John Rooney, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

John Rooney

Two Trains Collide at the P., F. W. & C. Depot -- Two Men Killed and One Injured.

Last Saturday morning as eastbound passenger train No. 2 on the P. F. W. & C. Railway, due at 10:30, neared the depot, it ran off the main track onto a side-track, the switch having been left turned, and collided, a few rods west of the round house, with freight train No. 15, which was standing ready to pull out as soon as No. 2 should have gone past. The approaching train was running at a rapid speed, and the engines came together with terrific force, causing the almost instant death of the freight train fireman, Darwin Monroe, who was in the engine, fatal injury to John Rooney, passenger engineer, who died that evening at six o'clock, and the serious injury of the passenger fireman, Wm. Tourgee. The engineer of the freight train was at the time of the accident in the lunch room, thereby escaping harm. The two engines, 109 and 123, were greatly wrecked and the tenders detached, one inverted into the ditch, the other forced up and into a car of coal immediately back of it, and the other parts of the engines scattered promiscuously around. The mail car had the front end battered and a set of trucks removed, and it was left, with its contents and the route agent. The mail was transferred in the evening to No. 6.

The immediate cause of the death of Monroe was the scalding he received from the escaping hot water and steam from the boiler, no other marks being found on his body. Rooney was both scalded and bruised, and was found partially embedded in the coal and debris. He was taken to the railroad hotel, and suffered terribly until death brought relief. The body of Monroe was taken to Fort Wayne on train No. 2, which was supplied with another engine and resumed its travel after a delay of about one hour.

A special train bearing the wives of Rooney and Tourgee, was, at the instance of Dr. H. C. Coates, Railway Surgeon, was dispatched by Supt. Gorham from Fort Wayne, and reached Valparaiso in one hour and fifty-three minutes after starting, making four stops on the way -- at crossings. It arrived about three o'clock.

The passenger fireman was taken to the Gould House, where he yet remains, attended by his wife, unable to return home, but improving.

Who is responsible for the disaster is not clear, but that it was the result of carelessness is doubtless true. A railway tribunal at Fort Wayne have investigated the case and decided that the conductor, engineer and brakeman of the freight train are in a measure responsible, and they have all been discharged. The engine of train No. 15 went to coal up, and in returning to the train left the switch open.

But for the heroism and presence of mind of Engineer Rooney the loss of life among the passengers would probably have been great. But a few seconds elapsed from the time his engine reached the side-track until the trains met, and during that time he remained at his post, put on the brakes and reversed his engine, thus lessening the speed of his train and diminishing the violence of the shock. Mr. Rooney's funeral took place Tuesday at Fort Wayne from the Cathedral. The attendance was very large. High Mass was celebrated by Father Brammer, and the remains were interred in the Catholic cemetery.

Newspaper: Porter County Vidette
Date of Publication: March 6, 1879
Volume Number: 23
Issue Number: 10
Page: 3
Column(s): 4

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

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Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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