Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles From the Past
Fayette County Pennsylvania

The Washington Post, (Washington, DC)
March, 1, 1907

Connellsville, Pennsylvania Feb. 28 - TRAIN WRECK

One Killed, 40 Injured - Passengers in Wreck See Engineer Die in Fire

Derailed Coaches Burned, Fireman Fatally and Ten Persons Seriously Hurt—Had Plunge Been to Right of Track Instead of Left Coaches Would Have Gone Over 50-foot Embankment Into Creek.

Baltimore and Ohio train No. 14, westbound, running eighteen minutes late and forty miles an hour, was wrecked to-night near Indian Creek, seven miles east of here. The entire train, consisting of a combination smoking and baggage car, two day coaches, and the private car of Robert J. Finney, superintendent of the Pittsburg division of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, left the rails and, after running for 200 feet along the ties, was thrown into a ditch at the foot of the mountains, where the wreckage was completely burned. Had the train gone over the side, it would have plunged down a fifty-foot embankment into the water.

The engineer was killed, the fireman fatally injured, and the baggagemaster, express messenger, conductor, and thirty-seven passengers injured seriously. Wylie Irwin, Pittsburg, Pa., the engineer, was caught under the wrecked engine and burned to death before the eyes of the passengers, who were powerless to liberate him.

Fireman Fatally Hurt. The seriously injured:

T. D. Frederick, Pittsburg, fireman; fatally.
P. R. Burton, Pittsburg, baggagemaster
J. M. Smith, Cumberland, Md., express messenger
Thomas McGovern, Pittsburg, conductor.
C. S. Shipley, Charleroi, Pa.
B. O. Hull, Garrettsville, Ohio.
Mrs. J. W. Tissue, Morgantown, W. Va.
J. A. Roman, Baltimore
Miss Jessie Cochran, Dawson, Pa.
A. Lape, Dawson, Pa.

There were forty-one passengers on the train, including a party of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad officials, who were on a tour of inspection. When the train was three miles east of Indian Creek the engineer began to speed in an endeavor to make up eighteen minutes lost early in the trip. The train was making about forty miles an hour.

Train Leaves the Rails. Suddenly the whole train swayed and, with much jarring and cracking, left the rails. Fortunately, the train took a course northwest from the track, and after running over 100 feet along the ties, plunged into a ditch at the foot of the mountains. The four cars piled in a heap almost directly over the engine. The passengers were thrown and tossed about like packages. Screaming and fighting desperately, they managed to break the windows of the cars and gain places of safety just as all the cars became ignited from the engine and commenced to burn fiercely. Within a few seconds all had gotten out. While they stood about in a dazed condition, hardly realizing their miraculous escape, they were attracted by the cries of Engineer Irwin. Several of the passengers, accompanied by Supt. Finney and the other railroad officials, ran to the engineer’s rescue. Their efforts were accelerated by Irwin’s pathetic pleading, and every possible attempt was made to liberate the engineer, who was tightly wedged under the wrecked engine, but without success.

Flames Reach Doomed Man - The flames quickly burned their way toward the doomed man, and soon it was apparent that he would be cremated. Within a short time the flames reached the engineer. There were a few piercing screams and it was all over.

Relief trains were dispatched from this city, and the injured brought to the hospitals here. Train 49 is the Cumberland-Pittsburg accommodation, leaving Cumberland at 3 p.m. It was due here at 6.30. The wreck occurred shortly after 6 o’clock. Regarding the cause of the wreck Supt. Finney said:

“The wreck was caused by some part of the engine mechanism becoming loosened and dropping to the track, throwing the train from the rails. It would be hard to prove this now, as everything is broken or burned. It was the most remarkable wreck I have ever known. It is even more marvelous than the wreck of the Pennsylvania special at Mineral Point, Pa., last Saturday morning. Had the train taken a southwest course after leaving the rails it would have gone over a fifty-foot embankment.”

The Weekly Courier, (Connellsville, PA)
Jan. 28, 1909

Connellsville, Pennsylvania Drowning - January 20, 1909

RUNAWAY BOY DIES IN THE YOUGH.- En Route to Connellsville He Tries to Get Drink and Companions Are Unable to Save Him.

MCKEESPORT, Jan. 21.—Attempting to quench his thirst by drinking water through a hole in the ice on the Youghiogheny river cost the life of Charles Edwards, 12 years old of McKeesport, yesterday and almost resulted in the drowning of Dennis McCarthy and Patrick Flaherty, his companions. Edwards lay down on the ice near the Boston bridge to get a drink. The ice gave way under his weight and when he tried to crawl out it continued to break.

