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List of Railroad train wrecks late 1800's to early 1900's

List of Railroad train wrecks late 1800's to early 1900's

Posted: 14 Mar 2003 8:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 30 May 2004 4:36PM GMT
Surnames: Olson, Olsen
I was given the information only that my great-grandfather with the last name of Olson died in a railroad accident coming from Wisconsin to Washington so I joined with the full membership at Ancestry.com and started a search through old newspaper articles about wrecks. What I found was that there are a lot more than you could imagine! I only have about 60 wrecks listed, but if I had to guess I'd say there are probably about 300 noted altogether during the same time frame (so much tragedy).

I have not categorized all the wrecks I saw, most just ones that caught my eye from being in a Northern state and lots injured or died. I made an Excel worksheet so I could sort them by year, number of dead, location, etc. i'm posting by year here. I tried to attach the Excel worksheet so you can sort thru it (and it's easier to read) yourself, but Ancestry.com only allows graphics and GEDcom files. If you'd like the Excel workshee, email me and I'll be happy to forward it to you!

0 Day Mo. Year City ST State Killed Injured Details

1 2 Mar 1881 ? MO Missouri ? ? ?

2 28 Feb 1889 St. George CAN CANADA - Ontario 9 30 ?

3 17 Sep 1897 Chippewa Falls WI? Wisconsin? 4 3 Noted as 1 missing, 4 killed, and 3 badly injured as of the writing of the article.

4 25 Jan 1898 Madison WI Wisconsin 3 others Noted as 3 killed, others injured. A name of "Emil Olson" in the article.

5 25 Dec 1899 Butte MT Montana 4 several The 4 people killed were: 2 trainmen + 2 tramps.

6 20 Jun 1902 Chattanooga TN Tennessee 5 15 ?

7 24 Oct 1902 Hansford CA California 3 2 There were 3 tramps killed, 1-2 injured.

8 27 Sep 1902 Rawlins WY Wyoming 6 ? There were 6 killed OR injured.

9 mid Dec 1903 Albia AREA IA Iowa 5 several Location given as near Albia, IA.

10 early July 1903 Cheballs? WA Washington 2 34 Figures of 2 killed, 4 fatally wounded, 30 seriously hurt. Location noted as near Cheballs. To Olympia.

11 early Oct 1903 Beowawe NV Nevada 1 20 ?

12 18 Feb 1904 Ogden AREA ID? Idaho? 24 many The Jackson Station for the train was destroyed by an explosion. Location given was "89 miles west of Ogden".

13 7 Jul 1904 Litchfield IL Illinois 20 ? ?

14 21 Jul 1904 Chicago AREA IL Illinois 22 ? Location given as near Chicago, IL. 22 church members were killed, many children. Heartwrenching article about how the children were praying or singing hyms at time of accient.

15 ? Nov 1904 Azusa ID Idaho 12 ? ?

16 27 Mar 1906 Casper WY Wyoming 10 ? Accident noted as WORST WRECK in history of the WYOMING division of the CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN railroad. There were 10 workmen killed and Austrian & Italian laborers were involved.

17 23 Jan 1909 Glenwood Springs CO Colorado 21 30 Engineer "Gustav Olson" lived.

18 25 Jun 1909 Fon du Lac WI Wisconsin 1 several Figures of 1 kiles, several persons seriously hurt.

19 24 Sep 1911 Neenah WI? Wisconsin? 14 ? Neenah was the location given, not sure if that was in Wisonsin.

20 6 Jun 1912 Montreal CAN CANADA - B. C. ? ? Noted as Canadian Pacific railroad.

21 6 Jun 1912 Vancouver CAN CANADA ? ? Believe there were 2 accidents this day, this particular one involved train workers only.

22 6 Nov 1913 Soda Springs ID Idaho 2 2 Accident noted as ONE OF THE WORST train wrecks in the history OF THE LOCAL AREA.

23 ? ? 1914 Soda Springs AREA ID Idaho ? ? ?

24 9 Apr 1914 Attlea IN Indiana 3 35 ?

25 ? Aug 1914 Lebanon MO Missouri 28 ? Don't have specific date. Could be August or September 1914.

26 16 Feb 1914 Springfield MO Missouri 0 60 Location also given was Nicolas Junction, MO.

27 8 Jul 1914 Jackson MI? Michigan? 1 26 There were 14 seriously injured and 12 minor injuries.

28 15 Mar 1914 St. Paul MN Minnesota 1 30 ?

29 12 Oct 1914 Grand Junction CO Colorado 3 14 ?

30 28 Sep 1914 Waverly IA Iowa 2 5 ?

31 30 Sep 1914 Waverly ? ? 2 several ?

32 22 May 1915 Grotna Green ? UK? 230 250 Accident noted area as Grotna Green, may have been in the United Kingdom.

33 24 Feb 1916 South Cheney WA Washington 5 6 ?

