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Maine Genealogy Archives

Maine Railroad Accident Reports, 1875

Source: Reports of the Railroad Commissioners of the State of Maine for the Year 1875 (Augusta, Me.: Sprague, Owen & Nash, printers, 1876).

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ACCIDENTS.

Grand Trunk.
January 15. John Fitzgerald, a laborer, was run over and killed in the Grand Trunk freight yard.

March 6. There was a disastrous collision between the down morning train from Lewiston and a "wild" engine running northward. P. C. Evans, baggage master, had his arm broken and his side crushed in, and died of his injuries. Oliver P. Cumming's, engineer of the down train, had his leg badly broken. Mr. Samuel D. Whitehouse was injured and died the same day. The Coroner's Jury found under the following painful circumstances:

"And we further find that his death was caused by injuries received while he, the said Samuel D. Whitehouse, was riding on the engine of the morning passenger train, called No. 1, on Saturday, March 6th, 1875, between the hours of 8 and 9 o'clock A. M., running from Lewiston to Portland, on the Grand Trunk Railway, while passing from North Yarmouth station to Yarmouth Junction, on said railway, which train was run into by a 'wild' engine coming in the opposite direction on said railway, and driven by one Charles D. Noyes, an engineer on said railway. And we, on our oaths, further find that said Charles D. Noyes was running said 'wild' engine on said railway at the time of said accident, and at said place, without clearance orders from the managers of said railway, contrary to the rules and regulations of said railway company; which running of said 'wild' engine on said railway by Charles D. Noyes, at said time and place, without said order, was the immediate cause of the collision which resulted in the death of said Samuel D. Whitehouse."

November —. Frank Neally had his hand crushed while shackling cars in the Grand Trunk yard.

December 15. Thomas Harper of Portland, a brakeman on the Grand Trunk, was severely injured by his head striking a bridge at Bethel.

Maine Central.
December 10. Charles H. Mitchell, an employee at the Maine Central depot at Bath, was very seriously injured by the sliding off of a part of a car load of plank upon him.

July —. Charles Winslow, standing on the platform at Win-


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throp, stepped from the platform just as the train from the East was approaching, which struck and killed him.

December 11. A paymaster's train came in collision with a hand car near Marston's Curve, between Waterville and West Waterville. The finding of the Coroner's Jury was "that Silas H. Potter died at Waterville, Dec. 11th, 1875, at 9 o'clock A. M., and John Hoar at said Waterville, on the 11th of December, at 1 P. M., and that both came to their deaths by reason of injuries received on a hand car on the Maine Central Railroad, by being run into by a special train; that the accident occurred while Potter was going over the road in his capacity of section master, and Hoar while riding with Potter on the hand car, not being in the service of the railroad."

November 20. A young man by the name of Haynes, a brakeman on the road, was standing on top of the box cars near Belgrade, when the train approached an overhead bridge, and before Haynes saw it he was brought in contact with it, and was thrown violently from the train to the side of the track. He expired before aid could reach him.

November 19. N. O. Mitchell of Gardiner, a merchant of character and large business, was very seriously injured by being struck by a train, while standing on the track at the depot in that city; and on November 30, Mr. Mitchell died, and Gardiner looses by his death an esteemed citizen.

November 30. Alexander Bailey, 50 years old, a carpenter in the Maine Central railroad shop, in attempting to get off a train at Woodford's Corner, slipped and fell beneath the wheels and was terribly crushed; he lived but a short time.

Knox and Lincoln.
The report of the Treasurer to us, states that one man was killed, an employee, from his own carelessness.

Portland and Ogdensburg.
Calvin Kingman had his arm slightly fractured while oiling his engine.

Consolidated European and North American Railway.
September 13. Mrs. Moran, an old lady residing in Hazel Lane, Bangor, while sitting on the track, was accidentally run over and killed.


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November 13. Joseph W. Noyes of Bangor, a clerk in J. T. Rines & Co.'s store, 17 years of age, went to the E. & N. A. depot to deliver a bundle to a lady on the train, and in a hurry grasped the hand rail on one of the cars as the train was moving, with the intention of jumping on. He was running along in this way when he tripped and fell against a bale of rags. This threw him down, and before he could recover himself he was under the train, and two of the wheels passed over his body immediately across the heart. He was carried into the depot and expired in a few moments. He was a pleasant, genial young man, and his death is a great loss and affliction to his widowed mother, the relict of the late Daniel Noyes, who was killed in the late war. An inquest was held, and the verdict of the coroner's jury was that the young man met his death accidentally, and without blame to the employees of the road.

November 20. Another very sad accident occurred on the E. & N. A. railway, in front of Dole & Fogg's planing mill on Front St., Bangor, near the Maine Central depot. The shifting engine, employed all the time in the yard of the E. & N. A. road, was pushing a train of six cars on to the side track which leads to High Head. Steam was shut off and the train was dropping down—it is a down grade—of its own weight, and moving about four miles an hour. Capt. Jasper A. Roberts of the schooner "Aurelia," lying at a wharf near the foot of Railroad street, was on his way to his vessel, and had occasion to cross this side track upon which the shifting engine was at work, and walking along some six or eight feet aside the track, slipped and fell on it about one rod ahead of the rear car which was being backed down. The train passed over him, killing him instantly. The man may have been so occupied in his mind that he did not notice that the train was within a few seconds of him when he stepped on to the track, although the bell was ringing all the time the train was in motion. The Coroner's Jury, which held an inquest over the body, found there was no fault or negligence on the part of the road or the employees.

May 19. A. Gillis stepped on to the track before a slow moving log train, at St. Croix, and was instantly killed. The bell was ringing at the time. Verdict, "No one to blame."

September 1. Mrs. D. M. Auliff, in getting off a returning excursion train, fell and was injured in her right foot, at Orono.


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Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad.
November 20. Charles Welch, a brakeman on the Eastern road, was caught between the bunters while shackling cars at Kennebunk, by which four of his ribs were broken, and he received other injuries.

May —. Frank Butler, a brakeman, was killed at the P. S. & P. station in Portland, while shackling cars. Coroner's Jury exonerated the company from all blame.