Railroad Newspaper Excerpts

Thanks to Robin Sterling for many of these excerpts from his newspaper books.

Lynn saw growth and expansion in mining and lumber yards when the railroad was built through the town in 1888. The railroad began in 1884 as the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad, later on as the Birmingham and Tennessee River Railroad, and still later as Sheffield and Birmingham Railroad in 1885. By August 1887, the railroad ended in Delmar, and the track from Delmar to Jasper, which included Lynn, opened on May 16, 1888, being 35.32 miles of track between the two towns. The name was changed in 1887 to the Birmingham, Sheffield, and Tennessee River Railway (with the company running it being called the Sheffield and Birmingham Coal, Iron, and Railway Company). The track was eventually completed to Parrish in 1889. It changed yet again in 1899 to Northern Alabama Railway and stayed with this name until 1939 when it became known as the Southern Railway. It is known now as the Norfolk-Southern Railway, beginning in 1990. The Lynn Depot was built in 1892 at a cost of $736.91, with the first two agents being James Lambertson and J.D. Thrash. It was moved in April 1972, with a new depot replacing the original which was built at the same time. Lynn was station number 62, meaning that Lynn was about 62 miles from Sheffield. In 1936 seven passenger trains ran daily through Lynn. Two were Northern Alabama, four were Illinois Central, and one was Mobile & Ohio. Natural Bridge was Station 57 on the Northern Alabama, and was located at mile post 56.7 Natural Bridge still exists on the Norfolk Southern timetable, though it is only a block signal now, NA57.2

Newspaper Articles:

The Mountain Eagle, December 3, 1884:

All indications go to show that work on the Birmingham & Tennessee River Railroad will soon be resumed. The people of this county are deeply interested in the building of this road, as it will give them a direct route to the North, and give railroad facilities to a section which is sadly in need of them. It will run through the best timbered portion of the county.

The Mountain Eagle, November 11, 1885:

The line of survey of the Memphis and Birmingham Railroad passes through Jasper, and crosses Town Creek at the old historic Gum Spring, the fountain that gave its sparkling waters, cool and crystal then, as now, to slake the thirst of the founders of Jasper over fifty years ago. Well, we hope the railroad will come and be to Jasper "as a well of water springing up" to newness of life, and that it will leave, to our Gum Spring unobliterated by railroad construction.

The Mountain Eagle, June 30, 1886:

The M&B Railroad. Dirt Broken Yesterday on the Memphis & Birmingham Railroad. Yesterday morning at 7:30 Mr. S.L. Davis, the contractor, and fifty hands assembled at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Nineteenth Street, to begin the work of grading the Memphis & Birmingham Railroad, which is an extension of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf road. At precisely thirty minutes after seven Mr. Davis threw the first shovel full of earth into Nineteenth Street and five minutes later the entire force of fifty men was busily at work. Messrs. Dunnavant and Kelly of Memphis, one of the richest firms of contractors in the south, have the contract for grading the road from this city to the Warrior River, a distance of forty miles, and they are subletting their contract in two and three miles contracts. Mr. S.L. Davis, a prominent young contractor of Memphis, has the first four miles, Gibson & Copeland the next three and Mr. Hartnett of Memphis two miles, which is as far as the line is located. There are six engineering parties in the field and the road will be located as fast as possible. The grading and track laying of this road will be done faster than that of any road in the south. One hundred and fifty hands will arrive from Memphis Monday, and three hundred more before July 1. Birmingham will be the base of supplies for the work this side of Tupelo, Mississippi and the track laying will be kept right up with the grading. A temporary depot will be built at the corner of Nineteenth Street and Ninth Avenue and track laying will commence by the 1st of August and a construction and supply train placed upon this end of the road at once. This city will be the headquarters of the contractors and the engineer corps and the general offices and shops of the road will be located here. The contractors are paying their men better prices than is usually paid, and they want as many men as can work to advantage, for the work is to be pushed with all possible speed. The camp of Mr. Davis is located in Ware’s Grove, near the Pratt Mines Road, and the twelve or fifteen new tents that have been pitched under the trees make the grove look as though a small army was camped there. It is rumored that the Memphis & Birmingham Company will buy the MB&A, which will hasten the completion of a line of railroad from this city to Memphis, but in case they do not make the purchase they will build a new road over the entire distance as fast as possible. There will be some very heavy work this side of Warrior River, but it is thought the entire road can be finished and in operation in fifteen months.

The Birmingham & Memphis Railroad Company. Notice is hereby given that at 12 o’clock noon on Monday the 2nd day of August, 1886, the subscribers to the capital stock of the Birmingham Railroad Company will meet in the parlor of the Florence Hotel in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, and will then and there proceed to the organization of the said Birmingham & Memphis Railroad Company by electing from among the stockholders a Board of Directors to manage the affairs and business of said Company for the ensuing twelve months, or until their successors are elected and duly qualified. T.C. Leake, Jr., R.H. Temple, Josiah Patterson, Board of Corporation.

The Winston Herald, October 14, 1886:

On Tuesday the 5th inst. the first railroad whistle greeted the citizens of Russelville, Ala.

The Winston Herald, December 16, 1886:

Locals. We made a trip to the western portion of the county last Monday, and visited a portion of the works on the Sheffield & Birmingham Railroad. The work is progressing finely, much better than we expected to see. They are paying hands liberal wages and we found several of our neighbor boys employed there.

The Mountain Eagle, April 24, 1889:

Sheffield & Birmingham Changes Hands. The Sheffield & Birmingham Coal, Iron and railway Company has sold their railroad, extending from Sheffield, Alabama, to Jasper, Alabama, eighty-seven miles, to Alfred Parrish of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Parrish has named the road "The Birmingham, Sheffield and Tennessee River Railway," of which road he is president, and by which name the road will hereafter be known. The furnaces coke ovens, coal mines, etc., on the line of this road, and the property of the Sheffield and Birmingham Coal, Iron and Railway Company, will continue to be operated by the latter company.

