Train Wrecks
and other railroad tidbits in and or near Pike County updated 28 September 2012

D T & I 1881 train Wreck

Story provided by

Barbara Toppins. Rev. John Addy was her great great grandfather.

An Excursion Train on the Springfield Southern Goes Through a Bridge into the Canal. One Man Killed and Several Injured Severely.

On Last Friday evening about 6 o'clock, the people of Waverly were called upon to witness their first frightful railroad disaster, and we are satisfied that it the earnest prayer of all that they may never again witness such a scene. The accident occupied to an excursion train on the Springfield Southern Railroad, which was returning to Jackson from Niagara Falls. The train arrived at this point shortly before 6 o'clock, all safe and sound having on board about 150 men, women and children, mostly from our neighboring town of Jackson. All was joy and happiness aboard the train, the tired excursionist anticipating a speedy and safe return to pleasant homes and anxious friends, never dreaming that they were soon to meet with a horrible accident, which would turn their joy into the deepest sorrow and sadness and strike terror into the hearts of all. The train shoved out from the depot at about 6 o'clock, and soon disappeared from view around the curve, leading to the bridge across the canal below town, when the crowd which had collected to greet the returning excursionists started back to town, thinking that all was well with their Jackson friends. Suddenly their ears were greeted by a loud crash, accompanied by a dull heavy thud, as though caused by the falling of some heavy body. All eyes were quickly turned in the direction of the train but no one for a moment supposed that any thing happened it. For a minute or two there was a dead silence, when suddenly there came a doleful sound from the whistle of the excursion engine which was quickly taken up by the engine on the side tract at the depot, and all at once became convince that something terrible had happened. Hardly had the whistles sounded the mournful alarm until the word came that the bridge had gone down with the train. The terrible news flew like the wind, and soon from all portions of town great crowds of excited people where seen herring in the direction of the bridge. Arriving on the grounds a few moments after the first alarm, we found that it was indeed true that the structure had gone down with the ill fated train, dealing death and destruction on all hands. It was a terrible sight. There in the canal lay the demolished bridge, on top of which was a wrecked coach, while from either abutment hung badly damaged cars, wedged in by falling timbers of the bridge. Terrified women and children were screaming at the top of their voices, panic stricken men were rushing wildly about, the wounded were crying for help, while in the cruel embraces of the crushed timbers of the bridge lay poor Davy Dungan, silent in death. It was a frightful heart-rendering scene, and is one we hope never to witness again.
Just how the accident came about, is still a matter of general dispute, and perhaps ever will be, but the most reliable evidence we have on this point in the statement of Mr. Ralph Leete, the engineer in charge of the train. Mr. Leete says that just before his engine left the bridge he looked back and observed that his train was out of shape, but before he could realize the true situation of affairs, the third coach had struck the west corner of the bridge and knocked it off the abutment. Seeing that the bridge was going, Mr. Leete says he put one all the steam possible to clear the engine and tender and prevent their being drawn back on top the wreck, which he luckily succeeded in doing. It is evident from this statement, and the marks of the wheels on the ties, that the third car, above referred to, jumped the track about thirty feet from the bride, and ran against it with the above effect. Several other responsible parties, who were eye witnesses to the occurrence, make statement to this same effect, the only difference being some of them claim that the second car did the damage.
The train consisted of three coaches and a caboose, all which contained passengers. Young Dungan, the only person killed outright, was in the caboose, next to the engine, in company with some young friends. When the crash came it is said the unfortunate young man rushed our on the platform and attempted to save himself by jumping, but he was caught in the falling timbers and crushed to death. He fell in the water close to the edge of the canal, where his body remained until about 6 o'clock the following morning before it was taken out. Every effort was made to recover the body sooner, but unfortunately there were no means at hand for removing the heavy cars and timber to that it could be gotten our sooner. No other parties in the caboose were injured and if young Dungan had remained quiet, he would have in all probability escaped uninjured seriously. The other parties injured seriously, were Thos. Dungan, brother to the deceased, James McLaughlin, of Wellston, P. M. Washam, and Mrs. Jacob Birtch, of Jackson. The latter, it was rumored on our streets yesterday, had since died of her injuries. The former was taken home yesterday on the noon train but is still in a dangerous condition. Among those not seriously hurt were Miss Maria Poor, Jessie Laird, Geo. Davis, W. A. Steele, Effle Clara, Ed. Crossland, W. F. Scott, Mrs. Davis, Jessie Murfin, George Blagg, Maggie Snyder, Arty Monahan.
The excursionists behaved with great coolness and judgment under the frightful circumstances, and ever body on board appeared to be helping each other to escape from the wreck, Many brave acts sere performed by those who escaped uninjured but we have not the name of the heroes and can not make special mention of them as we wo'd like to do.
The people of Waverly, without any exception, did everything in their power for the wrecked excursionists. Everybody threw their houses open to them and stood ready and anxious to render the unfortunate stranger ever kindness and attention possible.
The Railroad Company acted with all the promptness possible under the circumstances and by noon Monday the wreck was entirely cleared away, a new bridge was up and the road was opened to business as usual. (Note train wreck was 7th of August) 11 Aug 1880 Waverly Watchman

Note: The passenger station was on the west side of town, on the south side of SR 220 (West North Street), and on the east side of the tracks.


