The Cincinnati Times-Star newspaper,
July 22, 1887:
A WRECK AT BLOODY RUN.
TWO TRAINS COME TOGETHER
ON THE NORTHERN.
The Montgomery Accomodation
In the cut less than 100 feet north of the high trestle which crosses Bloody Run on the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railroad, there was a collision this morning which fortunately resulted in nothing worse than a terrible shaking up among the passengers on one train, a number of whom escaped from the wreck with bruised bodies, bloody noses and battered heads. It was at this point–midway between Idlewild and Avondale Junction–that the Montgomery accommodation, due in Cincinnati at 7:05 and the “dinkey,” on the Ohio & Southwestern Railroad, which leaves the Court Street Depot at 6:30 came together.
Both trains went late–the Northern about three or four minutes and the other nearly twice that much, for it did not leave the city until ten minutes past schedule time. Generally the Northern people find the other train still called by its old name, “The Eastern,” at Idlewild, but this morning proved an exception to a rule that is general. When the gauge of the Ohio & Northwestern was changed from narrow to standard that road took nearly all if its trains off the Northern and ran into the Little Miami Depot. That occurred on the 8th of last November, and when the O. & N. W. transferred their operator at Idlewild to another station.
They still continue to run three trains a day for the accommodation of commuters who reside at Mornington and other local points between Idlewild and Batavia Junction. It was one of these that this morning blocked the progress of the Northern Train No. 4, which consisted of three coaches and an engine and was in charge of Conductor Murr. When Idlewild was reached and the Eastern train was found to be late, Tom Timberlake, a commuter on the road, and a telegraph operator, sent a dispatch to Train Dispatcher A.J. Love, asking for orders for No. 4.
The reply was given to come ahead, and understanding that the Eastern would wait for them at Avondale, George Collins, the engineer pulled the throttle, and the train moved on toward the city. The cars were full of passengers. They always are for the Northern gets its share of the passenger traffic of that rapidly growing part of the county. Just as the curve was turned leading to Bloody Run the passengers noticed that the speed of the train had been checked. A moment later and there came a crash and people were thrown from their seats, and for a moment there was a vision of flying hexxx, xxxxxxxns, legs, baskets and bonnets.
Fearing a recurrence of the awful sensation, although battered and scared, the commuters gathered up their possessions and filed out xxxxxxxxxd. Wedged tightly together were the engines of the two trains–No. 7, of the Ohio & Northwestern, being badly smashed. Lying on the bank was the smoke stack of the Northern engine–No. 2–while it was hard, in the great clouds of steam that enveloped the wreck, to see just where the cab ended and the tender began.
The few who were injured were at once looked after. Engineer George Glasgow and Fireman Barber, of the Ohio and Northwestern, were the most seriously hurt. One was taken into the Eastern coach, and Barber, who was suffering intensely, was removed into a Northern car. Not one of the four coaches in both trains left the track and the wheels of the engines remained on the rails.
Brakeman T. W. Gibbens, of the Northwestern, who escaped with a mere bruised hand, seized a flag and ran back to Avondale for assistance. It was some time before medical aid arrived, but Dr. C. S. Muscroit, Jr., Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Gratigny and Dr. Morey were among those who responded to the call. Dr. Muscroit is the Northern’s physician. Barber, whose leg was broken, was removed as soon as possible to the Betts Street Hospital.
Glasgny fared a little bit better. He jumped just as the engines met and was caught in the debris. His pantaloons were fairly torn from him and both his legs scratched. A slight wound, aggravated by the burning steam, made his throat trouble him, while a hole was made in his left arm. Nervousness brought on a chill. He was taken to his home at Court and Broadway.
The crew of the Northern fared a little better. Engineer George Collins escaped with a strained ankle, but he was able with assistance to get off at Oak street and walk to the home of a friend. Fireman Tom Ballard saved a whole skin. Conductor Murr was thrown down by the shock, but with the exception of a cut lip he was all right.
Nearly every one on the Northern was more or less shook up. George Hammett–formerly head section man of the road–was standing at the front door of the smoker when the crash came. His head went through the window, and he was cut about the forehead, as well as in the back. The passengers in the smoking car experienced the worst shock. Mr. Kruse, of South Norwood, had his nose badly cut, and stanching the flow of blood as best he could, he heroically walked on to the junction, bandaged, and on the lookout for a doctor.