The Mountain Eagle, May 22, 1889:

A Passenger Train Wrecked on the B.S. & T.R. Railroad. The southbound passenger train on the Birmingham, Sheffield & Tennessee River Railroad was wrecked two miles north of Blackwater station yesterday evening, caused by the breaking of a flange of the front axle. The locomotive, tender, baggage car, coaches, and in fact the entire train except the hindmost trucks of the rear coach, which were jerked across the track, were completely derailed and falling down an embankment of some 5 or 6 feet. Charles Kelly, engineer was severely injured in the back; Jack Beavers, fireman, badly cut and otherwise severely hurt about the head. Arch Hipp, brakeman, hurt internally, but not supposed to be serious. The rails and crossties were completely demolished the whole length of the train.

The Mountain Eagle, September 11, 1889:

Messrs. Fudge & Strang railroad contractors have arrived with their immense railroading outfit and will begin at once the grading of the extension of the Birmingham, Sheffield & Tennessee River Railroad. They have located their camps at Jackson’s Hollow, three miles south of this place.

The Mountain Eagle, September 18, 1889:

The B.S. & T.R. Railroad Extension. Immediately after the purchase of the Sheffield and Birmingham railroad by Mr. Alfred Parrish and associates, Major Campbell, the indefatigable general manager of the road, began making preparations for its extension south to a connection with the Georgia Pacific. We are pleased now to be able to announce that all arrangements have been completed, the contracts let and that the work will begin at once. The extension will be from Jasper to a point on the Georgia Pacific about forty-two miles west from Birmingham. The contract for the grading has been let to the firm of Fudge & Strang, of Kansas City, and for the trestling to Ford & Musgrove. The iron has been purchased and will be on the ground as rapidly as the roadbed may be ready for it. The work is to be finished in ninety days. The extension will prove most important to the B.S. & T.R. Railroad since it will, besides opening up valuable territory, give the road a line to Birmingham in competition with the Kansas City and thus making it much more independent than it is possible for it at present. The country between the Kansas City and Georgia Pacific roads, through which the B.S. & T.R. Railroad will run, is exceedingly rich in coal and this item will in time afford the road a heavy traffic. The extension now provided for is regarded only as a step and it is expected will quickly be followed by a further reaching out on the part of the road for more new territory. It is important to Sheffield and cannot fail to be so regarded by all interested in her welfare—Enterprise.

The Mountain Eagle, December 18, 1889:

Blown Up. Last Sunday while Dennis O’Connor, of the blasting force on the grading of the extension of the B.S. & T.R. Railroad, was tamping a hole in a rock in which he had placed a dynamite with a short fuse, and was engaged in packing it down, the cap went off, causing an explosion from which O’Connor received probably mortal wounds. One of his hands was blown off and the skull of his forehead laid bare and both eyes blown out. Dr. A.M. Stovall was called to attend him immediately; who did all that medical skill could do to alleviate the suffering of the unfortunate man. Mr. O’Connor is still living, but small hope is entertained for his recovery. Since writing the above, Mr. O’Connor has died.

The Mountain Eagle, January 22, 1890:

On To Tuscaloosa. The Sheffield, Birmingham & Tennessee River Railroad is to be extended to Tuscaloosa at an early date, so a gentleman in a position to know told a News reporter this morning. The extension now under construction from Jasper to the Georgia Pacific railroad twelve miles will be finished by early spring, and it is said to be the intention of the company to push the work right on without stopping until Tuscaloosa is reached. The new extension will be about fifty miles in length. Chief Engineer Mitchell has already gone over the proposed route to Tuscaloosa, and will begin making the surveys at once. The road will follow the valley of Lost Creek until the Warrior River is reached, and then it will follow the river to Tuscaloosa, where it will cross it and connect with the Montgomery, Tuscaloosa & Memphis Railroad, thus forming a through line from Sheffield to Savannah, Georgia. The extension will reach a number of new mines which are soon to be opened on Lost Creek by the Kansas City Coal & Coke Company and as the News authority said this morning the road will lose much valuable freight if it fails to build this Tuscaloosa extension. It is stated that active operation will be commenced on the extension south of the Georgia Pacific road within six weeks. Alfred Parrish, owner of the road has just returned from London, England where it is understood that he made all arrangements to the Tuscaloosa extension and to afterwards extend the line into Birmingham. He is now in Sheffield having just made a trip over this line.—Birmingham News.

The Mountain Eagle, January 29, 1890:

A premature explosion occurred on the grade of the extension of the Birmingham, Sheffield & Tennessee River Railroad, yesterday about two miles below town, which seriously, if not fatally, injured one man. He was hurt about the face and head, destroying both eyes. We did not learn his name. This is about the third accident of the kind that has occurred on this work since it began one of which proved fatal.

The Mountain Eagle, March 19, 1890:

A Big Sale. All of the property belonging to the Sheffield & Birmingham Coal, Iron & Railroad Company in Alabama is advertised in the Huntsville Independent for sale, which will take place in Huntsville, Alabama, April 21st next. The sale consists, in part, of seventy thousand acres of mineral lands and mineral rights, lying in Walker, Winston, Fayette and Marion counties, 54, 955 acres of which are in Walker County, and fifty acres of land lying in Jasper, comprising the cokeing plant, which land was deeded by the Jasper Land Company for the site of the coke ovens, and all the coke ovens erected on the same, together with trestles, railroad tracks, coal bins, houses, rock quarries and other improvements; also the Townley coal mines, which are held under a leasehold interest for twenty years, with the privilege of renewing the same for twenty years additional, aggregating about 3,500 acres. The sale is made to satisfy a mortgage or lien to secure bonds amounting to $1,000,000, issued Jan. 2, 1888, $987,000 of which bonds are still outstanding and unpaid, also $400,000 of bonds issued June 1, 1888, unpaid. The sale, also, embraces a large amount of property, real and personal, along the line of the B.S. & T.R. Railroad and at Sheffield. The sale don’t affect the B.S. & T.R. Railroad.

