Welcome to Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails!
Crawford County PA Railroad Deaths

Source: Crawford County Genealogy Pamplet - Transcribed by Debbie Ovechka

December 26, 1866 Mrs. Jno Denver (wife of section foreman) while riding on Hand Car, was run into by Gravel – A Russell , N.C. Lacock – about one fourth (¼ ) mile west of Cochranton at 5:00pm was running where it does every day. Met them on a curve with no flag out. Carelessness of husband of deceased. No inquest. R. 
January 15, 1866 W.H. Buck, employed as head switchman in Meadville Yard, was instantly killed at 8:00am near passenger depot in Meadville. Buck gave the signal to back the switch engine and stepped between the cars to uncouple them, while doing so he caught his foot fast and was unable to get out – one car and the engine passed over his body killing instantly – Engine was run my McMillan. A.L. Dunbar, Yard Master was present and witnessed the whole thing. No coroners inquest. R
January 10, 1866 (Supposed to be) Patrick O’Brien of Ohio, was run over and instantly killed at 10:40am, by 15 – conductor R.E. Killip – did not see him until within about two hundred feet (200) of him, then did not have time to stop before passing over his body. Verdict of coroners inquest was – he came to this death by being intoxicated and going to sleep on the track. R
September 15, 1866 Jno. Mulkins, employed as a switchman in Meadville yard at 4:30pm. While at work switching, attempted to get on the front end of switch engine, (Ira Mitchell, ) – while it was backing up, and slipped and fell on the track and one truck of a freight car ran over him, cutting off one left – He died the next morning. R
July 3, 1867 M. Cronin – Employee – brakeman on 19, A.T. Palmer conductor, Clark Casky , Thos. Ward , at 8:00am about one and one half miles out of Suttons, while setting up brake fell from top of car and was hurt internally. Attended by Dr. Ray. R
October 30, 1867 Corry Lee – employee – brakeman on 12, conductor J. Hartlewood, Tice, Stephens at 7:45pm pulling pin out of drawbar when switching in Meadville yard fell between flat car and engine. Was dragged along the track between tender wheel and brake. Engine backing up at the time breaking his right leg above the ankle. Leg amputated by Drs, Ray and church. He died on November 19, 1867. R.
March 20, 1868 Robert McQuene – Neither passenger or employee about 3:50pm. Gravel , A Russell & conductor, C. Champlin . Switching at Summit, he attempted to jump on while was moving and being drunk fell under and was killed. No inquest. R
June 5, 1868 Mrs. Mary A. Young – Suttons – D. McNamara and conductor, J.A. Robinson . Whilst trying to cross track ahead of Gravel which was backing up was struck by and killed. No inquest. R
October 24, 1868 Wm. McNamara – Citizen, residence Suttons, 3, conductor W.L. Holden, Brown, Cowen at Suttons. Killed whilst walking on track ahead of . He paid no attention to the alarm and whistle. R.
December 1, 1868 J.R. Fitzgerald, employee, brakeman 12, conductor J. Decker, York, Rowan, at Stone Switch west of Evansburg. Whilst in the discharge of his duty coupling car with broke drawhead with a chain, got right arm badly injured. Died December 15, 1868. R.
January 15, 1869 Wm. S. Tennant brakeman Coal , conductor M. Kent, H.J. Stanley, J.L. Copp, at Crawfords, caught between cars whilst coupling -- 45 minutes after accident. No coroners verdict. R
March 10, 1869 George A. Whitling citizen residing at Cochranton, Pa. In attempting to get on 3, A.H. Hepburn Conductor, Z. Murray , had his leg crushed below the knee. Died two days after accident.
March 24, 1869 Wm. J. Garrit – employee – brakeman 24, J.H. Sprong conductor, W. Howe, N. Young, at J.&F.R.R. crossing, while in the discharge of his duty as brakeman, fell off between two cars. Instantly killed. No inquest. R.