Mrs. Proctor, of South Norwood, complained that her back hurt her terribly, and she was suffering, too, from the shock to her nerves. A young man named Frick found his leg was commencing to swell, and he made his way back to his home at Norwood as best he could.
Maj. Cook and Mr. Mossman were the other victims whose blood from slight flesh wounds splattered over the cars. The only man on the Northwestern accommodation was a laborer bound for Mornington, and he was but slightly bruised.
Nearly all of the East Norwood contingent ride in the last car and a Times-Star man occupied one of the seats nearest the back door in that coach. Little damage was done there, though everybody in the car changed seats when the engines met.
The Eastern Road had an accident near the same place about six years ago, and singularly enough, Engineer Glasgow, who was a victim to-day, was a fireman under Engineer Wes. Bradley at that time.
In less than half an hour a relief train crossed Bloody Run, and a wrecking crew began the work of clearing the track. That was quickly accomplished and, a few minutes late, the 9:20 train out pulled over the scene of the collision.
There is wide difference of opinion as to just where to place the blame for the accident. Conductor McDonald, of the Northwestern, says that no orders were received by him to lay over at Avondale, and he thought the Northern train was waiting at Idlewild. Engineer Glasgow corroborates the story and says they were bowling along up grade at a lively rate to make up lost time. Both engines were reversed and had the trains met on the trestle–not a stone’s throw away–while running at the usual speed, the result would have been awful to contemplate. Bad as it was, it was an accident that people would call a lucky one.
The damages to the engines and cars may foot up $1,000, perhaps more, certainly not less. The machinery was not badly injured. Some of the seats in the Northern’s smoking car will have to be converted into kindling wood.
General Passenger Agent P. L. Dudley, who resides at Avondale, was on the scene ten minutes after the collision. An official investigation is already being made. The fact that the operator had been removed from Idlewild was commented upon most unfavorably by the commuters.
The railroad authorities say that there is no need of an operator there for the reason that the O. & N. W. trains, with the exception of those mentioned, have been taken off. The new contract between the C., L. & N. and O. & N. W. has not yet been signed, although the latter road has had it under consideration for a fortnight. A dispatch from the Avondale operator to Idlewild this morning would have prevented that accident. That is certain.
MR. HAFER CAN NOT EXPLAIN.
Mr. Geo. Hafer, President and Treasurer of the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern, was called upon and asked about the cause of the accident. He said that he could not speak as to that.
“We have put everybody to work clearing away the wreck, and have not had an opportunity to make any investigation. Of course, the two trains had no business on the same track, headed for each other, but how they happened to get there I do not know. The Ohio & Northwestern train No. 21, drawn by engine No. 7, is due to leave Cincinnati at 6:30 a.m., but it did not leave on time, being ten minutes late. One train, No. 4, drawn by Engine No. 2, from Montgomery, was due to arrive in Cincinnati at 7:05 a. m. By some mistake or other that I can not understand, the trains collided at a point between Idlewild and Avon Junction. The engines were badly damaged, but the cars escaped injury, the worst being a crushed platform. Engineer Glasgow, of the Ohio & Northwestern, was pretty badly bruised, but no bones were broken. His fireman, named Barber, suffered a broken leg. He is at the Betts Street Hospital. Neither of our engineers was injured. The engineer was slightly bruised, but he walked home. The fireman is again on duty, so far as I can learn. None of the passengers were much hurt, the injuries being confined to slight bruises. Of course some of them were badly scared. Mr. Kruse, who lives in South Norwood was bruised a little and some of the skin was rubbed off his face, but he was able to proceed to his business. Mrs. Proctor, also of South Norwood, was a little hurt and very much frightened. A Mr. Hammond is reported as being slightly bruised. It was a fortunate escape and I am glad matters are no worse. I deeply deplore accidents, and I shall find out where the blame, if any, lies.
The text marked in red was hard to read, and may not be correct.
The community of Mornington mentioned in the article, was later renamed Hyde Park.
The "Times-Star man" riding in the last car with other East Norwood residents may have been Ren Mulford, Jr.