The Mountain Eagle, May 7, 1890:

Fractured His Skull. (Russellville Idea) Last Wednesday night as the 9 o’clock south bound freight was leaving this station for Jasper, and just after crossing the trestle at the Black Mines, someone who was standing near the railroad threw a stone or piece of iron at Engineer James Hearn, who had his head out of the cab, looking in front of his engine, and struck him in the forehead leaving a dent about the size of a half dollar, fracturing the skull. The stone or piece of iron, whatever it was that struck Mr. Hearn, cut a hole in his hat, bands and all, just as smooth as though it had been done with a knife. Mr. Hearn said when he was first hit he thought it was either a pistol fired or a torpedo on the track and sounded the whistle for brakes. After stopping his engine he found that he had been knocked in the head, and flagged the train back to the depot. Dr. Desprez was sent for and dressed the wound. Mr. Hearn will hardly be able to go on the road again for several days.

The Mountain Eagle, July 16, 1890:

An engineering party of the Sheffield, Birmingham & Tennessee River Railroad has reached Bessemer, and will continue the surveys on the extension of that road between Jasper and Bessemer. That preliminary location has been about finished and the permanent surveys will now be made. The new road is to be built by New York and Philadelphia capitalists, with Alfred Parish, president of the B.S. & T.R. road at their head. The extension will give this road a connection of its own into the Birmingham district. So that it can transport heavy freights to the Tennessee River for shipment abroad by water. It is understood that construction work begins as soon as the surveys are complete.—Birmingham News.

The Mountain Eagle, October 15, 1890:

Extension of the B.S. & T.R. Railroad to Carbon Hill. There is talk of the Birmingham Sheffield and Tennessee River railroad building a branch to Carbon Hill in Walker County. Carbon Hill is on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad, and that road owns and operates a three-mile extension out to the coal mines. It is now proposed that the Sheffield road built a branch from a point on their line thirty miles north of Jasper, nearest to the Carbon Hill mines out to a connection with the branch road to the mines. This would give Carbon Hill two roads, with a through line to Sheffield. It is understood arrangements are being made to build the line at once. New coal mines are being opened and the country rapidly developed so that Carbon Hill needs all the roads that it can get.—Birmingham News.

The Mountain Eagle, November 19, 1890:

Resolution of Respect. To the Noble Grand Officers and Brethren of Jasper Lodge, No. 111, I.O.O.F. Your committee, to who was referred the preparation of resolutions, expressing the feelings of this Lodge upon the death of Brother R.E. Sanders, who came to his death by injuries sustained in a wreck on the K.C. M. & Birmingham Railroad, on the night of the 21st ult., and died on the night of 31st, present the following: Whereas, It has been the mysterious dispensation of an allwise and beneficent Ruler of the Universe, to remove from the lodge below our brother and Treasurer, Brother R.E. Sanders, and Whereas, We, the members of this Lodge, are under a lasting debt of gratitude to him for his unwavering zeal and devotion to the interest of our order. Therefore be it, Resolved, that in the death of Bro. Sanders each Brother of this Lodge has sustained a personal bereavement. He was thoroughly devoted to the interest of the Lodge, and ever cherished in his bosom the true principles of Odd Fellowship. He never shrank from any duty, being ready at any and all times to gird on the armor of an Odd Fellow and battle for the cause. Resolved, That we will ever cherish and honor the name of R.E. Sanders, and we will speak his name in love, and emulate his virtues. Resolved, That we hereby tender to the bereaved and heartbroken wife and children of our Brother, heartfelt sympathy of each member of this Lodge, in their grief-stricken sorrow; to his relatives and friends, we sympathize with you and share your sorrows. Resolved, That as a testimonial of respect to the memory of our deceased Brother, we will drape our Lodge room in mourning and will wear the badge of mourning for thirty days; also that a page in the minute book of our lodge be dedicated to his memory, and that these resolutions be published in the Southern Odd Fellow, the Mountain Eagle, Headlight and Fayette Sentinel, and that a copy be sent to the bereaved family. Yours in F.L. and T. J.A. Goodwin, W.T. Walton, R.H. Smith, Committee.

The Mountain Eagle, December 30, 1890:

A west bound freight train on the KCM&B railroad was wrecked opposite Mr. John T. Sherer’s, about a quarter of a mile east of the Jasper Depot, last Friday morning. The engine struck a cow belonging to Mr. Sherer, which threw it and several cars off of the track, tearing the track up some distance, which prevented the passage of trains a day or two. Travel, however, was not delayed as passengers &c were transferred. No one was hurt, the engineer and fireman jumping from the engine. The engine and derailed cars were damaged, but the damage to the company is not great.

The Mountain Eagle, February 25, 1891:

Big Damages Cases Tried. Two damages cases against the K.C.M. & B. railroad were tried last week, which grew out of the terrible wreck at the Thomas furnace, near Birmingham on the night of October 21st last. In the case T.B. Rose against the railroad company for $25,000 damages for personal injuries received, the jury trying the case failed to agree. The plaintiff was represented by Attorney Bowman, of Birmingham, and defendant company by Hewitt & Walker, of Birmingham. In the case against the railroad for the killing of Mr. R.E. Sanders, $100,000 was claimed by the plaintiff, which resulted in a verdict against the company for $44,500. The plaintiff was represented by E.W. Coleman, of Jasper, and Altman & McQueen, of Birmingham. The railroad company appealed to the Supreme Court. The verdict, according to the Age-Herald, is the second largest verdict ever given in the world against a corporation for killing a man, the largest having been $80,000 in London, England. The plaintiffs based their purely on the punitive features of the case. They did not bring in the wife and children of the deceased in their arguments, but asked for damages as a punishment to the company for criminal carelessness.

