Butler  County,  Kansas




On Tuesday night as the east bound Frisco train was going up a steep grade known as the Picayune hill between Leon and Keighley the lady's car was thrown from the rails by a split or half open switch overturning it but leaving the balance of the train in tact. The reports that they reached here yesterday morning were very much exaggerated as is usual in such cases and grave fears were entertained that some lives were lost. Developments proved however, that there was a justifiable scare on the part of the passengers with no one very badly hurt. Mr. Ike Dean was probably the most unfortunate of the injured ones, but his physicians do not apprehend that his injuries are of a dangerous or lasting nature. The train only ran about five hundred feet after the accident and fortunately was not running at a high rate of speed at the time. Experts say that on that up grade it would be impossible to attain a greater speed than twenty miles per hour. In all about four hundred feet of track was torn up and the ties found in good condition and the only thing discovered wrong that would account for the accident was the absence of the pin that should hold the switch open or closed. So far it has been impossible to lay the blame of its removal on any one and it is pretty generally supposed that some malicious person took it away without heeding the danger to which the trains would be exposed. The train passed all right until the rear trucks of the ladies coach reached the place, and by that time the jar of passing had thrown the switch partly open. The rear trucks took the switch and was followed on to the side track by the chair car and Pullman sleeper, leaving the balance of the train, the engine, baggage car and smoker on the main track. As a natural consequence the ladies car was turned over on its side. The lights went out and in the darkness there was considerable confusion until the officers of the train restored order by assisting the scared and wounded from the overturned car. The entire party was taken to Beaumont, a few miles beyond and medical aid summoned. No one was found to be very seriously hurt, although several of the ladies had annoying bruises and small cuts about the head and arms. Yesterday morning all of the passengers continued their journey east on the noon train excepting Mr. Dean, who came to this city. There was an unusual number of children on the train and all of them escaped any injury worth mentioning. The examining physician reported that all of the passengers had been subjected to a severe nervous shock, but that no fears need be entertained regarding their safety. The time of the accident must have been about 11:45 Tuesday night, for the train was on time and due in Keighley at 11:53 p.m. The railroad people say they cannot estimate their exact damage yet, but do not regard that part of it as very serious. The one car has been sent to the shop for repairs and the track relayed, and the damage at the outside will not be over a mere nominal sum.

The names of those reported injured by the examining physician are as follows: Mrs. Mitchell, Mrs. Rhoades, Miss Gillette, William Beason, Isaac M. Dean, J. M. Glover and Isaac Castile. (Wichita Eagle, September 19, 1889 page 5)


Wichita, Kan., June 26 - At 7:30 last evening a terrible cyclone from the southwest struck the village of Keighley, Butler County, and nearly wiped the little town out of existence. All the telegraph wires are down and the information was brought to Leon by a courier, who rode over on a swift horse. Owing to poor telegraph facilities with Leon and the fact that the courier left Keighley immediately after the cyclone passed over, the details are meagre.

It is known, however, that Ed Thurman was crushed to death in a stable. Many were pinned under falling houses and their fearful wails indicate serious injuries. It is thought that many were killed as the cyclone swept on its course as far east as the people could see it. Two general stores, the largest buildings in the village, were crushed like egg shells. A freight train was standing on the 'Frisco track at the time and six cars were lifted up and turned upside down. This would indicate that the cyclone was at least 200 feet wide.

The wreck is standing on the track piled up, it is said, thirty feet high and trains cannot pass until some time tonight. The storm from which the cyclone evolved passed over Wichita about 6 o'clock and foreboded disaster somewhere. It was cyclone weather. (The Iola Register, June 29, 1894)

First reports by the way of Wichita made a sad picture of the destruction of the little town of Keighley, Butler County, Kan., by a tornado in the evening of June 25. (Western Kansas World, June 30, 1894)

Messrs. Knox Brothers of Keighley, Kan., sold a load of hogs in the afternoon. They were purchased by Dold. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, March 4, 1898, page 3)

Knox Brothers of Keighley were in with a car of fair medium weight hogs which sold on the early market. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, September 15, 1898, page 3)

Knox Bros., Keighley, had in a car of medium light hogs which sold without dock at good bulk prices. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, January 6, 1899, page 3)

Knox Brothers of Keighley shipped out a car of cattle yesterday. They want more and expect to be able to get them today. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, August 4, 1900, page 3)

W.H. Harris, a prominent business man from Keighley, Kan., was in the city buying goods yesterday. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, December 11, 1903, page 6)


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