The Milwaukee Sentinel
The Milwaukee Sentinel
Contributed by Susan

Description: Over a Score Killed – Twenty Four Lives Lost in the Rock Island Wreck – Bodies of Many of the Victims are Burned – A Search of the Wreck is Made and the Mutilated Remains are Gathered – A Negro Arrested on Suspicion of Having Caused the Wreck

Date: August 11 1894

Newspaper published in: Milwaukee, WI

Over a Score Killed – Twenty Four Lives Lost in the Rock Island Wreck – Bodies of Many of the Victims are Burned – A Search of the Wreck is Made and the Mutilated Remains are Gathered – A Negro Arrested on Suspicion of Having Caused the Wreck

Lincoln, Neb., Aug 10. It was nearly dark, this evening, before the frightful mass of debris occupying the ravine where the Rock Island express was wrecked and burned a few miles south of this city, last night, had cooled sufficiently to enable the big crowd gathered at the place in the hope of learning something of the fate of friends or relatives to inspect the charred mass in detail, but any hope they may have entertained of securing from the great ash pile information as to the identity of those who lost their lives in the holocaust was soon blasted. The tons of water thrown on the twisted relics of the train and the bed of embers had been insufficient to prevent every vestige of combustible matter being destroyed. Occasionally a charred skull or a partially burned human bone was raked from the bed of the furnace, but nothing more remained to tell the tale of those who went down with the ill-fated train, and time was required to
determine just how many persons were lost in the wreck.

The list of killed and injured as furnished by the coroner tonight swells the fatalities to 24, and are as follows:

Killed –
Dr. C. M. Pinney, Council Bluffs.
J. D. Matthews, Commercialman, Omaha.
Harry Morse, Kansas City.
Ike Depew, Engineer, Council Bluffs.
W. O. Hambell, Lawyer, Fairbury, Neb.
C. D. Stannard, Conductor, St. Joseph.
John Munger, Grain Dealer, Omaha.
H. R. Peters, Merchant, Council Bluffs.
E. H. Zernike, Lawyer, Lincoln, Neb.
Two Unknown Farmers.
Five Unknown Men.
Charles Unruh, Mother and Son, Jansen, Neb.
A. B. Edde, Merchant, Pawnee, Neb.
M. Beaver, Merchant, Pawnee, Neb.
Two Unknown Farmers from Jansen, Neb.
Andrew Hensen, a farmer.

Those marked as unknown are those passengers known to have been on the train by the brakeman and unaccounted for.

The injured –
Col C. J. Bills, Second Regiment, Nebraska National Guard, Fairbury, deep flesh wounds in left leg.
Harry C. Foot, brakeman, Council Bluffs, leg broken.
Jay McDowell, Fairbury, legs cut and face bruised.
C. H. Cherry, mail clerk, Kearney, badly bruised and cut.
F. F. Scott, express messenger, injured internally.
Mrs. Fish, wife of B&M engineer, badly bruised.
O. S. Bell, traveling man, Lincoln, internal injuries.
J. E. Putz, traveling man, Lincoln, internal injuries.
A passenger named Zomret, hurt about the head.
Mrs. Fritz and sister-in-law, Lincoln, bruised.

A Man Roasted to Death

The body of Dr. Pinney of Council Bluffs was found in the wreckage this afternoon, fearfully burned. It has been ascertained that only one man met his death in the flames. The low moaning which had been heard in the ruins of the smoker had ceased before the flames reached there and the presumption is that all its occupants were dead. One victim, whose name will never be known, lay under the tender, the upper edge of which lay across his thighs. As Col. Bills approached, the man begged piteously to be released and saved from the flames, which, however, quickly enveloped him and soon stilled his screams.

As the Rock Island offer a reward of $1,000 for the apprehension of the wreckers, the county and state will be asked to add to the reward.

Train Was Maliciously Wrecked

It is conceded that the train was derailed by the removal of the rails for a part of the way across the trestle. A fish plate and the bar with which it had been wrenched loose were found near the trestle. One theory is that strikers from South Omaha did the work believing that a company of state troops was aboard, but the general opinion is that the element hat has been causing so much trouble in Oklahoma, who are bitter against the Rock Island, did the job. Harry Foote, the injured brakeman, says a rail was removed on the bridge and the fish plates and a crowbar were found in the grass nearby. Marks made by a wrench on a loosened rail were plainly visible, and the marks of the crowbar on the cross ties were so plain that no lantern was needed to examine them. The wood of the ties was deeply dented where the crowbar had been inserted and the rails lifted clear of the ties, and the spikes which had been pulled out were lying loose on the bridge.

Late tonight, the remains of Andrew Hensen, a farmer of McPherson County, Neb., were identified by a watch found in the midst of human bones. All of the bodies or parts of those mentioned by name in the list of killed have been recovered.

Arrested on Suspicion

The police have arrested a colored man, George Davis, who is suspected of wrecking the train. Shortly after the wreck, he applied to a hack man and asked to be driven up town. He was seen near the place where the wreck occurred, it is claimed, with a crowbar. His motive is not known.

Submitted: 01/11/14 (Edited 01/11/14)

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