The Mountain Eagle, March 18, 1891:

Twelve men in Walker County, after hearing the law and evidence in the damage suit of Mrs. R.E. Sanders against the K.C.M. & B. Railroad for the death of her husband, decided that the heartbroken widow and her two little fatherless children were damaged $44,800, but Judge Head set aside the verdict of these twelve gentlemen, and put the price of R.E. Sanders, an idolized husband and father, and a zealous member of the I.O.O.F. at $125,000. Quite a difference in the decision. Let the yeomanry of Walker County and Alabama remember this.—Fayette News.

The Mountain Eagle, December 7, 1891:

It is a singular fact, but there has never been but one man killed out of all the wrecks on the B.S. & T. railroad and that was last August when a freight train was wrecked near Lynn. This speaks well for the road and the men who run the trains.—Russellville Idea.

Last Wednesday evening the second division of a north bound freight train on the Birmingham, Sheffield & Tennessee River railroad ran into the first section at the south end of the side track at Good Springs, and four cars and the caboose of the first section and the engine of the second were completely demolished. The cars that were wrecked were loaded with coal and coke. The trainmen jumped from the trains and escaped unhurt. It seems that part of the front train was standing on the side track and the train following gained such headway going down the grade that it was impossible for the engineer to hold the train and it collided and left great destruction to the railroad property. The loss to the railroad company will amount to several thousand dollars.

The Mountain Eagle, June 28, 1893:

A Train Burned. Between 3 and 4 o’clock Friday afternoon, about two miles west of Cardiff, eighteen miles west of Birmingham, on the Georgia Pacific railroad, a west bound freight train ran into a burning trestle and the entire train was burned. How the trestle caught fire is not known. The engineer did not see the fire until after his train had rounded a curve within a short distance of the trestle. There he beheld great tongues of flame leaping up before him on the track. It was too late to stop, so that in order to save themselves, he and his fireman jumped, and escaped practically unhurt. The monster engine dashed on the burning trestle and went down forty-eight feet below to the ravine, which the structure spanned. One after another the cars tumbled into the burning chasm and followed the engine and its fall. There were thirteen cars all loaded with coal in the train, and every one of them went into the trestle and the caboose as well. When the conductor and brakemen saw the train going down they leaped for life and escaped. It seemed miraculous that every man on the train escaped uninjured. The entire train was destroyed. The trestle was forty-eight feet high and 256 feet long. It was a substantial structure, but being near a curve it was impossible for the fire to be seen by the trainmen in time to stop. The burning of the trestle did not interfere with through and local travel on the Georgia Pacific west of Birmingham, as the track of the Kansas City Memphis & Birmingham railroad was used between that city and Cordova.

The Mountain Eagle, July 5, 1893:

In Memoriam. Hall of Carbon Hill Lodge, No. 434, A.F. & M. Whereas, it has pleased the Grand Master of the universe to call from labor below to refreshment above our beloved brother, George Blankinsop, who was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in this lodge, October 12th, 1890, and was elected Tiler in June 1891, and served as a faithful officer for one year. He departed this life May 14th, 1893, by a sad accident, being run over by a train of cars on the K.C.M. & B. railroad, and, Whereas, he demonstrated during his short life as a Mason such great love for the mystic brotherhood, therefore be it, Resolved, that with sad hearts we humbly bow to the divine mandate, knowing he who doeth all things well, is too good to do wrong and too wise to err. 2. That we as Masons and brethren of this Lodge while we bow in humble submission to the will of the Grand Architect of the universe do indulge the hope that when our brother’s work was called to pass the test of an unerring square it was found well-formed, true and trusty, a perfect ashler, worthy a place in the temple above whose maker and builder is God, and that we will strive to emulate his virtues, covering his faults with the broad mantle of our charity, remembering that it is human to err but divine to forgive. 3. That in the death of Bro. Blankinsop his wife has lost a kind and generous husband, this lodge a zealous member, and to all the relations and friends of the deceased we tender the condolence of our sincerest and heartfelt sympathy and in this hour of our sad bereavement would suggest that we all look to our heavenly Father for comfort for he alone is able to sooth our sorrows. 4. That the 4th Sunday in July be appointed for having the funeral of our brother preached, and that we ask our brother, F.A. Gamble to preach the same, and we invite Ervin and Goliad to attend and aid in the ceremonies. 5. That the numbers of this Lodge wear the usual badge of mourning for 30 days, and that a copy of these resolutions be spread on our minute book and a copy be sent to the Mountain Eagle for publication, and one presented to the widow of our deceased brother. I.T. Kimbrough, M.W. Shipp, J.W. West, Committee.

The Mountain Eagle, July 12, 1893:

Jumped The Track. Passenger train No. 4, which left Birmingham at 10:25 last Wednesday night over the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham railroad in charge of Conductor Muford, was wrecked two and a half miles west of Horse Creek. It appears that while the train was running along at the rate of about thirty-five miles an hour, the baggage car jumped the track. It ran along on the cross ties, and was followed by the two coaches and sleeper, all of which left the rails. The passengers were shaken up considerably, but nobody was hurt. The engine never left the track. The accident occurred in a cut, and thus the cars were prevented from turning over. Had it happened on an embankment the cars might have rolled down with serious results.

