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Train accidents

Here we will try to have various stores and obits related to train accidents that involved our Johnson County Kin. New additions near bottom in blue.

Train and Railcar Abbreviations

Morris Williams Obit

Johnson County Man Fatally Hurt

"Bandy" VanHoose Dies of Injuries

                Huntington W. Va., Sept 10 Raymond "Bandy" VanHoose 27 years old, a switchman on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and well known baseball player, died at 8:30 o'clock yesterday morning of injuries received six hours before when he was run over by a switch engine in the railway yards, near Sixteenth street. Both legs were severed above the knees.

                VanHoose lived at 334  Fifth avenue, had reported for work at the sixteenth street terminal at 11 o'clock Wednesday night. He was standing on the tracks just west of Sixteenth Street about 2:30 in front of a string of cars waiting for the return of the switch engine which had uncoupled to take on coal and water. According to W Gilbert, 1813 McVey Ave., night yardman, the locomotive was backing from the water tank when it struck VanHoose, who apparently did not notice its approach.

                L. Siple, engineer in charge of the switch engine did not see VanHoose and did not know he was on the track until the engine passed over his legs. On hearing his scream Siple Stopped the engine and found VanHoose on the tracks.

                The injured man was rushed to the Chesapeake & Ohio hospital and physicians worked on him for several hours in an effort to stop the blood flow but all efforts failed. He was unconscious when he died.

                He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs.. H M VanHoose, his widow Mrs. Beulah VanHoose, his son Edward three years old, two brothers A M VanHoose of Huntington and H H VanHoose of New Castle Ind and Four sisters Mrs.. Neva Forrest, school attendance officer of Huntington Mrs.; Lottie Cales of Chesapeake; Mrs. W L Hurt and Mrs. W L Lambert of Huntington.

                VanHoose was a native of Johnson County but had spent most of his life in Huntington. Funeral arrangements had not been completed last night but it is expected that the services be held Saturday.

The Paintsville Herald

Sept. 16, 1926  Thursday

Aged man Killed At Thealka By Freight Train; Body Taken to Morgan Co for burial


                John M. Kennard, age 68 years and weighing more than 310 pounds was killed at Thealka last Tuesday afternoon when a frieght train hit him. He was knocked about thirty feet then instantly killed. He was crossing the track from the river side to the store operated by his son when the train hit him.

                The remains were taken Wednesday to Morgan County and will be buried Thursday in the Kennard Cemetery on the Right hand Fork of Licking River.

                For some of the time he had been making his life with his children. His wife Rhoda Kennard, two sons Ben Kennard, a merchant in Thealka, Wallace Kennard, Ashland and two daughters, Mrs. Burt Stafford and Miss Paolina Kennard are left

                He was a good citizen and had many friends and relatives in this section. J. N. Kennard and Crip Kennard were his nephews.

The Paintsville Herald

Thursday  April 8. 1926

Johnson County Man Found on RR Track Wounded: Both Legs Cut Off

Buried Tuesday

                Mason Salyer, age 40 years a carpenter of Johnson County was found on the Railroad track at Melvin station on Beaver Creek Monday morning and before the could be stopped it cut off both his legs.

                He was laying on the track and the heavy fog made it impossible to stop the train after the engineer had discovered the body.

                He died 30 minutes after reaching the Martin Hospital. It was discovered that his skull had been fractured and a cut on his face made it look very much like he was injured and placed on the tracks his relatives claim. A knife was found near the body.

                The remains were brought to Paintsville Monday evening and were buried on Jennies Creek Tuesday.

The Paintsville Herald

Sept. 30, 1926


    Mutilated almost beyond recognition, the body of Homer Hammond, a brother of J P Hammond, Van Lear, was found early Sunday Morning on the C & O railroad tracks near Princess tunnel, Boyd County, where he was the night watchman. The body had been dragged about 250 feet from the entrance of the tunnel, it was ascertained by bits of flesh strewn along the track. The skull was almost flattened, a gaping hole was torn in the side, and one leg was torn from the hip.

                Both of Hammonds' lanterns were found overturned on the track, neither damages in any way to give rise to the theory that he had met with foul play. Coroner J L Richardson made an investigation, and was told that the victim had no known enemies. It was reported that several shots were heard late Saturday night, but this has not been confirmed.

                Hammons is survived by his mother, Mrs. Mary Hammons, of Coalton with whom he made his home, by a sisters, Mrs. J W Whitt of Huntington W. Va., and by three brothers, J P Hammons of Van Lear, and James and George Hammons of Hardy. Burial was in Carlton.

Sep 23, 1926

The Paintsville Herald.


                Bob Smith, 38 years old, employed by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad on an extra section gang, was found dead on the railroad right of way, near Elsiecoat, Ky., by a flagman on a local freight train. The body was brought to Whitesburg to await disposition of his relatives, who, it is said, reside near Crab Orchard. The position which the body lies indicates that he was struck by a passenger train.

                It is reported that there was found a pistol and three empty shells. However, there is no evidence of foul play.

Oct 14, 1926

Former Pastor of Paintsville Killed by Train

Rev Isaiah Cline Meets Death Under Wheels of Freight Train at Fullerton, Ky

Badly Mangled

                Rev Isaiah Cline, age 60, a prominent and well loved minister of the M. E. Church was struck and instantly killed by a Chesapeake & Ohio freight train, within several hundred feet of his home at Fullerton. last Monday.

