News item in the scrapbook bought at the estate sale of Vivian Roller.
Francis Ruth Bloomer Oct. 3, 1903 - Oct 4, 1917
HOME WRECKED BY RUNAWAY CARS

Miss Ruth Bloomer Killed When Cars Crash Into Home

Other Members Of Family Escape.
At eight-thirty o'clock, a happy home with the mother and her three children seated about her, two at the table preparing their school lessons and the other at the piano, at nine o'clock their home wrecked and one of the bright faced, happy girls a corpse, is the tragic and distressing experience which fell to Mrs. Zuma Bloomer and her family in this city on Thursday evening, October 4.

As suddenly as an earthquake, two runaway, heavily loaded freight cars struck an empty box car on a switch track at the Cassville Mill & Power Co. and plowed directly across the street and crashed the box car into the home of Mrs. Zuma Bloomer wrecking the home, an eight room residence, and killing the older daughter, Miss Ruth, aged 14 years. Mrs. Bloomer, son, Laverne, and daughter, Willie, escaped with slight injuries.

Thursday evening the C. & W. made its regular run to Exeter at 5:40 o'clock. There were a number of freight cars loaded with crushed rock ballast to be taken by the train to Exeter. Not all of the cars could be taken in one trip. A part of them were taken. Upon arriving at Exeter it was found that Frisco passenger train No. 3 was late. While waiting, the engine was brought back to Cassville to take the remaining loaded freight cars to Exeter. The engine with the train and crew returned and started with the cars for Exeter and found upon reaching the hill out of Exeter about 3/4 mile, that the engine would not be able to pull the load over. There they left two loaded cars and took the others into Exeter, returning within a few minutes for the two cars left on the hill. Upon returning for the two cars, when the engine bumped into them to couple, the coupling failed to hold, this started the loaded cars down the grade toward Cassville, Joe Ayers, conductor of the C. & W. climbed on one of the cars and tried to check them by the use of the break but could not do so. He rode the cars for about a mile and then jumped from them. The engine followed for some distance in an effort to complete the coupling. The fireman phoned from the Chas. Weatherly home to J.C. Henry in Cassville to close the switch which had been left open but Mr. Henry could not be reached in time. The two loaded cars swept down the grade to Cassville acquiring a great momentum. They swept around the curve on the Mill switch and struck the empty box car and plunged it from the mill across the street in an instant into the Bloomer home some eighty feet from the end of the switch.

The house was wrecked and most all of the furniture ruined. The family, Mrs. Bloomer and her three children, were seated about a table in the dining room where the children usually prepared their lessons each evening for school. Ruth had returned only a few minutes before from the home of Maud Trolinger where they had been planning for the school exercises to be held the next day. She was seated at the table studying when the tragedy occurred. She was caught beneath the debris and her body was found with difficulty. Physicians who examined her say that she must have received the full force of the impact as there was every indication of concussion of the brain and the spine. She never regained consciousness and soon passed away.

An inquest was held before justice of the peace H.P. Sons Friday. The jury composed of W.O. Black, Arthur Erwin, C.H. Hadley, C.W. Williams, H.O. Abernathy and W.H. Martin, rendered the following verdict: "We the jury find that Ruth Bloomer came to her death by being crushed under the debris of a wrecked building, which wreck was caused by the negligence of the Cassville & Western Railway Co. in not having the necessary safety appliances."

Francis Ruth Bloomer was born in Cassville Oct. 3, 1903 and died on Oct 4, 1917. She was the oldest daughter of Mrs. Zuma Bloomer, who for a number of years has been a teacher in the Cassville school, and who is the widow of the late William J. Bloomer, one of this county's most prominent citizens. Ruth was a member of the Freshman class of the Cassville High school. She was an excellent pupil and beloved by teachers and classmates who are deeply grieved over the awful tragedy.

The funeral was held Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. from the Baptist church, conducted by Rev. J. T. Brattin. Ten girls, her classmates acted as flower girls.

Interment was made in the Oak Hill cemetery.
Source: Scrapbook bought at the estate sale of Vivian Roller