The Mountain Eagle, October 4, 1893:

Mangled To Death. Jerry Brown, a farmer residing seven miles from Carbon Hill in Walker County, went to that place yesterday and sold some produce, so it is stated. The story goes that he imbibed whiskey too freely and while under the influence started walking down the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham track on his way home. He left Carbon Hill about dark. Several hours later a party passing down the railroad track found Brown’s mangled body a mile or two from Carbon Hill. It is thought that he had lain down on the track and possibly fallen asleep. It is not known which train ran over him, but the impression prevails that it was passenger train No. 5, which arrives here at 6:38 o’clock p.m. A careful examination of the pilot and wheels of the engine of train No. 5, failed to disclose any blood on them and the engineer did not remember having seen an object on the track or having felt his engine strike anything. According to all reports the railroad company could not be blamed for Brown’s death.

The Mountain Eagle, October 25, 1893:

A Burning Trestle. Causes a Wreck on the K.C.M. & B. Road. The West bound passenger train, No. 6, on the Kansas City Memphis & Birmingham Railroad, which leaves Jasper at 9:30 a.m., ran into a burning trestle about 200 yards from Townley tank, nine miles west of here, Sunday and was wrecked. The remarkable feature of the wreck is that no one was killed, nor was any person on the train seriously hurt. The train was in charge of Conductor Ed Mansfield and Engineer Schneider. It consisted of engine No. 5, a combination mail and baggage car. It was running on time. At the scene of the wreck is a small trestle about forty feet long and seven or eight feet high. It is just beyond a curve and Engineer Schneider couldn’t see that the trestle was on fire until his train was very close to it. The first thing that met his watchful gaze as his train darted around the curve at the rate of thirty-five miles an hour, was smoke and flame coming up from the burning structure. It was too late to stop and the engine dashed across the burning trestle, the baggage car followed and both got safely over. But the weight of the engine on the already weakened trestle caused the burning timbers to give way and the second-class coach went through it, followed by the first class car. The chair car remained on the track and was uninjured. After crossing the trestle the engine broke loose from the balance of the train and jumped the track. The ender’s trucks were considerably damaged, but the locomotive itself was practically unhurt. The baggage car left the rails after it had crossed the trestle, but was not damaged. It was sent on to Memphis. When the coaches broke through the burning trestle they did not have far to fall. In fact the two cars did not become uncoupled from each other and only hung down in the burning chasm. Quite a number of passengers were aboard the train and a small sized panic ensued, but they were all gotten out safely. The coaches took fire from the burning trestle timbers, but Conductor Mansfield and his trainmen with rare presence of mind brought out buckets and organized a fire brigade. Water was procured in a creek at hand and in a short time the fire was entirely extinguished. The coaches were saved from total destruction. The first-class coach was considerably damaged by the fire, and the roofs of both cars were torn up. The tracks were disarranged too. The trestle was not entirely destroyed. Just as the engine went over the place Fireman Henry McGee jumped. As the result he was severely bruised and had an ankle sprained. He was carried to Birmingham Sunday night and reports say he is not seriously hurt. Engineer Schneider remained at his post and was unhurt. The railroad officials believe the trestle was set on fire by incendiaries. No train had passed over it for five or six hours before the ill-fated train, and the theory that it could have caught from a spark is improbable. It is thought to have been done by some person who has a grudge against the road. A full investigation will follow. Had the trestle been higher a serious wreck might have resulted. The fact that it was only seven feet from the ground and that the engine passed safely over doubtless saved many lives. All who were on the train feel that they had a close call. Several Jasperites were on the train, among them were Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Cranford, Newt Richardson, and Mrs. Lions, but all escaped with nothing more than a considerable shake-up and scare we are proud to say.

The Mountain Eagle, December 6, 1893:

At Corona yesterday evening about 3 o’clock Mr. Homer Stewart, one of the most popular young railroad conductors on the G.P. lost his life while making a coupling between the engine and car. He was conductor of the switch crew at Corona and making a coupling when he was crushed so frightfully that death came about 6 o’clock. He was a favorite among the railroad boys and many hearts were made sad over his untimely death. He was a young man and was to have been married in February next. We learn that his last words were to notify his sister and his intended bride. His remains were escorted to Atlanta today by Messrs. W.T. Hutto and J.M. Tubbs of I.O.O.F. lodge of this place and also a committee from the order of railroad conductors.

The Mountain Eagle, December 20, 1893:

Meets a Horrible Death. Mr. John L. Glover, of Quinton, well known to many of our people, was struck and killed by the eastbound K.C.M. & B. passenger train last Friday night at Quinton. He and his wife had gone to the railroad with the intention of going to Birmingham, and Mr. Glover flagged the train in order to stop it so he and his wife could get on board. Thinking that the train had slowed up he stepped upon the track just as the train came dashing around an embankment, striking Mr. Glover, killing him instantly. No blame is attached to the trainmen, as they could not see Mr. Glover’s signals for an embankment and curve in the road. Mrs. Glover witnessed the horrible scene. Mr. Glover was about fifty years of age and a merchant at Quinton.

The Mountain Eagle, June 13, 1894:

Fire and Dynamite Used to Destroy Railroad Bridges and Trestles on the K.C.M. & B and G.P.—Perpetrators Unknown. The destruction of railroad trestles on different roads in this section has become so frequent within the past few days that it now looks like a lawless band of incendiaries are doing the work. On last Wednesday night a trestle was burned near Patton on the Georgia Pacific. A coal train that ran into it was destroyed and four men injured. An investigation into the matter has led the railroad officials to the conclusion that it was the work of incendiaries as no train had passed over the trestle for ten hour before the fire was discovered. At an early hour Saturday morning a trestle near Adamsville on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad was, it is stated, saturated with oil and set on fire. The fire was discovered by the trainmen of the early morning express from Memphis, who were able to extinguish it before much damage was done. The Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham had hard luck Saturday and Sunday nights. Sometime during Saturday night unknown parties set fire to a trestle on the Galloway branch, which extends out from near Carbon Hill to Galloway branch which extends out from near Carbon to Galloway mines. About fifty cross ties and part of the superstructure was burned before the fire was extinguished, it having been discovered by a watchman in time to prevent its total destruction. This damage was immediately repaired and the Galloway branch is in shape again.

