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Montgomery County
Floods, Fires, Train Wrecks
and other Calamities

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Small Fire - home of George Rodenbeck, 900 block of E Ryder
[Litchfield Daily Union, Tuesday, January 12, 1926 - submitted by Lynn Boyd Reener]



Fire - flue at United Cigar Store overheated and caused fire at Bishop Furniture
[Litchfield Daily Union, Tuesday, January 12, 1926 - submitted by Lynn Boyd Reener]


Fire Dept Had Two Calls
Charles Mihalak property on North Monroe and McBride building near the Big Four on State Street
[Litchfield Daily Union, Monday, April 25, 1927 - submitted by Lynn Boyd Reener]


Lightning Sets Fire to Elevator
The Farmer's Elevator at Harvel was destroyed by fire during a severe electrical storm Saturday evening. The elevator contained several thousand bushels of grain and seed. The loss is estimated at $16,000. It was partly covered by insurance. H H Zimmerman the banker of Harvel is president of the Farmer's Elevator. [Litchfield Daily Union, Tuesday, May 31, 1927 - Submitted by: Lynn Boyd Reener]


Barn Struck by Lightning
The barn of Harry Lee of near Waggoner was destroyed by fire Saturday evening during an electrical storm. [Litchfield Daily Union, Tuesday, May 31, 1927 - Submitted by: Lynn Boyd Reener]


Fire
The Charles Jordan barn on W Ferdon street was totally destroyed by fire shortly after midnight - the cause is unknown.
[Litchfield Daily Union, Thurs, July 7, 1927 - submitted by Lynn Boyd Reener]


The Murphy Homestead Is Burned
The home in the Murphy Farm northwest of this city was total destroyed by fire on Saturday evening. The farm is now owned by Nobbe Brothers of Farmersville and is tenanted by Calvin Culp formerly of Butler.
[Litchfield Daily Union, Litchfield, IL, Monday, July 11, 1927 - Submitted by Lynn Reener]


The barn on the Ed Browning farm near Waggoner was struck by lightning Sunday and destroyed by fire. Dallas Long is the tenant.
Miscellaneous News Items [Litchfield Daily Union, Litchfield IL, Wed, Aug 10, 1927 - Submitted by Lynn Reener]


Litchfield, Ill., July 5 - The Chicago Limited on the Wabash railroad due in St. Louis at 7 p.m. half an hour late, was wrecked Sunday night inside the city limits. The train struck an open switch and was overturned and seven of the nine cars were burned. It is believed that twenty persons perished in the second and third coaches and that forty were injured. The injured are being cared for in the St. Francis hospital in this city.
Dead:
St. Pierre V. Bald, Montreal, Canada
L.O. Eschstadt, 1954 South Albany Ave. , Chicago
Mrs. C.F. Luther, Milwaukee, Wis
Dan H. Davis, Decatur, Ill.
Joseph Barder, delegate from North Dakota.
James Sanford, engineer, Decatur, Ill.
Sam Smith, fireman, Decatur, Ill
Mrs. Perkins, 5700 Union avenue, Chicago
Hon. I.R. Mills, Decatur, Ill.
Injured:
S.A. Asquivitch, Waterloo Ia., internally.
William Archibald, Honey Falls, Ky
George Archibald
William Balis, Chicago, fatally
Mrs. Candyou, Milwaukee, internally
Gleason S. Ellis, Marshfield, Wis
James Fizell, Taylorville, Ill
Harry M. Gassaway, st. Louis
Joseph Grein
Clois Gehreg
Mrs. Theresa Gehreg, internally
Mrs. Anna Kenyon, Kingston, Ky
Mrs. Gertrude Kitt, Chicago
Mary Kitt, aged 10, burned
Joseph Kitt, aged 12, burned
Wilcol Kunocho, Chicago
S. Livingston, collector on train
G.E. Macomber, Perry, Ky
Miss Huldah Nock, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Harry Rink, Cincinnati
James B. Roberts, Catlin, Ind.
E.H. Rose, Riverside, Cal, internally
Harry S. Rubens, Chicago
William J. Schrader, Chicago
Frank Smith, Chicago
Mrs. Frank Smith, Chicago
Miss Florence Smith, Chicago
Mrs. Elizabeth Weher, Chicago, seriously but not fatally
Charles Ward, Chicago, left leg torn off at ankle, serious
W.B. Thorp, Chester, Pa., slightly injured.
Miss Fannie Tipson, badly bruised and internally hurt.
Mrs. B.F. Tenney, Ada, Minn, internally hurt.
B.F. Tenney, Ada, Minn, injured, bones sprained
[The Guthrie daily leader (Guthrie, Okla.), July 05, 1904, KT - Sub by FoFG]

