Iroquois County, Illinois
Newspaper Accounts of
Fires, Accidents, Train Wrecks
and other Calamities
The Court House at Middleport, Iroquois County, was burned down on Tuesday night last. The fire originated in the jail and was supposed to have been the work of a prisoner contained there named Henry Davis, who had just been convicted by the Circuit Court then in session, and sentenced to two years’ confinement in the penitentiary. The wretched incendiary – if such he was – paid dearly for his crime, as when the fire was discovered it was too late to save him and he perished in the flames. County Records were all saved. Loss about $10,000; insured for $2,000 in the Phoenix and Hartford Companies. [Stark County Union, Toulon IL March 14, 1862; NP, Sub by FoFG]
OVER THIRTY DIE IN TRAIN WRECK AT PORTER, IND.
New York Central Flyer Cuts Through Derailed Train.
TWENTY-SIX BODIES FOUND
Unofficial Report Places Death List As High As Fifty.
TOWERMAN BLAMED, JAILED Many Bodies Unrecognizable; Number Injured Unknown.
PORTER, Ind., Feb. 27,—Between thirty and forty persons were reported killed and an unknown number injured tonight when a westbound New York Central train crashed into a derailed east bound Michigan Central train here in what railroad officials said may be one of the most disastrous wrecks in history. Michigan Central officials placed the number of dead at more than thirty, while unofficial reports made the death list as high as fifty. The towerman of the Michigan Central was arrested Immediately after the wreck, officials saying they believe he had left a switch closed, causing the derailment of the east-bound train. The Michigan Central train left Chicago at 5:03 p.m. bound for Toronto Canada. It was cut In half by the west bound flyer, and both engines plunged down an embankment.
Both N Y C Enginemen Dead
Both enginemen of the New York Central train were killed. The engineer was Claude Johnson, of Elkhart, Ind. Five bodies were recovered near the debris of the two engines. It is believed that virtually all of the dead were in two of the Michigan Central coaches which were demolished when the New York Central train hit it. The only dead known on the New York Central train were the two enginemen. The engineer of the Michigan Central is missing. It was reported that he leaped from his cab when he saw the oncoming New York Central train.
Officials Blame Towerman
The tracks of the two railroads Intersect here at a sharp angle, being almost parallel. The Michigan Central train believed to have started across the intersection and then to have been derailed. The towerman was blamed by railroad officials for allowing the Michigan Central train to attempt to cross ahead of the west-bound train. A few persons living at this junction point immediately began work of rescue, using lanterns In their search for the dead and injured. Relief trains arrived from Michigan City and Chicago about an hour after the wreck carrying nurses and doctors.
The victims were taken to Gary and to Michigan City.
[Among the list of deaths:] Mr. and Mrs Jack Muller, Crescent City, Ill.
[1 Mar 1921, Idaho Statesman]