Maine Genealogy Archives

Maine Railroad Accident Reports, 1877

Source: Reports of the Railroad Commissioners of the State of Maine for the Year 1877 (Augusta, Me.: Sprague, Owen & Nash, printers, 1878).

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On the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Road
January 20, 1877. As the No. 13 freight train from Montreal, over the Grand Trunk road, was approaching Oxford station, R. W. Jackson, a brakeman, fell between the cars, which passed over his body, completely severing it above the hips, and otherwise horribly mangled it. The train was obliged to go on to Oxford, about a mile distant, to make a crossing with an up freight from Portland. The conductor of the up freight was told that Jackman had fallen from the train, and he accordingly ran along very slowly until the body was found, in the condition described above. The unfortunate man resided in Portland, on Cumberland street. His wife had accompanied him as far as Oxford on the passenger train from Portland that same afternoon, as he joined the freight train at South Paris.

On same day, John E. Willis, deputy sheriff, belonging in Gorham, was run over by the cars at West Milan, and instantly killed. He was walking on the track at the time of the accident.

On same day, a little girl was struck by a passenger train at Montreal, as she attempted to cross the track while the train was backing into the depot, and crushed to death.

March 29, 1877. As the morning train passed Hammond's crossing in Auburn, George Hammond, aged 80, attempted to cross the track, but was taken up by the cow-catcher and carried several rods; he was badly cut, and died shortly after.

In all there were seventeen persons more or less injured on this road during the past year; eleven of whom were employees of the company.

On the Bangor and Piscataquis Road.
January 12, 1877. George H. Norton of Oldtown, was injured by falling from a passenger train as it was passing through the village of Oldtown, and died on the following day. The coroner's jury reported that "the injury was caused by said Norton's accidentally falling under and being run over by the wheels of the car of one of the trains of the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad Company, and that no blame attached to said company, or to any of its officers or servants."

On the Boston and Maine Road.
Passenger train leaving Portland for Kennebunk, at 5.30 P.M., October 27, 1876, was thrown from the track by a broken draw-bar that fell on the track. George Hobbs had his jaw broken; Geo. West, Capt. A. Leavitt, Mrs. S. E. Tibbetts and Sarah A. Miller, were all slightly injured.

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December 23, 1876. Charles Hall and Wm. Crook, brakemen, injured shackling cars at Wells. Me.

April 10, 1877. J. H. Simpson (deaf) walking on track near Saco station, was struck by a passenger train and instantly killed.

May 2, 1877. Alfred V. Roberts, employee at Portland, was struck by a bridge while riding on top of a freight car. His right arm was so much injured that it was necessary to amputate it.

July 2, 1877. A boy attempted to pass in front of a moving passenger train at Saco station; he was struck by the engine and had a leg broken.

July 23, 1877. Miss A. Rivers, walking on the track near Saco station, was struck by a passenger train and slightly injured.

On the Maine Central Road.
April 14, 1877. Jack McCarty of North Leeds was run over by a passenger train near North Jay; one arm was crushed, and he was badly cut about the head. He was taken to Wilton. His arm was amputated, but he died soon after.

May 23, 1877. Walter Winn, a brakeman on a special freight train, was struck in the back of his head by an iron bridge near Gray, cutting a gash in his head and breaking his neck, killing him instantly. He had just climbed to the top of a car, and was walking toward the rear of the train when struck. Winn was 23 years of age and unmarried. He belonged in Burnham. Coroner Gould was summoned, and held an inquest at Gray. The jury's verdict is as follows:

"The deceased came to his death by being struck by a bridge in Gray, on the Maine Central Railroad, by carelessly standing on the top of a moving car, and the jury find that the railroad is in no way censurable for his death, but charge the fault wholly to himself."

January 21, 1877. Herbert H. Young, yardman at Bangor station, fell under the shifting engine and was killed. The coroner's jury rendered a verdict of "death by unfortunate accident, and the Maine Central Company and its employees are blameless."

On the Portland and Rochester Road.
May 2, 1877. Weston Willard, 17 years of age, not in the employ of the company, while freight train was switching at Springvale, caught his foot in the track and was killed, by the cars passing over him. He lived but twenty minutes after.

July 7, 1877. Amos Jellerson was found on the track near Waterboro' Centre, run over by freight train. A coroner was called, and deemed an investigation unnecessary. The man was intoxicated when last seen.

On the Portland and Ogdensburg Road.
January 8, 1877. Luther N. Tucker was struck by a snow plough while walking on the track near east branch of the Saco, in Bartlett, N. H., and killed.

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April 5, 1877. Thos. Daley was struck by train in the yard at Portland, and received injuries from which he died.

August —, 1877. A special train ran into a team at Westbrook, killing the horse and fatally injuring the driver.

On the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Road.
John R. Dimmick, switchman, in attempting to get upon the engine after it had started, fell, and was pushed along the frozen ground and badly injured.

Edwin Littlefield, at Wells, in attempting to get upon the freight train, fell and broke his leg.

Lizzie Stinson, a child, was struck by an engine moving in the Portland yard, and killed.

S. M. Stuart was struck by an engine moving on the B. & M. R. R. wharf, and slightly injured.

Edwin Tomlins, in attempting to cross in front of a train approaching Kittery, was instantly killed.

On the St. Croix And Penobscot Road.
July 4, 1877. Henry Noble, lying on the track asleep, was run over, cutting off both legs; he died next day.