March 26, 1869 Frank Evans - employee – switchman Meadville yard, N.H. Patterson conductor, Christie, Arnold. In attempting to get on caboose lost his balance and swung under – Engine and caboose passed over him. Ashpan and pilot of engine doubling him up; thigh broke, head cut and injured internally – Died in about two days. No inquest. R
August 27, 1869 Edwd. McQueen – emigrant – Passenger, H.P. Wiley conductor, George Armstrong on 5 was killed, about 3¼ miles east of Adamsville, truck broke down and went out from under car and throwed 3 rear cars from track. 10:50am.
September 15, 1869 C. Kynett – employee – brakeman, J. Franey conductor, H. Laycock, J.W. Barrett . 2nd Ex 10 – fell between cars and both legs run over, at west end of Meadville yard, and lived, but two hours after the accident.
October 6, 1870 Wm. Skinner – employee, 10 Chas. Randall conductor, Chas, Howe, Ed Whitman , one-half mile west of Baconsburg while in the discharge of his duty as brakeman fell off the , was run over and instantly killed. Very badly mangled both legs, cut off. No inquest R.E. R.L.
November 15, 1870 W. McConnell – employee brakeman at 9:00 November 15th in Meadville yard on 34, J.R. Young conductor, Roberts, fell between engine and care while backing the into sidetrack. Engine run over his foot and leg, his leg was amputated, he died at 4:00pm on November 16th. No inquest. R.E.
November 20, 1870 E. Roche employee. brakeman 4:25pm Fri. 29 near Meadville, J.C. Hogg conductor, Geo. Waterman, Jas, Harly, while in the discharge of his duty, taking bell cord over the fell between the cars. Was run over and instantly killed. No verdict. R.E.
December 28, 1870 Hopkins and others, passengers, near Suttons on mail No. 5, Ward Conductor, Williamson Favor, Hopkins killed. Residence not know, he had a first class ticket for Greenville, PA. The others were emigrants, 6 or 7 of them, all more or less injured. Was caused by broken rail throwing the coach down an embankment 20 or 30 feet. was running about 25 miles per hour. No verdict. R.E.
March 5, 1871 C. Honnodle – employee – brakeman wild cat, Meadville, J. Park conductor, Favire, F. Whitman, fell from tender and run over by engine -- instantly killed, no coroners verdict. R.E.
October 14, 1871 Wm. Baily, Trackman, was killed by being run over at Suttons. Supposedly 25, was not seen by any of the men. S.P. Young conductor, H. Chapin. No coroners verdict. R. Auditor
September 16, 1874 Pat Madden, laborer on Gravel Train was struck by train 41, D.W. Likens Conductor, Geo. Hartlerode Engineer, at Evans Bridge switch and killed. Train running about 15 miles per hour. “Was working with rest of gang between main track and side track and when train was coming several of gang ran across main track. When in middle of track some of the rest called to him to hurry when he seemed confused and stopped and was struck.” No coroners inquest. Report sent to PDC September 16/74.
April 28, 1878 M. Nugent Brakeman (train 34 of Apl 28th C.W. Everts Conductor, J. Bruner Engineer, & E. Bartholomew Fireman ) caught between two caboose track at Meadville. Causing death in about five 5 minutes. “Was putting away the caboose on the caboose track, and Nugent was trying to make the coupling, but owing the caboose platform so far, the Ratchet wheel on the brake, caught him in the breast and caused the injury. Nugent has always been a very careful man and I am at a loss to understand how he came to attempt the coupling under the circumstances.” Signed C.W. Everts Conduction 2nd Division. Report sent PDC Apl,. 29/78. “Simon Straus” Coroner Crawford C. ASD). No coroners inquest. Not considered necessary to call him.
September 13, 1878 George Brown Engineer on train 20 of September 12th (D.A. Wishard Conductor) killed or drowned one half ½ mile west of junction. Caused by culvert being washed out, or so near gone that as soon as the engine got on culvert it gave way letting engine & six 6 cars in the break on Wilsons Run. Report sent PDC December 4 - 1878.