Litchfield, Ill., July 4. – The Chicago limited on the Wabash railway, due in St. Louis at 7 p.m., and half an hour late, was wrecked Sunday night inside the city limits.  The train struck an open switch and was overturned and seven of the nine cars were burned. It is believed that twenty persons perished in the second and third coaches and that forty were injured.  The injured are being cared for in the St. Francis hospital in this city.  
A partial list of the dead follows:
St. Pierre V. Bald, Montreal, Can.; L. O. Echstadt, Chicago; Mrs. C. F. Luther, Milwaukee; Dan. H. Davis, Decatur, Ill.; Joseph Barder, delegate from North Dakota; Engineer James Sanford, Decatur, Ill. ; Fireman Sam Smith, Decatur, Ill.; Mrs. Perrin, Chicago; Hon. I. R. Mills, Decatur, Ill.; H. M. Deitrich, Toledo, O.; Rev. N. M. Mills, Bridgetown, N.J.; R. A. Deitrich, Chicago; Florence Smith, Chicago; Hugo Perro, Montreal; Miss Hakins, Chicago; Mrs. C. L. Luchere, Milwaukee; Howard Groves, train dispatcher, Decatur; unknown boy about fifteen years old; Miss Perkins, Chicago.

The injured include the following: S. A. Asquivitch, Waterloo, Ia., internally; Mrs. Candyou, Milwaukee, Internally; Gleason S. Ellis, Marshfield, Wis.; Mrs. B. F. Tenney, Ada, Minn., internally hurt; B. F. Tenney, Ada, Minn., injured bones, sprained.

The engine, after running into the switch, struck a string of freight cars and, with the first three coaches, was piled into a heap across the track and caught fire immediately.  The last car on the train was a special from Wisconsin.  It was uncoupled and pushed back and saved.
Noted Illinois Man Killed.

I. R. Mills, who was killed, was internal revenue collector at Decatur, and one of the most prominent Republicans in Central Illinois. The Track was reported clear at the last station, and as the train was running about fifty miles an hour, the open switch was not noticed.  No information can be obtained as to who was responsible for the accident.  Nearly all the passengers were bound for St. Louis, and those not injured left on the Illinois Central train an hour later.  Three of the injured have since died.  Coroner Gray is here and will hold an inquest.

Mr. and Mrs. W. Bachelor of Chicago were on the wrecked train.  Mr. Bachelor said: “When the accident occurred the front car piled up on the engine, took fire and burned.  There were dead and injured persons all around, and it seems to us that there were fifty killed, but probably the number is not so great.  We did not learn the cause of the accident, nor the actual number of injured and dead.”
Charles Corneau, station agent at Litchfield, said that the wreck was the result of mischief.  He said the north track, as that siding is called, had not been used Sunday and it is plain that the switch had been tampered with.  Not fifteen minutes before the accident the third section of Passenger No. 19, southbound, passed over it safely.  But when No. 11 was derailed there the switch was turned and the lock lying on the ground beside it.
Mayor W. J. King of Litchfield has issued a proclamation calling off the Fourth of July celebration tomorrow.
Howard Groves, the dispatcher, was riding in the cab with the engineman and has not been found.  Neither have the bodies of Engineer Sanford and Fireman Smith, who are buried under a mountain of steel. [The Billings Gazette. (Billings, Mont.), July 05, 1904, Page 3; Sub by NP]




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