Charles Miller, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

Charles Miller

One Man Killed, Thirteen Wounded and the Train Demolished.

The celebrated train "the Keystone" on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago railway was totally wrecked a short distance west of Valparaiso Sunday noon at 12:08 o'clock, resulting in instantly killing the fireman Charles Miller, and injured the engineer and thirteen passengers. The train was east-bound and a few minutes late. The engineer was crowding his engine, and running at a 60 mile gait. Just west of the Joliet bridge there is a switch which was broken by a freight in passing west. The bridle of the switch rail must have been broken, for the signal showed a closed switch. Without warning the limited crashed into this trap, derailed the coaches, and dashed into a lot of flat cars lying on the side track. At the instant of striking the switch Fireman Muller jumped from the cab, but was caught beneath a car and crushed to death, his body being buried in the mud. The engineer stuck to his post and was found half buried in mud and hot water. He is not seriously hurt. The locomotive was thrown across the track a complete wreck. The coaches consisting of a United States mail car, a through baggage car, smoker, day coach dinning car "Kenimore," and three sleepers were badly smashed up and were scattered along the track and down the steep embankment, which was on either side of the track at the switch.

Wrecking crews from Chicago and Fort Wayne assisted the Valparaiso crews in clearing away the wreck and by 8 o'clock the passage for other trains had been cut through the debris. The passengers were taken to Haskell over the Grand Trunk and thence on the New Albany road to Wanatah, from which point they were taken to Fort Wayne.

The scene just after wreck was one of horror. Everything was confusion, and screams of injured and freightened people rent the air and with the hissing steam from the broken locomotive and the excitement of the spectators, it was a time not to be forgotten by those who saw it. Heroic service was rendered in rescuing the passengers and the injured ones were tenderly borne to a place of safety and the physicians did all they possibly could. The train carried 160 passengers in the coaches that tumbled over the embankment, and when it was known that the loss of life was confined to only one person, and the injured so few, and their injuries so slight, considering, their escape is almost miraculous. The list of injured is as follows:

Andrew Aitken, Baltimore, Md., injured internally.
Gen. Floyd King, ex-Congressman from Brooklyn, N. Y., leg injured.
Conductor George Banter, Fort Wayne, scalp wound.
Louis O. Claprood, Lima, Ohio, postal clerk, head and face cut and bruised.
Charles F. Stahl, Fort Wayne, postal clerk, serious internal injuries.
George W. Woodworth, Chicago, baggageman, head cut, hand mashed and shoulders bruised.
William Banter, Fot Wayne, thigh bruised.
Col. Benj. Perry, editor of the Evening Democrat, Greenville, S. C., and a delegate to the Chicago convention, head cut, back bruised.
George W. Pyle, Mansfield, Ohio, ankle broken.
Miss Belle Johnson, Fort Wayne, injuries about the head.
Child of S. C. Warner, Fort Wayne, injuries about the head.
D. H. Mellinger, Latonia Ohio, slight injuries.
Himan Eifenbein, Altoona, Penna., arm hurt and face cut.
Frank H. Weber, of the Cincinnati Community-Gazette, very slight injuries.
Peter Reilly, Fort Wayne, engineer, face and head cut, internally injured.

The following wreck notes are from the columns of the Fort Wayne Press:

In the smokig car was C. W. Danziger, political editor of the Pittsburg Commercial Gazette, who was returning from the Chicago convention. He was thrown into the swamp and his left knee injured. Mr. Danziger is a clever fellow and, laughing said he was glad he was alive.

On the train was Governor Perry and son, South Carolina. They were injured about the head and ankle and occupied a birth [sic] though out city. They were also returning from the convention.

General Floyd King, ex-member of congress from Louisiana, but now of Brooklyn, N. Y., had a story to tell that caught the reporter's ear. He was so anxious to be quoted that we give his words: "The fact of a fast passenger train on a good road in broad daylight having such a disaster is wanton. Passengers do not want to pay for traveling on a road that injures them. I have an injured leg and will bring suit against the company."

A miraculous escape is that of O. F. Merpall, manager of the Marble Cycle company, of Chicago. He occupied the smoking car, and was thrown among the trunks. They fell all over and around him, but he escaped uninjured.

Charles Miller, the dead fireman, was one of the most trustworthy employees on the Pittsburg road. For nine years he had been identified with the company and had proved a good man. He has a family of a wife and three children who reside at 86 Lasalle street. Had it not been that on Sunday there is no No. 20 on the Pittsburg road, the unfortunate man's brother, A. Miller, also a fireman, would have taken his run.

The whole community feels sad at the loss of so faithful a servant and the loss of so faithful a servant and the people.

Newspaper: The Tribune
Date of Publication: July 1, 1892
Volume Number: 9
Issue Number: 12
Page: 1
Column(s): 5 and 6

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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