November 26, 1878 Chas. Stephens Citizen struck by train 86 (Z.H. Russell Conductor and J. Wheeler Engineer) 1¼ miles west of Cochranton and instantly killed. Brains knocked out, both arms and one leg broker. J.H. Adams JP – acting coroner, verdict accidental death. Road & employees exonerated from all blame. (Engineer says the man was crawling on his hands and knees and he thinks was trying to kill himself. Did not see man till got within 3 car lengths of him.) Report sent PDC, November 30/78.
November 3, 1880 An unknown man apparently 45 to 50 years of age was run over and instantly killed by train 19 (E.C. Merrell Conductor and J. Bruner Engineer) 1½ miles west of Geneva. Verdict, accidental death. W.H. Addle JP. He was walking along side of track until we were within 40 feet of him, when he fell accidentally, or threw himself in front of engine, engine & 2 cars passed over him. Signed E.C. Merrell. Report sent PDC November 5/80.
November 1, 1880 Geo Williamson Engineer on train 5, Jos Gork Conductor was instantly killed ¼ mile east of Crawford’s switch = side rod of engine 84 broke and he is supposed to have been hit near the temple by flying splinter or fragment of metal, set in motion by the piece of rod swinging on the crank pin, knocking him from the engine and causing almost instant death. No inquest held = remains brought to Meadville on first train. Report sent PDC December 7/80.
February 24, 1881 C.E. Apple Brakeman on train 33 (E.R. Merrell Conductor and B. Luce Engineer) fell from train 1½ miles west of junction, and was instantly killed by train passing over him. The two first cars passing over him were thrown from track. No inquest. Report sent PDC Mch 1/81. 22 years of age. Simon Strouse Coroner Crawford Co.
March 12, 1881 Patrick Phelan (aged about 57 years) was struck at Junction Bridge by train 7 (J.S. Matson Conductor and C. Fessenden Engineer) and instantly killed. No inquest. L. Bair JP in attendance decided inquest not necessary. “While going through the Bridge at Junction I heard several sounds of the whistle of engine going out of coach to see what the trouble was. I learned we had struck a man back at the bridge. Sent flagman back with a flag and backed up the train. Found a man lying side of the track dead with bad bruise side of the head. Engineer claims the man was running through the bridge ahead of the train and that he whistled for him to get off the track which he had plenty of time to do. No effort was made to stop train till after the man was struck, as the engineer supposed he would step off every second. He was about 10 to 12 feet out of the bridge when struck by the engine.” Signed J.S. Matson Conductor. Report sent PDC, Mch 15/81.
November 27, 1881 Karl Metzbeanzher passenger, resident Venango (age about 54 years) was run over by train 84 engine 80 (J.W. Babock Conductor and Geo Hartlerode Engineer) in passenger Depot at Meadville, fatally injured, died at 6:00pm same date. Passenger on train 4 which was standing in depot, he stepped on the track in front of engine and was thrown down & run over. The engine stopped with front “driver” just over the body, running very slow, not to exceed 6 miles per hour. A Dongan JP=Actg Coroner notified but decided not necessary to hold inquest. Report to JMF December 6/82.
July 22, 1883 Thos Custy Brakeman (aged 26) on train 3rd Exa 10 (A.W. Lyttle Conductor and D. Gaskell Engineer) was instantly killed at freedom by falling under train. Train was on side track for train 3 and when train started he was stepping from first car to the engine and fell between and 13 cars passed over him crushing his head and limbs. Remains brought to Meadville on train. Report to JMF July 26/83.
July 26, 1883 E.A. Hawkins Brakeman (age 24 years) on train 36 (F.H. Sekins Conductor & I. Cochran Engineer) was instantly killed at C&M Crossing by being run over. “While uncoupling engine from train he fell across the rail = forward trucks of head car passed over him and dragged him six car lengths. He was dead when I got to him. I took remains to Levittsburg & sent them to Meadville to train 8”. Signed F.H. Sekins Conductor. Report to JMF July 28/83.
