obituary missing ]
      George Conley, for all his life a resident of Hillsboro, died at 4:31 o'clock Monday afternoon from injuries sustained when struck by a fast passenger train near Kortkamp. His death was instantaneous.
      Mr. Conley lived on Vandalia Rd. He was born in Hillsboro on March 3rd, 1868, and was therefore aged 51 years, 7 months and 24 days at the time of his death. He was a son of William and Annie McCallister Conley both deceased. Mr. Conley was married to Lilly May Hefley at Irving on January 28th, 1892, and is survived by her and six children. The children are Mrs. Sam Bertolet, Mrs. Sidney Parnell, and Misses Azella and Helen and Cecial Conley, at home, and Raymond Conley, of La Porte, Texas. he is also survived by two brothers, Charles Conley, of Wapella, Ill., and Albert Conley of Peoria, and three sisters, Mrs. Turner Hefley, Mrs. Sidney Hefley and Mrs. Robert Hefley.
      The deceased was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Hillsboro and of the United Mine Workers of America of Kortkamp, where he worked as a miner. Mr. Conley was a good man and a citizen and his untimely death was a severe blow to his family and friends.
      The funeral was held from the Presbyterian church in Hillsboro, Thursday afternoon, October 30th, with Rev. Greggs, assisted by Rev. Keller, officiating. The body was laid to rest in Oak Grove cemetery at Hillsboro.

Sources :
1 Atlas of Macoupin Co. and the State of Illinois
      To which is added an Atlas of The United States
      Maps of the Hemispheres &c. &c. &c.
      Warner & Beers, Publishers, Lakesdie Building Cor: of Carle & Adams Sts., Chicago. 1875
2 Wikipedia
3 Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Volume XXXI,
      Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States,
      June 1914 to October 1914
4 Railway Age Gazette
      From July 1, 1913 to December 31, 1913.
5History of Macoupin County, Illinois
      Biographical and Pictorial
      Hon. Charles A. Walker, Supervisory Editor
      Volume I, Illustrated
      Chicago -- S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1911
6Forty-Third Annual Report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois
      For the Year Ending June 30, 1913, Volume II
      Decisons and Opinions of the Commission, December 1, 1912, to December 31, 1913, inclusive
      Springfield, III., Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers, 1914
7 Interstate Commerce Commission, Bureau of Safety
      Summary of Accident Investigation Reports No. 23,
      January, February, and March 1925
      Washington Government Printing Office, 1925


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