34 23 Jan 1916 Seattle WA Washington 5 ? At least 5 killed. Location also given as Scenic Hot Springs.

35 30 Mar 1916 Indianapolis? IN? Indiana? ? ? (article was illegible, Indianapolis is a guess from what the blurred letters looked like)

36 3 Aug 1922 Cincinnati OH Ohio 7 ? At least 7 killed.

37 24 Jul 1923 Paris FRA FRANCE 100 200 ?

38 27 Sep 1923 Lockett WY Wyoming 40 ? ?

39 3 Nov 1924 Chicago ? ? 10 many ?

40 1 Feb 1925 Sacramento CA California 4 ? This was an accident involving a car and a train.

41 1 Feb 1925 Mexico City MEX Mexico City - Vera Cruz - Jalapa 2 18 ?

42 1 Feb 1925 Prosser WA Washington 3 1 There were 3 teens killed, 1 injured. (Spelling may be Brosser, WA)

43 2 Feb 1925 Memphis TN

44 27 Oct 1925 Memphis TN Tennessee ? ? ?

45 28 Oct 1925 Memphis TN Tennessee 18 54 ?

46 31 Dec 1928 Lead SD South Dakota 2 ? The 2 people killed were trainmen.

47 1 Jan 1928 Missoula MT Montana 2 ? This was an accident involving a car and a train.

48 ? Jan 1928 Canada ? Canada ? ? ?

49 6 Mar 1930 Kenosha WI Wisconsin 11 118 ?

50 30 May 1931 Pueblo CO Colorado 0 5

51 24 Dec 1933 Lagny FRA FRANCE 200 300 Note date is Christmas Eve.

52 4 Jan 1934 ? FRA FRANCE 14 116 ?

53 29 Sep 1934 Warrington ENG ENGLAND 12 40 In the area of London, England.

54 19 Jul 1937 ? MT Montana ? ? ?

55 ? Jul 1937 MT Montana 45 ? There were 3 missing at time of article. Was a Milwaukee passenger train. Location also given was Caster Creek bridge.

56 7 Jul 1938 ? MT Montana ? ? July 7th was a Thursday. One newspaper article referred to this train wreck as being on "Thursday" Another newspaper article referred to a train wreck on "Friday". This accident may be the same accident listed 8 Jul 1938, which was Friday.

57 8 Jul 1938 ? MT Montana ? ? July 8th was a FRIDAY. One newspaper article referred to this train wreck as being on "FRIDAY" Another newspaper article referred to a train wreck on "THURSDAY". This accident may be the same accident listed 7 Jul 1938, which was THURSDAY. Accident noted as the WORST in 20 YEARS in western Montana.

58 21 Jun 1938 Miles City MT Montana 30 65 Accident noted as the FIRST IN 20 YEARS on the line where a paying passenger has died. "The Olympian". Killed/injured counts listed were minimum as of day article written, expected more. Was a "A. W. Olson", Tacoma, assistant superintendent, a "Sarah Olson, 64, Seattle" and a "Margaret Olson, 62, Seattle" listed as injured.

59 17 Aug 1939 Humboldt River NV Nevada 20 ? Noted as 20 or more killed.

60 14 Sep 1944 Terre Haute IN Indiana 29 ? ?





Sorry about the way it looks cut and pasted. The numbers which follow the location are "how many died", followed by"how many injured". Some of them have comments. If you suspect a relative in your family tree may have died in a train accident, check the dates and see if any of them match. Later information given to me was that my grandfather didn't die in the derailment, but from complications of pneumonia as a result of the accident. So check for dates closely preceeding your ancestors deaths, too. Good luck! I hope all this hard work and hours and hours of compliling might help someone out there...



Also see National Archives list of train accidents, 1911-1966

Posted: 2 Jun 2003 10:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 26 May 2004 10:44AM GMT
The National Archives has a listing of train accidents by year from 1911-1966 under their special collections. Has copies of the findings by their board.

Re: List of Railroad train wrecks late 1800's to early 1900's

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 8:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
10 July 1903 - town should prob read "Chehalis". Without seeing the original... my great uncle was killed in a car/train accident north of Chehalis - seems to be a popular place for accidents.

Re: Also see National Archives list of train accidents, 1911-1966

Posted: 26 Apr 2011 10:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am just curious. Would that just include actual trains that crashed or would that include people who were working on trains who had accidents?

I had a great grandfather in NC who died by fall off of a rail car and broke his neck. He worked for the railroad at the time.

Re: Also see National Archives list of train accidents, 1911-1966

Posted: 27 Apr 2011 12:13AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am not sure. If you have date of his accident and location you could look and see if any report. Good luck. Helpful to see all the details.

Re: List of Railroad train wrecks late 1800's to early 1900's

Posted: 23 Sep 2011 2:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
You didn't happen upon any accidents for the greater Union Co. NC area, did you?
From what I know, my G'grandfather died in a train wreck on February 2 1909. He was either a conductor or an engineer; I'm not sure which.
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