Dynamite Used. Just after passenger train No. 4, which passes Jasper west bound at 12:19 a.m. had passed over Lost Creek Bridge, about one mile this side of Carbon Hill, parties who happened to be at the depot at that place heard an explosion which was quickly followed by another, down the railroad east. An investigation showed that dynamite, which had been placed under one end of Lost Creek Bridge by unknown vandals, had exploded. An effort was doubtless made to wreck the entire span, which is of iron and sixty feet long. This, however, failed, as the dynamite appears to have been placed on one of the abutments. The result was that the foundation of the abutment was displaced and one of the structural parts of the bridge damaged. The displacement of the abutment caused the end of the bridge to drop down out of line. Had the span been of wood instead of iron the damage would have been much greater. While the scoundrels were at work blowing up the bridge more of the same gang were three or four miles beyond setting fire to a trestle, which was discovered by the track walker in time to prevent the train, mentioned above, from running into the flames causing a wholesale destruction of life. The trestle is about 500 feet long and thirty feet high. It was burning at both ends and the indications were clearly that it had been set on fire. Barrels of water are kept on all trestles, and by this means the watchman with such help as he could summon, was able to extinguish the flames before the entire structure was destroyed. Five bents in one end and two bents on the other end were burned. The trestle is about three miles west of Lost Creek, where the dynamite was used. Luckily if there was any luck in the whole affair, the train which passed over the bridge just before the explosion was caught between the wrecked bridge and burned trestle and thus enable passengers mail, etc., to be transferred. It is evident that the intention of the perpetrators of the dastardly deed was to prevent even a transfer. Work began immediately after to repairing the damage and trains are running as if nothing had happened. As soon as the news reached Jasper Sheriff Guttery immediately left for the scene and will do all in his power to ascertain who the guilty parties are and have them brought to justice. But as the devilment is done at the dead hours of night evidently by organized bands of conspirators, the sheriff, no matter how willing or desirous he may be of putting down such lawlessness, can do but little without the cooperation of all good citizens. With the full cooperation and assistance of all good citizens and a determination to stop it, it can be done, and the sooner the better, as the longer it is tolerated the worse it will get, and the harder it will be to put down. Sheriff Guttery, however, is as willing and anxious to put a stop to it and will come as near doing it as any man living. The frequency of these trestle fires has alarmed the railroad people and the forces of watchmen and trackwalkers are being increased so as to have a careful watch kept on all bridges and trestles. While the railroad people feel reasonably sure that every one of these fires has been of incendiary origin they have as yet been unable to locate any of the guilty parties, and no arrests have been made so far. Within the past six weeks several small trestle fires besides those reported above have been discovered on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham railroad, but all were found in time to extinguish them before serious damage was done.

The Mountain Eagle, June 20, 1894:

Douglass Died. J.L. Douglass, the bridge guard on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham railroad, who was found Thursday night lying beside the track one mile west of Townley with his skull fractured, it being supposed that he was struck by the train, died at 2:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon at the Birmingham Infirmary. He was brought here early Friday morning and placed in the hands of careful and skilled nurses and physicians, who did everything possible to save him. Douglass’ skull was badly fractured and he was unable to tell how the accident happened, but it is supposed that while on the track during the night he was struck by a passing train. The deceased was 30-years-old and unmarried. His home was at Pelham, Alabama. His brother was with him when death came and will take the remains to Pelham Alabama.—Birmingham News

The Mountain Eagle, July 4, 1894:

A Serious Wreck. Westbound local freight train No. 18, on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham railroad was wrecked two and a half miles west of Horse Creek at 1:30 o’clock last Thursday. The cause of the accident was the spreading of the track. The engine jumped the track and was turned over down an embankment. Engineer Boisclair jumped and escaped with slight injuries, so it is said. A colored brakeman who was on one of the forward cars jumped and was bruised, but not seriously hurt. Jack Hale, fireman, was less fortunate. He went down with the engine, was caught under the wreckage and killed instantly. Six or seven cars jumped the track and were badly wrecked. Fireman Hale, who was killed, lived in Birmingham, having, it is said, formerly been a member of the city fire department. The passenger train until the wreck was cleared used the Georgia Pacific track between Birmingham and Cordova.

The Observer, December 27, 1894:

A Sad Accident. Natural Bridge, Dec. 26. Cal. Armstrong, a resident of this place, came to town on the evening of the 24th to buy Christmas gifts for his family, and on his way home was run over by a south bound freight train. His left leg was badly smashed and his left arm broken. The accident occurred about 8:30 o’clock p.m. Dr. Palmer was immediately summoned, and it was found necessary to amputate the crushed limb. The railroad officials were very kind to the sufferer, who had previously been employed by the road as a section boss. They immediately hurried a special train to the scene with two physicians to assist Dr. Palmer, but without avail, as the unfortunate man breathed his last at 11:40 a.m. yesterday. The expense of the burial will be paid by the railroad company. Deceased leaves a young wife and two children, the younger an infant only two weeks old, and an orphan sister, who is also a child. These conditions make the terrible affair double distressing and has saddened Christmas holidays for our people.