McCarthy in reaching for Edwards' hand slipped and his body struck Edwards and pushed him farther into the water. McCarthy managed to hold on the ragged edge until Flaherty procured a stick and pulled him out. Edwards soon sank. The body has not been recovered.

Edwards was a son of James Edwards of 1510 Versailles avenue. McCarthy is a son of Policeman Jerry McCarthy. The boys remained away from school and were on their way to Connellsville to visit relatives when a train on which they had been riding stopped.

Weekly Courier, (Connellsville, PA)

Thursday July 21, 1913


Big Reunion Is Held on Tuesday at Jones Mills.

At the family reunion of the Pritts family, held in Indian Head at the residence of Mrs. John W. Miller, one of the daughters, there was brought together Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Pritts, aged 78 and 74 years respectively, and about fifty of their descendants, including sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Born and raised in the neighborhood, the aged pair are the progenitors of a family as widely known as any in Fayette county and there is no couple more favorably known.

The gathering brought together the seven living sons and daughters, Ella (Mrs. J. W. Miller) of Indian Head; Walter Pritts of Alverton; Miles Pritts of Indian Head; David and Fred Pritts of Streator, Ill., and Mollie (Mrs. John Davis) of Indian Head. These with their children and grandchildren and a number of friends, met with the aged couple and the two aged sisters of Samuel Pritts in a reunion which furnished joy, pleasure, surprise and some sorrow to those who were there.

A bounteous repast was served at noon on the wide veranda of the home of Mrs. Miller, the elder child. After this group pictures were made of the old couple surrounded by their descendants and friends, and then the surprise of the day came in a statement made by the man whose descendants had met to honor him. Samuel Pritts, father, grandfather and great grandfather, called his sons and daughters around him and told them of the joys and sorrows of his long life. Told them that, though comparatively well and hearty at the present time, age was growing on him and he felt that his time must soon come, and so feeling no longer the need of worldly goods he wished to make each of them a present. Talking individually to each son and daughter, he gave to each an envelope, dividing his wealth among them.

Connellsville Courier, (Connellsville, PA)

Thursday, May 22, 1919


Miss Florence Opperman, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Opperman of Orient, and well known here, underwent an operation in the Uniontown hospital for appendicitis and is getting along nicely.

Connellsville Courier, (Connellsville, PA)

Thursday May 22, 1919


Michael Grenaldo, Fellow Artilleryman, just out of hospital. Harold Richey, who was attached to the 105th Field Artillery, has received his discharge from the service, arriving home this morning. Harold enlisted in the service while employed in Pittsburgh and was stationed in France one year. He is a son of Mr. & Mrs. David Richey of this place. Mike Grenaldo of Wheeler, who was a member of the same artillery, was wounded in the foot about two weeks after he entered the fighting line. Later blood poisoning developed and “Mike,” as he is better known among his many friends, was in the hospital for some months, never being able to rejoin his company. When Richey left for home, Grenaldo had left the hospital and was ready to return home with a casual company. Both soldiers are former employees of the Courier.

Mrs. Anna M. Cooley , Widow of Former Local Man Honored As Illinois Pioneer

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) , October 6, 1948

Widow of Former Local Man Honored As Illinois Pioneer

Of interest to the older people of Connellsville may be the anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Anna M. Cooley of Toulon, Illinois. Mrs. Cooley will be 89 on November 1. Her husband, the late Jonathan B. Cooley, was born and reared in Connellsville. He was a brother of the late Mrs. John Lindsay and an uncle of Miss Gertrude Lindsay of South Pittsburg street, this city. The late John B. Cooley, long-time employee of The Courier, was a cousin.

Mrs. Cooley was honored at the 71st annual reunion of the Stark County, Illinois, Old Settlers Association in August by having her picture on souvenir badges. She was born in 1859 on a farm on the line between Stark and Bureau Counties. Her parents were William and Maria Fowler Marlin. Shortly after the Civil War she traveled with her parents from Buda, Illinois to Missouri. They lived the lives of pioneers there until grasshoppers drove them out, and then returned to Illinois.

Anna M. Marlin and Jonathan B. Cooley were married in 1889 at Toulon. When the Cooley family here was broken up three brothers – Jonathan, Thomas and Melbourne, migrated to Illinois and located at Toulon. It was there Anna and Jonathan met. She is the mother of one son, Dr. William Cooley of Peoria, Ill., and four daughters Misses Gertrude and Verna Cooley of Toulon, Zeruah (Mrs. Edward Korling) of Gridley, Calif. And Daisy (Mrs. George Thompson) of Los Angeles

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