NYC CCC&St.L Records Archive?

Joel Michael Sep 16, 2019

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mix Station: More likely Mix station. Could have simply been as little as a flag stop. Or even a dirt road crossing of the tracks, by a farm named for the Mix family. Hard to say. Back then, trains passed many named locations which faded away, or were assimilated by another growing community.

    Second train: Likely a second section of the scheduled Number 29. Would been seen on train orders as something such as "engine XXX display green flags run as second section number 29". In other words, the XXX would have been on the same schedule, but had to observe a specific following (time) distance (safety!) behind the first train.

    Speeder: Hard to say what it might have been. Unless there is by some odd coincidence a photo, from which a guess could be made.... The locomotive pilot probably tossed him and his speeder clear, before both could be otherwise struck so as to cause more trauma to his body. Just the G forces of the initial impact could have been enough to end his life, before he impacted anywhere else trackside. And, what he was doing, riding that speeder, was an offense which he could have been easily/quickly fired if he'd been caught. Just for the reasons of preventing such an accident. When a speeder is operating, legally, a track car operator's lineup should have been issued, via station operators in his vicinity, to know the speeder was going to be present, where, how long. The track car operator would have been given that lineup, showing trains to be coming through his work area, and required to safely clear them as they passed. Depending upon the situation, the trains could also have been issued orders preventing or drastically slowing their movement through that territory.

    Why hire him? Labor laws and railroad practices back then were much, much different. Sixteen was not an unusual age. He may have been apprenticing under an experienced adult, to learn his telegraphy, starting a year or two, or even more prior to turning sixteen. In my favorite aspect of the railroading hobbies, I have known several folks who bid in their first telegraph operator's job at sixteen. And they apprenticed just as I noted. BTW- their apprenticing was done just as if they were an employee. But they were not. Completely unpaid as they learned, with the end hope they would be hired, yet expected to perform with the responsibilities associated of a real employee!
     
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  2. Joel Michael

    Joel Michael TrainBoard Member

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    BoxcabE50 and Charlie, you guys seem to be correct in all you've said. I was finally able to track down the 2 most local newspapers to the accident and family. There was even more detail in these. Some of it confirms what you're saying. Rather than paraphrase, I typed the entire article (identical in both papers) below. I also received a couple pictures of the tower from the pretty darn amazing Logan County Historical Society. Using a combination of the distances given, I think I can locate the scene of the accident as well as estimate pretty closely where Mix Station was. In fact, I just drove every track crossing between Pasco and Quincy this afternoon. So, I think I've come as close as I'm going to get to seeing the actual sites that belong to this story. Sadly, so much has changed. Now it's about learning the technical details which you guys are so good at. Oh, and Clarence would be my 2x great uncle. Do these details provide any clues to anyone about the locomotive/train itself?

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    Sidney Daily News
    Shelby County Democrat

    Thursday, August 23, 1906
    Headline: Instantly Killed
    Subhead: Clarence Michael, of Pasco Struck By an Excusion (sic) Train Last Night
    Sub subhead: Was Operator at Quincy. Body Taken Home. Funeral Will Be Saturday Morning

    A sad accident occurred Wednesday evening when Clarence Michael, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Michael, who live on a farm near Pasco, was run down and instantly killed by a Big Four excursion train, returning from Niagara Falls.

    Michael, who was a young man of about eighteen years of age, was employed by the Big Four railroad as a day telegraph operator at Quincy. Being about eight miles from home he had been in the habit of returning home in the evening on a railroad speeder and was on his way home Wednesday evening when his machine was struck. The accident happened a half mile this side of Pemberton, at about 7:30 o'clock, on straight track. After striking the speeder, the train was stopped and the injured man was brought to Sidney when he was examined and found dead by Dr. Costolo.

    Whether he knew of the coming special or not, is not known, but it is likely that he did as operators are informed on such matters. Harry Hess, the Sidney operator, had been informed about the special, and no doubt all operators along the line had received some word about it. The speeder, when running at a high rate of speed, makes considerable noise and the accident is probably due to this.

    Glen Dill, ticket agent at Pemberton, had started for his home, also in the vicinity of Pasco, on a machine constructed of a bicycle and a small wheel, the bicycle on one rail and the wheel on the other. He was following the special train and after going a short distance he heard a crash and after the train had stopped found that Michael had been hit. Word was sent as soon as possible to his father, who was at work on a farm which he has rented near Plattsville.

    The young man was born in this county on May 30, 1889, and always lived here with the exception of a short time spent in Tippecanoe as an operator. He learned to use the instrument in the Western Union Company's office in this city under the instruction of George Morton and remained in Sidney for about a year. This was about two years ago. Since then he has been working as an operator. For so young a man he is said to have been an excellent operator.