The Mountain Eagle, June 10, 1896:

A Shocking Accident. Birmingham News. Mr. W.E. Yancey was struck by an incoming passenger train at Oakman, in Walker County, about fifty miles west of here, yesterday morning, and dangerously wounded. Although resting easily this morning, the physicians who are attending him have little hopes for his recovery. Mr. Yancey was struck by eastbound passenger train No. 36, of the Southern Railway, which is due here at 11:50 a.m. Engineer Tom Shivers was at the throttle, while Conductor William Waring was in charge of the train. Mr. Yancey was hit just as the train was approaching Oakman and almost within sight of the depot. It seems that he was walking along the track near the depot at that place when train No. 36 came around the curve. Engineer Shivers saw the man on the track just a little distance ahead and blew the whistle to warn him. Mr. Yancey turned around, it is said, and looked at the iron monster bearing down on him. Mr. Shivers put on his brakes, but in vain, and the engine struck the unfortunate man, throwing him twenty feet to the side of the truck. There are two tracks at the point where the accident happened and it is thought that Mr. Yancey was under the impression that he was on the sidetrack until he looked around at the train, when it was too late to get out of the way. As soon as the accident happened the train was brought to a standstill and the unfortunate gentleman was taken aboard. It was to be seen at a glance that he was dangerously wounded. A physician was summoned at Oakman and the wounds were temporarily dressed. The injured man was brought into the city and at once carried to Wilson & Brown’s Infirmary on First Avenue in Warner & Smiley’s ambulance. Mr. Yancey is traveling sales agent for the Virginia and Alabama Coal Company. It seems that he was out at the mines at Coal Valley, near Oakman, yesterday, on business. Mr. Yancey has a large number of friends in Birmingham. He is 53 years of age. He is the son of the late William L. Yancey, the renowned Alabamian, whose name has gone into history. The wounded gentleman lives on Twenty-First Street, between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues, with his family. Mrs. Claude Lewis and Mrs. W.H. Skaggs are daughters of the unfortunate gentleman. A telephone message from the Infirmary this morning stated that Mr. Yancey was a little better this morning, but his condition was dangerous. There is a severe scalp wound on the back of his neck, the right leg is badly fractured and besides there are internal injuries, the exact nature and extent not yet ascertained. Nothing is being left undone for the injured man but chances seem to be against him.

The Mountain Eagle, July 1, 1896:

Negro Excursionist Killed. An unknown Negro was killed on an excursion train on the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad Thursday, one and a half miles east of Carbon Hill, and about fifty-eight miles west of Birmingham. The train was passing through a bridge, when the Negro, who was standing on the platform, put his head so far out that it was struck and his skull broken. Who the Negro was cannot be learned, nor was there anyone on the train who knew him. The remains were left at Carbon Hill and buried by the company.

The Mountain Eagle, August 5, 1896:

Negros Sleep. A Train Comes Along and Ushers Them Into Eternity. Last Saturday a crowd of darkeys came up from Cordova and spent the day. They were recently from Georgia and were laborers at work on the new cotton mill at Cordova. They tanked up well with redeye and left about night to return on foot. They reached Cane Creek trestle, a short distance this side of Cordova where three of the Negroes laid down on the track and went to sleep. A short time after the midnight passenger train from Birmingham came thundering along and ran into the sleeping Negroes, grinding two—Tom Turner and Wick Stewart—literally into fragments and another Negro was badly wounded. Coroner Julian was notified and empanelled a jury and went to the scene. It took the jury several hours to gather the fragments of the two Negroes together, after which the remains were buried at Cordova by the Coroner. The verdict was in accordance to the above stated fate. The wounded Negro was brought to Jasper and the railroad company’s physician, Dr. A.M. Stovall, was called to do what he could for him. The Negro is out at the poor farm and may recover.

Two Negro men were killed on Cane Creek trestle last night by the midnight passenger on the K.C.M. & B.R.R. A crowd of Negroes went to Jasper after whiskey and some of them stopped on their way back and went to sleep on the railroad track and two of them were killed. Wick Stewart and John Turner. Their remains were gathered up and buried. They were literally ground to pieces and pieces of their bodies were scattered along the track for several yards.

The Mountain Eagle, October 21, 1896:

Mr. John G. Pinkerton, Master of Transportation of the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad, was ground to death beneath the wheels of Train No. 3 east bound at Sulligent yesterday morning. He had stepped from Train No. 3 to No. 4 to speak to Traveling Accountant Watkins and while talking to him Train No. 3 started to pull out, and, in attempting to board it he slipped between the cars and was crushed lifeless. He had held the position of Master of Transportation ever since the road was built was about 46-years-old and has been engaged in railroading for many years.

The Mountain Eagle, November 11, 1896:

Struck By a Train. Last Saturday near the Northern Alabama depot Joe Dunkin, an old inoffensive citizen, while walking along the track of the railroad was struck by the passenger train of the Northern Alabama as it backed back from the "Y," after turning. The old man is partially deaf and was struck in the back by a corner of the coach, knocking him off the track, bruising up his face considerably in falling on it as well as shaking him up badly by the coach striking him. Dr. Camak was summoned to the relief of the old man. He found him badly bunged up, but not dangerously hurt. No blame is attached to the trainmen.

