Train Wreck

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We can’t seem to escape violence from any where. For the most part we don’t watch the news regularly before going to bed. Living in the Memphis city limits can be a real eye opener as to just how violent and cruel one human being can be to another. The violence in video games for children seems to have risen to an incredibly gruesome point where the opponents no longer resemble cartoon characters that “bop, biff, bam and zoom” their way to an ending, but are human forms that groan and bleed.


The assumption is that we have become thirstier for blood. I think though it is just that there are more means of delivery than ever before. While researching on for information on the Kilgore clan in Ohio I ran across an article on a second cousin, multiple times removed. What led me to this article was another one on his daughters wedding several years later that mentioned his death. Wanting his obituary I started scanning dates to see if I could narrow it down. What I got back was way more than his obit. I found the coroner’s inquest information, reviewing the cause of his death in a train accident.


I wonder if they were ever concerned that a child, or my cousin’s children, the youngest being five, would pick up the paper and read this article, which in today’s times seems pretty tame compared to video games.


The Ohio Democrat, April 19, 1867, New Philadelphia, Ohio


The Late R. R. Accident


The Steubenville Gazette of the12 inst., publishes the verdict of the Coroner’s Inquest held immediately after the accident on the Pan Handle Railroad near Hamlin’s Station:


Washington County, se. – An inquisition indebted taken at Burgettstown, County of Washington State of Pennsylvania on the 16th day of March A. D. 1867, before me, J. L Paterson, Esq., of the County aforesaid upon the view of the body of J.(G.) H. Kilgore, then and there lying dead, upon the oaths of Findley Patterson, Daniel G Sturgeon, William Annan, Levie Culley, Thos. Brierly and James Aman, good and lawful men of the county aforesaid, being sworn and charged to inquire on the part of the Commonwealth when and where, how and after what manner the said G.H. Kilgore came to his death, do say upon their oaths that from the evidence adduced the said G. H. Kilgore came to his death in consequence of a collision of trains, (Express train No. 2 and the Pittsburgh and Steubenville accommodation train No. 12) on the P.C.C.R.R. at what is known as the Hamlin water station on Pittsburgh and Steubenville section of said railroad, in the county aforesaid at about five and half o’clock in the evening of the 14th of March 1867. The aforesaid G. H. Kilgore was a passenger in express train No. 2, and appears to have been setting or standing near to and with his head out of a window of the car when the collision took place, the force of which drove one car several feet into the other, the side of the car in the rear of the one occupied by the said G. H. Kilgore, severed the head entirely from the body, the head dropping to the ground, the body remaining in the car, the floor of the aforesaid rear car passing over or above the floor of the car occupied by the deceased, forced the body forward in the car, mangling and crashing and breaking both legs. The jurors aforesaid believing it to be a part if their sworn duty to inquire into and ascertain, if possible, the cause of the collision, aforesaid it would appear from the testimony and from the rules and regulations adopted by the railroad company for the observance of employees on the road a part of which was also given in evidence that Express train No. 2, was running westward, over and hour behind her schedule time that she stopped to take water at what is known as Hamlin’s water station without leaving notice at her last stopping place of her intention so to do, as was her duty. She also failed to notify any approaching train either by flag or any kind of signal not withstanding an accident or breech, separating the locomotive from the train, had occurred as said water station, rendering it still more important that notice should be given to an approaching train. The Pittsburgh and Steubenville accommodation No. 12, also running westward and a few minutes behind her schedule time and but a short distance behind Express No. 2 at Burgettstown station, yet receiving no notice at Burgettstown, as was customary, from Express No. 2 of her intention to take water at Hamlin’s and As Express No. 2 did not stop at all way stations and the Accommodation train being required to stop at all stations and on this occasion having discharges to make at both the intervening stations between Burgettstown and Hamlin’s water station, and perceiving no flag or signal could scarcely be expected to be on the look out for Express No. 2 at Hamlin’s water station, where the collision took place by the Accommodation No. 12 coming in contact with Express no. 2.


In witness whereof the aforesaid justice and the jurors aforesaid have to this inquisition put their hands and seal the day and year at place above mentioned. James L Patterson, Findley, Thomas Brierly, James Annan, W. Annan, Levi J. Culley, Daniel G Sturgeon.



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