March 13, 1885 J.S. Crannell employed as brakeman on train 87 had left foot crushed while switching at west end of house-track at Franklin, PA. He went in between the cars to make a coupling and in some way his foot was caught by the wheels and the instep crushed bursting open the flesh and splintering bones. No one saw how accident happened. “He (Crannell) when asked said “he hardly knew himself”. A physician was called who gave him temporary treatment and he was sent home to Meadville on train 84 making him as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. (Supposed his foot was caught between guard rails). Report to C. Paine 3/14/85. J.S. Crannell died at 8:00pm. March 23rd foot was not amputated. It was not considered necessary. Blood poison set in causing death. Report to C. Paine 3/24/85. John Reed Conductor and J. Bruner, Engineer.
May 5, 1885 W. J. Larimer employed as brakeman on train 33 fell from a car at Amasa Crossing and were cut and bruised badly about hips and loins caused by falling in front of moving car wheel and being slid about eight feet. Supposed he slipped getting down from a box to a coal car to let brake off as brake was found set on car by train even after train had been stopped. Dr. Clark of Greenville was summoned and dressed wounds and Larimer made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. Larimer was sent to his home in Meadville about four hours after injury received and turned over to Dr. Lashells for further treatment. His recovery considered doubtful. Report to C.P. Pain 5/11/85. September 25 voucher for $100.00 D.M. Garrison Conductor and Warren Howe Engineer.
June 25, 1885 Peter Anderson – A tramp stealing ride on train 22 while climbing on train at Geneva Pa – had leg caught between the deadwoods as train commenced to back up out of switch. Leg crushed so bad that he was taken to Meadville and leg amputated above knee by Dr. Lashells. Then taken to St. Joseph’s hospital where he still remains. Report to C. Paine 7/29/85.
July 17, 1885 Louie Mall a boy about ten years of age while playing around cars standing in brick yard switch in Meadville yard had left foot caught between bumbers (sic) of cars causing bad flesh wound. The boy was standing on bumbers when switch engine threw some cars in switch running against cars causing boy to fall. Dr. Lashells attended him. Report to C. Paine 8/4/85.
July 25, 1885 Bryon C. Coon, fireman on engine 160 train 19 had been in the employ of the company about three years and the past eight months as fireman, had both legs and one arm broken and crushed. Died from the effects about fifteen minutes after the accident occurred. Was a poor man, wife and two children. Accident caused by engine breaking loose from tender. Coon fell, tender and one car passing over him. Pin that coupled engine and tender was a good one new break. Coon was taken to Kent prepared for burial and returned to his home in Meadville. Report to C. Paine 8/5/85. Scowden Conductor and Geo. Everts Engineer. Voucher for $500 January 16, 1886.
August 20, 1885 John Berry brakeman on train 17, single man about 27 years of age. Residence in Meadville, PA, had been in the service of the company about 5 years, killed in wreck one mile west of Greenville. Berry was on top train; train broke in two and run together, piling cars on top each other. It was a very foggy night and could not see danger that was ahead in time to jump. Train was not running more than tenor twelve miles per hour when they came together. Hawley Thomas & Lynn Sherred B. Kucen on train. Berry was brought to his home in Meadville on train eight same morning and prepared for burial. He lived about twenty minutes after he was taken from wreck. To C. Pain 8/25/85. Sam Lock Conductor and Collins Engineer.
October 2, 1885 Charles King switchman in Meadville yard killed switching train 26 in and making up 26 out. King was coupling cars on number 2 switch – missed a coupling and think he was in the act of changing link when two more cars came down in the switch and struck the car he was changing link on, knocked him down on the track one pair of trucks passed over him. Lived about five minutes witnesses Jacob Hogg, C.S. Decker switchmen and Powell Engineer. No inquest. Report to C. Pain 10/8/85. J. Decker Y.M. & Powell Engineer.
February 9, 1886 J.S. Williams switchman in Meadville yard, 22 years of age. First night to work. Switch engine was taking train 37 to west end of yard. Williams was on top of car next to coach, coach was cut off either fell or slipped on track in front of coach. Coached dragged him about one hundred and fifty feet, crushing left leg at knee. Was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died in a short time. Attended by Dr. Fisch, witnesses Jesse Hope, F.E. Willis and James Green. Remains were sent to undertake and interred in company’s lot at Greendale cemetery.