    His body was cut but very little and only a few scratches were noticeable about his face. His breast was crushed in causing his death. The remains were taken to his late home Thursday morning. The funeral services will be held at 10 o'clock.
     
  3. Joel Michael

    Joel Michael TrainBoard Member

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    As an interesting side note to all this... Clarence's mother apparently came to some kind of settlement with the CCC&St.L in 1908 for $295. It appears that they may have used the money to finally help purchase some farm land of their own. I'm actually the youngest of my generation which was the last to work on the family farm. So if the Michael family farm officially started with Clarence's death it could be said to have ended when my brother, cousins, and I chose different professions. Check out the probate records below if you're interested.

    https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8801/005880540_00875/10821964
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  5. Joel Michael

    Joel Michael TrainBoard Member

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    Hello guys! I'm sitting in the Ohio History Connection archives right now and am a bit overwhelmed. I need to a way to map a locomotive's road number to the train number as it would've been displayed in a timetable. Does anyone know, for instance, what document I should ask for that would let me map the second #29 excursion train from Niagara Falls to the locomotive number? Thanks as always. Joel
     
  6. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    That might be a little difficult. There is really no coordination of locomotive numbers to the timetable train number. The only ways I know of would be from train orders for that particular train on that particular day. I don't even know if those would exist. Another method would be from the hostler assignments and/or engine assignments for that day. Also the register for the engine crew on that day for that train would be a source. It is not highly likely that those records would exist and if they do they would be for the location that trains origination. The only other way would be for a photograph of the train on that day. To explain further, hostlers assignments would be for the men who prepared the locomotives for their particular assignments. Usually those would indicate the name of the employee(hostler),the locomotive number(s)and the train number(s) those locomotives would be used for, the roundhouse(engine) assignments would tell you what stall the locomotive would be in and maybe what ready track it would be assigned to prior to moving and coupling onto its train. Again, these records would be found at the originating terminal of the train.
    Another possibility is if the train needed servicing enroute,say for coal or minor mechanical problem, that would probably have a locomotive number. Again such records, should they even exist , would be difficult to locate. I see from the photo that this tower was of a decent size and that was a large crossing so it must have been a busy location. There is a possibility that the records from that tower were saved. Those operators had to log the trains that passed through their area of responsibility giving the time and engine number. Once again there is little likelihood those records exist.
    You've uncovered quite a bit! I wish you continued success. Please keep us updated on your results.

    Charlie
    (retired locomotive engineer BNSF Rwy)
     
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  7. Joel Michael

    Joel Michael TrainBoard Member

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    Charlie, that is fabulous information. I have one more day in Ohio before I'm limited to offline resources so I'll try to get as much info from the best museum closest to the tower. That's Logan county's historical society again. I don't have high expectations, but your info gives me some hope. I'll keep you posted. Thanks as always.

    Joel
     
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  8. Joel Michael

    Joel Michael TrainBoard Member

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    So, there were no train orders of any kind to be found in Logan County. I need to check with the NYC historical Society for the rest of the info I think I need. The only new info I discovered on my last trip to Bellefontaine was that the tower in Quincy, for which I posted pics earlier in this thread, was built in the 1920s so it couldn't have been where Clarence worked. However, there was mention of a tower in one of the Clarence obits that appears to have been built in 1894 according to a different local paper. Logan County historical society is working on trying to locate a photo of it.

    I am also pretty sure I located Mix Station - where Clarence is said to have been living at the time and commuting on the speeder to and from. The old Sidney Daily news and Shelby County Democrat say that Clarence lived 8 miles from Quincy and hint that it was in the direction toward Sidney. That puts the location of Mix at what I always knew as the Brookside Girl Scout Camp. Apparently the Girl Scout camp land was owned by the Marx family. I don't think it is too much of a stretch to assume that "Mix" probably should've been "Marx". I visited this site while I was in Ohio. It would've been very different when the Big Four tracks went alongside the camp. They were moved after a flood in 1913. This place has had an interesting history and has recently been absorbed into Tawawa park in Sidney. The camp then known as Camp Swezey was even used to train Chinese American marksmen to fight the Japanese in Manchuria in 1943. I am also a little embarrassed that my mother helped research and write one of the Tawawa park articles linked here. I never thought to ask her about the park's Big Four history. Sometimes some of the best resources are the most obvious.

    So now it's all about getting the train and Quincy details figured out so I can model them. Odds are that the locomotive was either a 4-4-0, a 4-6-0, or a 2-8-0 according to the numbers of the locomotives listed for fiscal year 1907 which included the August 1906 accident. Anyone have a guess which would make most sense for a second excursion train originating out of Niagara Falls?
     
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