CROFT, Thomas - Fountain County INGenWeb Project

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CROFT, Thomas

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Friday, 10 August 1900

Tuesday morning the train on the Monon due here at about 2 o’clock met with a disastrous wreck at South Raub and as a result four people are dead and many injured. The train left Lafayette at 12:40 in charge of Conductor Hubbard, and consisted of a baggage car, a mail car, smoker, ladies’ coach, and a Pullman parlor car. The train was very heavily loaded and was run by engineer Whetzel, of Lafayette, and Fireman James Hudlow. The train was running very rapidly and one of the officials of the road states that it was making close to sixty miles an hour. At South Raub, ten miles south of Lafayette, a freight engine and caboose in charge of Lewis Raub, engineer and Fireman Croft, was waiting on the sidetrack about fifty feet from the main line. Engineer Raub had been waiting for about half an hour and when he saw the headlight of the passenger was standing in front of his engine and waved his lantern that all was well and started back to his engine. An instant later the passenger dashed upon the sidetrack and Raub was caught and thrown fifty feet and his body when found was lying under the mail coach, terribly mashed. Engineer Whetzel bravely stuck to his post and reversed his engine and put on the air brakes. He was badly scalded and died at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette Wednesday morning. James Hudlow, the fireman, was instantly killed and his body was found in the ruins of the cab at one side of the track. The body of Thomas Croft, fireman on the freight, was found between the two engines, crushed into an unrecognizable mass.

(*Head Brakeman Kane, of Lafayette, who was responsible for the wreck, after the wreck, started at once for his home in Lafayette, where he was later arrested)

Source: Muncie Indiana Star Press 8 Aug 1900 p 3
Lafayette, Ind Aug 7  - At South Raub, south of here, on the Monon, there occurred this morning a collision of a passenger train with a freight engine and caboose due to an open switch. The passenger train was running 25 miles an hour when the crash came. Charles King, brakeman operated the switch. The casualty list includes:

The KILLED – Lewis Raub, Lafayette, freight Engineer
Thomas Craft, Lafayette, freight fireman
Joseph Hudlow, Lafayette, passenger fireman

Henry W. Whitsell of Lafayette who will die from scalding.
Eugene McColl, of Lafayette, freight brakeman, hip crushed.
Stephen Friely, Chicago travelling man, hip hurt.
WN Tyson of Crawfordsville, left leg hurt.

JF Pope, Williamsport; Mrs. Daniel Schrader of New Albany; Charles Davis of Crawfordsville; Daniel Schrader of New Albany; CH Calahan, of Bloomington, freight conductor; Victor Belcher, freight brakeman and Mrs. Louis Woodson of Chicago. The two engines were almost completely ruined. There is a bare possibility Kain did not perfectly close the switch and that the approaching train jarred it open.  Theories concerning Brakeman Kain were upset this afternoon when the local police force found him at home and placed him under arrest. He asserts that he closed the switch but refused to make any further statement.

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