June 5, 1886 James Murphy, Jr. 36 years of age, employed as trackman in Meadville West yard, family consists of wife and three children. Owned house he lived in, life was insured for $2,000. Murphy was working with gang on main track and in walking along the track outside of rail to get a tool, turned his back to the direction from which the engine was coming. The whistle was sounded when engine was a short distance from him, but he either did not or could not get far enough from rail before he was struck by engine. Wheels passed over both legs near knees cutting them off and severe scalp wound. Legs both amputated by Dr. T. B. Lashell. Died from the effects at 7pm. Chas Riley, Patrick Hart & John Bough witnesses. Bough was working on same side of track with Murphy and called to him as engine was approaching, to get off track instead of stepping from the rail Murphy turned toward engine and was struck. W.M.C. 6/25/86. Engine 36 Wm. Decker S. Man, Morris Powell Engineer, Chas Mitchell Fire.
December 15, 1886 Joseph Stout a tramp aged 28 lacerations of muscles of right thigh extending through first and into second layer and about four inches long one way and six the other. As train was pulling through “yard” he attempted to jump on caboose and in doing so leg swung around and struck a switch stand. Attended by Dr. Lashell and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Witness: Francis Hotchkill. L.C. DeMary Conductor, J.R. Shaler. February 3/87.
23 – 4:00pm
June 6, 1887 Grant I. Keller age 20. Brakeman was instantly killed at Geneva by being run over by engine. Train 38 had switched 3 cars at Geneva and Keller after throwing switch got on Engine, which as backing up, at rear end of tank missed his footing and fell under wheels with above result. Alexander Miller, Geneva, PA saw Keller get on tender as stated. Jury impaneled by coroner Hannen attaches no blame to Road or employees. Train 38, Fitzgerald Conductor & Gaskill Engineer. To J.R. S. June 11/87.
August 3, 1887 Edward Wilson, age 49 Carpenter. Had worked for the co. the past 20 years but for a few months past had been laying off only going to work the day he was hurt. Was riping some 2”x4” pcs. For cattle guards, in pulling plank back to rip again drew it so it caught on saw and was thrown back striking him on frontal bone just above the eyes, causing a compound comminuted fracture of skull with compression of an hemorrhage into the brain. Died August 6, at 2:00pm. Dr. Fish attended him. Acct sickness of regular companies surgeon Dr. Lashells. Reported by A.J. Horth Foreman Carpenter and Bridges. To Genl Supt. August 23.
August 15, 1887 Chas. Be. Free brakeman age 21 Ex 48 was switching at Geneva, as engine came back against train a pin behind the 5th car bounded out. On stopping engine train parted just as free was stepping from one car to the other. Free fell to the ground outside of rails. Right arm was crushed from elbow to shoulder, bruised and cut about face and injury to spine. Dr. Fish amputated arm at shoulder joint. “Hemorrhage had nearly exhausted the patient before he reached medical or surgical assistance. He died 36 hours after the accident.” To J. R. Shaler and Gen. Supt. August 27/87.
December 3, 1879 H. Blair, Citizen residing about 6 miles from Geneva, PA was struck by train 12 (between switches at Geneva and thrown against train 32 standing on siding) at Geneva and instantly killed. Report to PDC December 8/79.
December 20, 1879 Martin Fahey, brakeman on train 33 (F.P.Scowden Conductor, Frank Brown Engineer) fell under engine at east end of switch at Atlantic and was instantly killed. “He got off engine to open switch. He ran along till he got ahead of engine and went to get up on the track ahead of her and slipped and fell or stumbled and fell under the Pilot. The engine and tender and two cars passed over him cutting him in two just back of the arms. Signed F. P. Scowden.

E. Jane Jobes

806 Mistletoe Court

Columbus, Ohio 43219

Back to Pennsylvania Trails History and Genealogy