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Archive for Sunday, October 13, 2013

100 years ago: Two tourists killed in auto-train collision

October 13, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 13, 1913:

  • "A tragedy of the grade crossing was enacted on the Union Pacific tracks a mile and a half east of Lawrence this morning claiming the lives of two men, occupants of an auto which was struck by Rock Island passenger train number 35. The two men are Arthur Dudley, formerly of Leavenworth, Kan., but later a resident of Denver, Colorado, and C. C. Clark of Denver, Colorado. Arthur Dudley was instantly killed, but the other man lived until 2 o'clock this afternoon when he succumbed at the Simmons hospital where he was brought this morning after the accident.... At the crossing at which the accident occurred it is possible to obtain a clear view of the tracks for at least half a mile in each direction and the two must have seen the train approaching from the distance. The road at this place runs in a slanting direction, making the crossing unusually long, but there are no obstructions along the side of the road or of the right-of-way to prevent a clear view of the tracks. This makes the cause of the accident even more of a mystery. However, at this place there are three tracks, the double track to Kansas City and a third track to Leavenworth. This fact leads to the suspicion that the autoists may have become confused with regard to the location of the train.... It may have been that they misjudged the distance or the speed of the train and attempted to beat it across.... The body of the dead man was found lying in the middle of the track almost 100 yards from the scene of the collision. He was dead when picked up by the train crew. The other man was lying beside the tracks a short distance from his companion.... The car is almost totally demolished.... The number plate, which was sought in an effort to identify the tourists, is completely shattered, the enameled numbers being totally obliterated. The body of the car is crumpled and disfigured.... The axles are broken and twisted, not a wheel remains whole or a brake or bit of machinery intact."
  • "A first class vaudeville show on a regular circuit and staging two programs a week, under the management of Lee Cohn, is to be the latest in amusements in Lawrence. The show will occupy the new building being erected by Sam McCurdy in the 1000 block on Massachusetts street and the promoters say they will open December 15. The building will be erected especially for a vaudeville house seating 750 people.... 'We are going to put on a first class show in every respect,' said Manager Cohn today. 'Our scenery will be equal to the best and the class of our shows above average vaudeville. We plan to have motion pictures along with the shows and while the shows will change but twice a week, the pictures will be changed daily. The price of admission will be 10 and 20 cents.'"

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 6 months, 1 week ago

Never try to beat the train. The risk is never worth it. We've been working on that concept for 100 years now, so everybody please get with the program!

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