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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces an article in
The New York Times
July 29, 1883

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

The Carlyon Train Wreck:
Item in The New York Times,
Jul. 29, 1883

A Bad Railway Wreck

A Score of Persons Killed and Many Wounded.

The Steam-boat express on the Rome,
Watertown, and Ogdensburg
dashed to pieces — Thomas Hoyne killed.

Rochester, N.Y., July 28. — The Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg Railroad, heretofore so free from disastrous accidents, has at last met with one which has cost dearly in life and property. The news received has been very meager all day, and the morning papers here published the most scanty details of one of the worst accidents which has occurred since the Spuyten Duyvil disaster. The accident occurred at the flag station on the Oswego and Niagara Falls Division of the road known as Carlyon, 30 miles west of Charlotte, and almost directly north of the village of Albion, on the Falls Branch of the Central Railroad. The train was the steam-boat express, which runs regularly between Niagara Falls and Cape Vincent, and frequently draws from seven to 10 sleeping cars, filled with Thousand Islands excursionists from the West. Last night it consisted of eight sleeping cars, one regular coach, a smoking car and baggage car, and was drawn by two locomotives, engines Nos. 61 and 51.

A terrible gale was blowing, and rain was falling in torrents. The train was running at the rate of 35 or 40 miles an hour. It was not marked to stop at Carlyon, and there was no one to warn the engineer of any danger. A box car had been left on the siding, and this car was started by the wind and blown down and upon the main track, so that it stood upon an angle, half on and half off the track. The express train struck this car and the terrible wreck which followed was the result. The crash was heard by persons living near, above the storm, and they rushed out of doors to behold nothing, but to hear groans and cries for help. The front engine was flung from the track on the north side, while the one following left the rails on the south side, and, turning around parallel with the train, literally made a somersault, landing in the ditch with its trucks in the air, with escaping volumes of smoke and steam coming from it. The baggage car was jerked after it and tossed as if only the tail of a kite on top of the locomotive. The smoking car, which followed, was torn from the rails and dashed into a thousand splinters. The scene was indescribable. The first sleeper kept on the track, although it was hurled from the trucks, and the sides and ends were smashed in. It was completely flattened out. The second sleeper was telescoped half upon it and left its trucks and the track. The third left its forward trucks and mounted the wreck, but stood on its rear trucks and was not demolished.

Under and around the wreck could be seen heads and arms, and men and women were calling for help in most piteous accents. For a wonder the engineer and fireman of the pilot engine were not seriously injured. Their companions on the following engine did not fare so well. Engineer McCarthy, one of the best on the road, was terribly scalded, and his death was a question of only a few hours. Fireman Lucius France was instantly killed, his body being scarcely recognizable. W. H. Chauncey, trainmaster of the road, sat upon the fireman's side of the engine, and is among the injured, but notwithstanding his wounds he superintended the work of rescuing the victims.

A wrecking gang was at once sent out from Oswego, and also from Lewiston, and the work was commenced of getting out the killed and wounded. Surgeons were sent from Oswego, and also from Rochester. The list of the dead, so far as known this evening, is as follows:

The Killed.

Lucius France, fireman, Oswego.

James McCarthy, engineer, Oswego.

––––– Sill, colored porter, Watertown.

Mr. Thorp, residence unknown.

Archie Tyler, baggageman, Watertown.

Prof. C. W. Stone, Battle Creek, Mich.

Thomas Dickson, No. 249 Pearl-street, Cleveland.

Thomas Hoyne, Chicago.

Mrs. Worthy, Saline, Mich.

Henry McCormick, Benton, Mich.

Dr. Schenck, Oberlin, Ohio.

Willie Lefever, Bay City, Mich.

O. B. Troop, Schoharie.

Bernard Bostwick, Toledo, Ohio.

Mrs. Jane E. Carl, Lansing, Mich.

––––– Cromb, residence unknown.

––––– Adams, Chicago.

––––– Dower, Lansing, Mich.

Unknown, young lady, of Leslie, Mich.

Mary Troop, daughter of O. B. Troop.

Louis J. Booth, No. 1,108 Pine-street, Philadelphia.

Mrs. Louis J. Booth.

Those of the injured who could travel were placed in a sleeper and taken to the Falls, while the rest were taken to the neighboring houses and cared for. One man, who lives only a few rods from the wreck, had driven his son to Lyndonville, a distance of three miles, to take the train and got home just in time to find him a corpse. The work of removing the débris is being pushed forward rapidly, and the track will be cleared in a few hours.

There are about 50 persons injured, some of whom will die. There were about 270 persons on the train. The list of wounded is as follows, as far as ascertained at this hour:

W. H. Chauncey, Oswego; bruised.

W. E. Rockfellow; leg broken.

Mr. Aiken and wife, Sarnia.

The conductor on the train was E. Garrison. He was in the fourth car, but when he heard the signal he ran back to the car to set the brake, and, seeing the car breaking up, he jumped and saved himself. This afternoon a special train arrived at Charlotte with 12 bodies from Carlyon. During the afternoon the Coroner of Orleans County impanneled a jury and commenced the inquest. The station agent at Carlyon states that he set the brake when he left the car on the siding, and he is of the opinion that the car was pushed to the junction with the main track by some maliciously inclined persons.

Chicago, July 28. — Thomas Hoyne, who was killed by the accident at Carlyon Station last night, was born in New‑York City and came West in 1835. He lived in Galena for two years and then came to Chicago, where he began the practice of law. He found his professional work very remunerative and amassed a large fortune. He was a charter member of the Iroquois Club and a member of the committee from that organization which recently visited the East and interviewed Tilden, Hewitt, and other Democratic lights for the purpose of securing the next Democratic National Convention for Chicago. Mr. Hoyne was at one time Mayor of Chicago.​a He leaves four sons and a daughter, all residents of this city. It was not until 10 o'clock to‑night, 25 hours after the disaster, that Mr. Hoyne's relatives here were informed of his death.

Thayer's Note:

a Additional details on Hoyne's career are given in the biographical sketch appended to the Preface he wrote to Breese's Early History of Illinois, pp. xii‑xiii.

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Page updated: 23 Mar 13