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SEYBALT - mail agent, Mt. Hope, NY - death circa 1881 in train accident

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SEYBALT - mail agent, Mt. Hope, NY - death circa 1881 in train accident

Barbara (View posts)
Posted: 1076422035000
Classification: Query
Surnames: SEYBALT
An Elmira Night Train Thrown from the Track and Set on Fire -- The Doomed Employees in the Postal Car.

ELMIRA, N. Y., January 23 [probably 1881].-- Erie train No. 12 left Elmira last night at 11 o’clock for New York, having started from Buffalo. The train consisted of one postal car, one express, two baggage cars and nine passenger coaches, most of the latter Pullman sleepers. When give miles west of Owego, Tioga County, and twenty-five miles east of Elmira, near a village in the vicinity of Tioga Centre, one of the driving-wheel axles of the locomotive broke close up to the wheel, and the entire train was thrown off the track. It was going at the rate of about thirty-five miles an hour and the accident occurred on a level where there was no embankment. The engine kept its upright position, the engineer applying the air-brakes as soon as he felt the shock. The cars were stopped very quickly and the forward ones turned over and over two or three times, some going on one side of the track and some on the other. The engineer and fireman escaped unhurt. The postal car contained four clerks. It almost instantly took fire and burned with great rapidity. The oil lamps used probably exploded and added fuel to the fire from the stoves. Every man in this car, four in all, was roasted to a crisp. Henry C. Brewer of Elmira, the messenger, was in the express car. Efforts were at once made to relieve him by breaking a hole in a side door. He managed to get his head through this hole, but the doomed man’s legs were fastened inside by the piled-up mass of express matter. The train men made every effort to pull him out, but the flames drove them away. It was noticed that his hair and whiskers had been burned off. He put his hand up to his eyes, and receding, disappeared in the flames. Five men in all were burned to death. None of the passengers were injured and all were forwarded to their destinations. A baggage-man was bruised somewhat in the shoulders. Harvey Lamb was conductor of the train. The postal-car victims must have perished very quickly, as not a sound came from the wreck to denote their presence. The names of the dead are:
HENRY F. BREWER, Express Agent of Elmira.
SEYBALT, Mail Agent, of Mount Hope.
INGRAHAM, Mail Agent, of Binghamton.
FOX, Mail Weigher, of New York.

The remains were taken to Owego, where an inquest was held this forenoon. The bodies have all been identified.


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