Butler - Charles - train - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Butler - Charles - train

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Friday, 20 August 1897

An unknown man lying upon the Clover Leaf Railroad in a drunken stupor between Clark’s Hill and Kirkpatrick was struck by the fast St. Louis limited shortly after 12 o’clock last Thursday night and instantly killed.

When the St. Louis train left Clark’s Hill that night it was thirty minutes late. The engineer was endeavoring to make up time and after leaving Clark’s Hill he pulled wide the throttle. The train was whizzing along at the rate of fifty miles an hour, when on rounding a sharp curve the engineer saw a man lying across the track. He sounded the whistle; the man awoke and raised himself upon his hands and knees. Then the engine struck him, hurling him seventy five feet to the side of the track. As soon as the train could be brought to a stop it was backed up to the spot where the unfortunate man lay. Willing hands picked up the body and placed it in the baggage car. The train then proceeded on to Linden. At that place the body was taken from the car and placed in the depot. The coroner of Tippecanoe County was summoned but inasmuch as the body had been brought on to Linden and out of Tippecanoe County the jurisdiction over it was placed with Coroner Barcus.
Coroner Barcus went there at an early hour last Friday and ascertaining all the available facts from the trainmen in regard to the affair had the body brought to this city to the undertaking rooms of Carver & Robbins, where it was prepared for burial.
A map of Indiana, a pocketbook containing $1.20 and a newspaper wrapper with the name of Thomas R. Butler, Arcadia, Ind., written upon it, were the only personal effects upon the body of the dead man. Whether the name on the newspaper wrapper is that of the unfortunate victim it is not known, but it is presumed that it is.

The man was horribly mutilated; the head and neck were torn loose from the body on one side and the skull was crushed until identification would practically be an impossibility. From all appearances the dead man was a laborer out of employment. Just at the side of the track where the unfortunate man lay down to his final sleep, a pair of overalls and a loaf of bread were found. The man was of medium size and heavy build. His tanned skin and large calloused hands proved conclusively that he was a working man.

Coroner Barcus’ verdict was to the effect that the man met death by being run over by a train, and in the verdict the train crew is exonerated.

Alexander Kinniman, a farmer living four miles east of Linden, was in the city last Friday and after viewing the remains at Carver & Robbins’ stated that he had seen the man in Clark’s Hill several days ago. He, however, was unable to throw any light upon the man’s identity.

Will Guntle, of Linden, also viewed the dead man and he was positive that he had seen him in Linden on Thursday. Mr. Gentle states that section hands on the Clover Lead on Friday found an empty bottle on the spot where the man was struck by the train in the night. The bottle bore the label of a drug firm in an Ohio town but the writing on the same was blurred beyond legibility. It is the opinion, however, that it contained liquor. - thanks sooo very much to "S" for all her super work on this site

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