Our people had not passed over one night from the last brace of disasters until a railroad smash-up was added. About two o'clock, Tuesday morning, a part of a coal train became detached five miles above town on the Southern road. Another train came along and proceeded to run into and demolish the detached part. This occurred on the Comb's trussle and a sketch of the debris made by J. J. Emmitt show that the boys must have had a fine, splintering old time of it. Fortunately no one was hurt. 27 June 1884 The Republican

On last Saturday Benjamin Farmer, of Seal township, came to town and got chuck full. Late in the evening he started for home, and on reaching the vicinity of Gregg’s Hill he fell off his horse, which ran up on the Ohio Southern tract just as one of the hog engines come along with a heavy train. The result was, a badly mangled up horse and fearfully musses up hog. August 4, 1885 Waverly Watchman

DT& I Sept. 1963 Train Wreck near Denver, OH

Jim Henry thinks this one occurred on N&W tracts in Waverly around 1975. Is there anybody that can shed more light?


Click here to see


Click here to see



C & O Train Wreck 1932 on Mount Logan
Chesapeake and Ohio Train wreck in 1932 at Mount Logan

watermelon train wreck

Bet the price of watermelons just went up!
Train wreck with bricks on ground

Notice the bricks on the ground. Not sure if this is the bricks that ended up in the construction of Waverly Baptist Temple.

Train wreck #4

Another view of the bricks on the ground. Not sure if this is the bricks that ended up in the construction of Waverly Baptist Temple.


Train wreck #1
The wreck occurred about 1&1/2 north of the SR 335 overpass in Pike county.. The train was C&O #97 and it was in the late 60's. This according to rail fan/historian Whit Wardell.

A little side note, the C&O line was extended from Gregg's to Columbus in 1926.


CH&D wreck on turntable 23 Aug 1910

CH & D Train wreck on turntable at Chillicothe 23 August 1910


 Wreck of Engine 492 Kingston, OH
Wreck of N&W engine 492 at Kingston, Ohio
Train Wreck # 2

The wreck occurred about 1&1/2 north of the SR 335 overpass in Pike county.. The train was C&O #97 and it was in the late 60's. This according to rail fan/historian Whit Wardell.

C & O Train Wreck 1948
Northbound C & O Train Wreck 12 May 1948 two miles south of Chillicothe, OH
C & O 1948 Train wreck story
C & O Brakeman William Carroll Bush

William Carroll Bush the C & O fireman killed in explosion.


Monday morning when the Portsmouth local stopped at Piketon two brakeman became embroiled over the "spotting" of a freight car and John Spaulding" struck N. B. Hale with a brake stick, breaking Hale's arm. It is understood that both men have been suspended by their company.

4 Feb 1926 News Watchman

When John Murphy, 26, single, of Warrington, Virginia, stepped from the main track of the C. & O. to the second track he was struck by a work train engine and instantly killed, Tuesday evening at 6:30. The accident occurred about 3-4 of a mile east of Robbins Station.
Murphy was employed as a night watchman by the Hunt-Forbes Co., of Huntington, West Virginia.
Engineer Montagouge was in charge of the engine.
Corner Dan J. Wilson was called and rendered a verdict of accidental death.
Leist and Davis, Beaver undertakers, prepared the body for shipment to Warrington.

8 Apr 1926 News Watchman
C & O plans 1926
24 June 1926 The Waverly Watchman
C & O and River Road
4 Feb 1926 The Waverly Watchman
Cars Wrecked On C. & O. Near Apex
No One Has Claimed His Body

One man was killed and a search is being finished today for two more men who were thought to be buried beneath several hundred tons of coal and wrecked cars, which were scattered indiscriminately on both sides of the C. & O. right away at Apex Station, 10 miles south of this place Monday afternoon. Nearly 100 men and a wrecking crew have been busy at the scene moving the bent and twisted cars aside and digging in the coal in an effort to uncover the bodies of the victims. Damage to the track alone was estimated at $2,500.00. Officials are unable to give an estimate on the total damage, they said. Members of the train crew and a section gang, which was working along the track at this point, escaped injury.
The man killed was stealing a ride when his life was snuffed out. He is a colored man, about 45 years old, measures six ft. 3 or 4 inches and was apparently a powerful man. His face bears smallpox marks or deep skin pores. The body is at the Gregg morgue in Waverly and has not as yet been identified.
Superintendent Wm. Taylor , of Covington, Ky., who is in charge of the division, stated Tuesday that the cause of the derailment has not yet been determined, but it was reported that the air had been set on the train.
According to Section Foreman Albert Rockwell, who is in charge of a gang of men who were working near the scene of the accident, the train was traveling at a rather fast rate of speed when the derailment occurred. He stated that his gang of men were standing on the north side of the track when the 112th car of the train started to "buck". Rockwell shouted to his men and they made a hasty retreat up the bank. By this time the car which was wavering left the rails and the 13 cars which were following it piled up. Thirteen of the cars which were loaded with coal were dumped and several hundred feet of track was torn up. The section gang which was standing on the bank saw the man who was killed, riding on the 112th car. They ran to where the car had crashed and moved his body from the wreckage.
Coroner Dan J. Wilson was summoned and ordered the body removed to the Gregg undertaking establishment in Waverly, where it has been prepared for burial but is being held, hoping that some relative will claim it.
Ever since the wreck a search has been conducted in the heaps of coal for the two men who were supposed to have been caught in the wreckage and late this afternoon word came to Coroner Wilson that a part an arm and a hand of a white man had been found but nothing of the balance of his body. Much coal remains yet to be investigated
20 Mar 1930 The Waverly Watchman

Note: The following weeks paper said the unidentified man was buried in the cemetery at the county home at Idaho.



Click tabs below for more train stuff.

D T & I Pictures D T & I in Ross Co., OH D T & I in Pike Co., OH
D T & I in Jackson Co., OH D T & I in Lawrence Co., OH 25 June 1917 D T & I Train Wreck
D T & I Steam Engines
B & O Railroad in Ross Co., OH B & O in Scioto Co. C. G. & P. Railroad
N & W in Scioto Co. Train wrecks Wellston-Jackson Belt Railroad

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