Genealogy Trails History Group

Belmont County, Ohio
Genealogy and History


Newspaper Stories Covering
Floods, Fires, Ship/Train Wrecks and other Calamities

Stage Accident
On Thursday the 24th ult. between three and four miles west of St. Clairsville, Ohio, the stage horses took fright from the running of some young horses in a field, and ran off, the stage then descending a hill. The driver succeeded in keeping the stage in the road for some time. At length the wheels struck a stump, which threw the stage over, first on the side, and then on the top. The body of the stage was dashed into fragments. Besides the driver, there were one man, two women, and two children in the stage. The passengers all escaped with slight injuries, and were able to continue their journey with the mail. The driver has several ribs broken, and is badly hurt, but is expected to recover. One of the horses was killed, and another so much hurt as to be rendered useless. We learn that one of the women was in chase of her husband, who had left her at Zanesville; and that, traveling on foot, he had just reached the scene of danger, and was the first to help her up when thrown on the road. Belmont Journal.
[Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Penn.), November 13 1822, Page 2 - Sub. To Genealogy Trails by Nancy Piper]

On the 5th ult. the dwelling house of Ebenezer Sweet, in Hiram, Portage county, Ohio, with most of its contents, were destroyed by fire. On the 6th, the mills of Parkman and Converse, in Parkman, Geauga Co. were also destroyed - loss 10,000 dollars. On the 11th, three buildings belonging to the society of Shakers, in Cuyahoga county were destroyed and an infant burnt to death in one of them.  On the 31st Jan. the Presbyterian church in Wheeling township, Belmont Co. was burnt down. On the 12th ult. the house of Samuel Dunlap, Esq. of New Hagerstown Tuscarawas county, was destroyed with most of his personal property.  - Ohio Repository [Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, March 16, 1830; NP, Sub by FoFG]

CLEVELAND, July 5-3 P. M. - The barque (barge?) Sunshine capsized last Saturday afternoon off Fairport. The captain, first mate, four of the crew, and three children were lost. The captain's wife, second mate, and six of the crew were picked up yesterday morning.
The barque (barge?) B. A. Stannard, from Buffalo for Chicago, capsized on the north shore last Saturday, and the two mates were drowned. [The Manitowoc Pilot (Manitowoc, WI) July 12, 1859, page 2; sub. by R. Line]

Destructive Fire In St. Clairsville
Wheeling, Va , May 23. -- A destructive fire occurred yesterday p. m. at St. Clairsville, Belmont county, Ohio , by which, an extensive  square of the most valuable property in the town was destroyed. Loss from $150,000 to $200,000. [
Albany Evening Journal, May 23, 1866]

Pittsburg, May 29 - The storm which swept over Eastern Ohio, west Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania yesterday afternoon was of a very destructive character and the aggregate loss to buildings, crops and rialroad and telegraph lines foot up many thousand dollars. Several lives were also sacrificed and a number of persons were injured.  About Point Pleasant and Huntington, W.Va., and Canton, Ohio, Beaver County, Pa., and through the oil regions the storm was particularly severe, the rain falling in torrents while the wind was very violent.  Near Ravenswood, W.Va., Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Powell were killed by lightning while sitting in their home.  At Charleston, W.Va., Mrs. Robert Shannon was killed by a falling tree.  At Bridgeport, Ohio, the 6 year old son of joseph A. Howell was caught by a rush of water in a narrow ravine and drowned.  Two companions made a narrow escapt.  At Bellaire, Ohio, a railroad brakeman named Castelle was killed while endeavoring to manage the train during the storm.  At Canton, Ohio, houses were blown from their foundations, and the steeples of several churches were wrecked.  The south wing of the New Hampden watch works, 200 feet in length and three stories high, was blown down, and is a total wreck.  The Duebar watch case works were badly damaged.  There were many narrow escapes from death by falling buildings.  A workman named Miller was probably fatally hurt, and Joseph Myers, another employee, was seriously injured.  The loss is estimated at $70,000.  In Beaver county, Pa., fully $20,000 worth of damage was done to property by the storm. but as far as known no one was injured. At Oil City the roof of the Arlington Hotel was blown off and the guests rushed from the building panic stricken. Titusville also suffered severely.  Frank Burchfield of Pleasantville, while crossing Pine Creek bridge in a buggy,  was  blown out into the water. The vehicle was reduced to kindling wood. Mr. Barber and family, who were out driving, were also thrown from their carriage and slightly injured. Through the oil regions derricks were blown down and much damage done. About this city the storm was not so heavy, and specials from many other points represent hail falling as large as hen's eggs. The telegraph lines are down badly, and in many places the railroads are washed out. The damage to orchards has been particularly heavy, many trees in the regions visited by hail being stripped of every leaf, and other crops suffered in a corresponding degree. The total loss will probably reach several hundred thousand dollars.  [Atchison Daily Champion, (Atchison, KS) Wednesday, May 30, 1888]

During the thunder storm on Sunday afternoon, a barn belonging to H.W. Baker and M.G. Reed, at Barnesville, was struck by lightning and burned. The loss was $600 on which there was no insurance. The barn of S.S. Foreman, of the same place, was also struck and damaged. [Belmont Chronicle. (St. Clairsville, Ohio), 21 Aug. 1890]

Serious Wreck Near Bellaire.
Bellaire, O., Aug. 1. - An accident occurred on the Bellaire, Zanesville and Cincinnati railway just south of this city in which one man was fatally injured and several persons were badly crippled. The passenger train, due here at 8 o'clock, having a baggage car and two coaches loaded with people coming to a circus in this city jumped the track, the baggage and one coach falling down an embankment. Joseph Morris, baggage master, was thrown out of the door, and the car turned over on him. He is now in a dangerous condition. Following is a list of the injured: John Irwin, leg broken and side mas(?)ed; Samuel and Willie McElroy, arms broken; George Wilcox, bad cut on head; Henry Miller, broken wrist and dislocated shoulder; George W. Day, hip crushed and back badly sprained.
[The Evening Times, Martins Ferry, Ohio, August 4, 1891 - Sub. by Nancy S. Edwards]

Martins Ferry, O., Feb 19- Owing to the high water the natural gas main pipe bursted and a terrible explosion resulted. Nine persons were severely burned and two died. The names of those fatally burned are: Mrs. William Kuntz and Edna Graves, a little girl [Lima Daily Times, Feb 19, 1891]

Anarchy in Ohio
At an early hour Thursday morning a dynamite bomb, loaded with slugs, was thrown into the office of the Buckeye Glass Company at Martins Ferry, O, wrecking that portion of the building. Manage Humphrey and one of the non-union men sleeping in a adjoining room, narrowly escaped death. The explosion shook buildings within a radius of half a mile. The bomb throwing is ascribed to the strikers. President Seaman, when he learned of the attempt to wreck the factory, at once announced his intention of giving up trying to work and will abandon the plant entirely. When working full time, nearly three hundred men are employed.
[Hamilton News Press, Marion County, AL - Feb. 21, 1895  - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney]

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