                Rev Cline has been stationed at several churches in the Big sandy Valley and in the Tri state region around Ashland. He was pastor of Paintsville M E Church several years ago, and while there made many friends. He was known as a consecrated Christian gentleman and was loved by the Christian people of Paintsville, who will be grieved to learn of his tragic death.

                Rev Cline had just returned from the Methodist Conference which closed its session at Maysville Sunday and was walking to his home. He evidently failed to hear the approach of a  west bound freight train. He was hurled quite a distance and the wheels passed over his body which was horribly torn and mangled.

                In addition to his wife he is survived by three children, Thomas E Cline of Bellevue, Ky; Mrs. Harry Diller of Ashland and Bert Cline.

                He had intended to retire from the ministry for a year and had not been appointed at the Maysville Conference. He had been pastor of the Fullerton M E Church for the past two years.

The Paintsville Herald

Oct. 7, 1926  Thursday



    George Bailey, age 21 years of Thealka, was killed Monday afternoon when he attempted to board a fast moving freight train as it passed Thealka. He was employed in the mines and intended to get a freight train to Van Lear Junction. In his attempt to board the train he caught the front of one of the cars and was thrown to the ground and carried some distance by the train. He was at once rushed to the Paintsville Hospital where it was learned that his injuries were fatal. His body was badly bruised and his skull fractured. He died a short time after reaching the hospital.
    Funeral and burial were held Tuesday afternoon. Young Bailey was married only a few weeks ago and was residing in Thealka and working in Van Lear.
The Paintsville Herald
Thursday April 29, 1926

Both Legs severed by Freight train
                William Welch 26 lost both legs at 5:30 o'clock last Sunday evening near Louisa when he was struck by a C & O freight train according to news received in Paintsville. Welch was picked up and taken to Riverview Hospital at Louisa, where he died in a few hours after both legs were amputated.
The Paintsville Herald
September 1, 1927
                Willie (Bud) Welch, 23 of Louisa died in the Riverview hospital here Sunday night from injuries sustained a few hours earlier at the Louisa depot when both legs were severed from his body by a freight train which he attempted to hop.
                It is sad that Welch was intoxicated and that he was unable to pull himself up after his foot had missed the stirrup. Hanging to the car with one hand, he was dragged from the crossing at Madison street to the lower end of the platform of the depot before his hold broke, As he let loose his legs went under the car and were mangled by the wheels.
                He was taken to Riverview Hospital where a few hours later Dr. Burgess removed the mangled pieces. He died at 10; o'clock Sunday night.
                He is survived by his mother Mrs. Belle Blankenship with whom he made his home and by a wife and baby.
                Funeral services were conducted by rev Hewlett and Rev Marcum Tuesday and burial was in Crabtree cemetery on Two mile.
The Paintsville Herald
Sept 8, 1927 Thursday

Father of Five Meets With Fatal Accident
                Lon Stapleton, age 37 years was ground to death beneath the wheels of a C & O freight train near  Buffalo Tunnel about one mile est of Paintsville last Thursday morning about 2 a. m. The mans body was horribly cut and mangled. Both legs were cut off, his head crushed to a pupl, one ey protruding from its socket and lying on his cheek, his body otherwise cut and bruised beyond recognition.
                Stapleton, in the company of Max Conley, was enroute home from Greasy Creek to his home in Bridgeford Addition, when the accident occurred. As the freight train approached the train crew noticed him on the track but thought he made a safe crossing. Later, an investigation proved the train had struck and killed him. It is the consensus of opinion that he attempted to cross the track directly in front of the passing train, but a curve prevented the train crew from seeing the man in time to stop and prevent the accident.
                Both Stapleton and Conley were drinking, it is reported, and this no doubt, was responsible for Stapleton's death.
                Stapleton had been employed by the C&O as a brakeman for a number of years and at times acted as a special conductor.
                Funeral services were held Friday afternoon and the remain interred at the Huff Cemetery near his home in Bridgeford.
                He is survived by his widow and five children, all girls, and much sympathy is felt for his wife and children.
The Paintsville Herald
Oct. 6, 1927


Morris Williams, 79, retired coal operator and Nationally known authority on the coal mining industry died at his home in Philadelphia last Friday Mr. Williams was apparently in excellent health and his death came as a shock to relatives and business associates. Mr. Williams had been identified with the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky for years. He was one of the founders and principal stockholders in the North East Coal Company and Glogora Coal Company and had been one of the leading figures in the development of the industry in Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He was born in Wales and came to the United States at an early age with his parents. He entered the mining business in early manhood and at one time operated a gold mine in the West. He rose from an obscure place in the industry to one of the leading figures. He first became interested in the Big Sandy Coal field more than 30 years ago when he and associates organized the North-East Coal Company here. Later he and associates organized the South East Coal Company at Seco on the Kentucky River. In 1920 he organized the Glogora at Glo. In 1938 he retired from active presidency of his holdings but still maintained his great interest in the industry. His death marks the passing of another of the pioneer coal men of this section of Kentucky. Funeral services were held in Philadelphia Monday afternoon and all the operation of the North East Coal Company in this section ceased during the day in tribute to the departed leader.

Paintsville Herald Thursday January 31, 1935
donated by Darrell Music J.C.H.S.C.W.