Oakman Depot Burned. Friday night the Southern depot at this place was consumed by fire. The alarm was raised by the switch engine at about 1 o’clock. By the almost superhuman efforts of Mr. Monette and a few others, most of the records, furniture, tickets and freight were saved from the burning building. Agent Monette had a hand badly burned in his efforts to save the office records, express, etc., but no other casualties of a serious nature occurred. There was no fire of any kind in the building and the only theory, a reasonable one, is that the fire was transmitted to the very dry roof of the building by the sparks from the west bound freight No. 73, which passed shortly after 12 o’clock. Mr. McCain, night operator, was perhaps the first to discover the fire. He was aboard the switch engine some 100 yards below the depot, and on the point of returning to the office. The fire unquestionably originated on top of the building, and from the cause stated.—Oakman News

The Mountain, June 16, 1897:

Carbon Hill. On last Wednesday evening, the 9th inst., Mr. William Romine, an aged farmer living about five miles east from town, while crossing the iron bridge that spans Lost Creek about one miles from town, was hit by the west bound freight, due here at 4:10 and received injuries from which he soon died. Uncle Billie, as he was familiarly called, had been in town, and it was his custom to wait until both passengers past before he would start home, and had done so on this occasion, and being quite hard of hearing, and his sight quite defected and not expecting train, it seems that he had taken a seat on the track, and although the engineer signaled, he made no effort to get off the track until the engine was within a few steps of him, and then it was too late, as at this point the grade is quite heavy, and trains run a lightning speed. The unfortunate man was picked up by the railroad crew and brought to the depot where he soon breathed his last. The remains were taken charge of by relatives, and interred the next day at Townley. Uncle Billie was in his 80th year and had been a citizen of this county over 50 years, and leaves many relatives and friends to mourn his tragic death.

The Winston Herald, June 25, 1897:

Uncle Billie Romine Killed. Our Carbon Hill correspondent in another column tells of the particulars of the killing one day last week of "Uncle Billy" Romine by a freight train. "Uncle Billy" was an old land mark in Walker county, being one of our earliest settlers and his tragic death is most deplorable. He had been to Carbon Hill on foot and was on his way, walking the railroad home. Near where he was killed he stopped and was talking with a friend who was plowing near the road side. They talked about how dangerous it was for him to be travelling the railroad as he could not hear or see very good. He admitted that it was dangerous but said he was very careful. Both passenger trains had passed and he doubtless felt secure and it is supposed, being very feeble, he sat down on the track. The whistle blew but Mr. Romine never discovered the train until it was too late for him to get off or for the engineer to stop his train, as it was down grade.—Jasper Eagle.

The Winston Herald, August 27, 1897:

Engineer Boothe Crazy. On last Monday just after engineer Jack Boothe safely ran the passenger train of the N.A. Railroad into Sheffield his mind became unsettled and he was so insane he had to be placed in the county jail. The K. of P.’s have taken charge of his case and have arranged for a private room at Tuscaloosa, where he will receive such treatment as will, it is hope, soon give him full power of mind.

The Winston Herald, September 17, 1897:

Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railway Company engine No. 14, pulling a coal train, was wrecked Tuesday afternoon about 5 o’clock at Pratt City. Engineer Ed Searson was instantly killed and his fireman, Emanuel Wilson, received injuries from which he died shortly after aid reached him.

The Winston Herald, November 12, 1897:

A Fatal Wreck Occurred Carbon Hill Yesterday Afternoon. A disastrous wreck occurred on one mile west of Carbon Hill at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The train wrecked was through freight No. 55. It was derailed at the switch to No. 5 mines, the engine leaving the track and half burying itself in an embankment. Engineer Sapp was thrown from the engine, pinioned down and scalded to death. Pumper R.B. Martin, of the New River tank was on the engine, and was scalded from head to foot and died in great agony about three hours later. His appeals to see and kiss his widowed mother at Amory, Miss., were pathetic in the extreme. Fireman Walters, colored, was also badly scalded but may recover. Dr. J.W. Ballenger, of Carbon Hill, was soon on the scene an did all he could to relieve the sufferings of the unfortunates. A wrecking train was soon on its way from Birmingham to the scene of the wreck, having on board the company’s physicians and employees of the road and the dead and wounded were carried back to that city while men proceeded to work clearing up the wreck.—Jasper Eagle.

The Winston Herald, February 4, 1898:

Northern Alabama Railroad Timetable. Trains run daily except Sunday.

Going South


Going North

9:30 a.m.


6:15 p.m.

9:52 a.m.

M & C Junction

6:03 p.m.

10:04 a.m.

Spring Valley

5:49 p.m.

10:06 a.m.

Passing Place

5:46 p.m.

10:18 a.m.


5:46 p.m.

10:27 a.m.

Good Springs

5:24 p.m.

10:37 a.m.


5:15 p.m.

10:48 a.m.


5:02 p.m.

11:04 a.m.

Spruce Pine

4:42 p.m.

11:14 a.m.

Phil Campbell

4:32 p.m.

11:20 a.m.

Bear Creek

4:19 p.m.

11:46 a.m.


4:02 p.m.

11:56 a.m.


3:52 p.m.

12:13 p.m.

Natural Bridge

3:35 p.m.

12:26 p.m.


3:23 p.m.

12:42 p.m.


3:08 p.m.

12:57 p.m.


2:55 p.m.

1:05 p.m.


2:47 p.m.

1:12 p.m.


2:40 p.m.

1:30 p.m.


2:26 p.m.

The Winston Herald, January 6, 1899:

Northern Alabama Railway Sold Again. Tuscumbia, Dec. 26—Reliable information comes from Sheffield of the consummation of an important deal there last Saturday whereby the Northern Alabama Railroad passes into the hands of the Southern Railway which has had its eye on that line ever since it acquired the ownership of the Memphis and Charleston. The Northern Alabama was formerly known as the Birmingham, Sheffield and Tennessee River Railway, and extends from Sheffield to Jasper, a distance of about 80 miles, traversing the rich coal and iron lands of Franklin, Winston and Walker counties, and connects at Jasper with the Georgia Pacific. This new line will give the southern excellent connections with its middle and North Alabama lines. It is stated that the Northern Alabama which crosses the Memphis Division of the southern at a point two miles east of this city, which place will be made the relay instead of Sheffield, which will prove of much substantial benefit to this place.

The New Era, May 12, 1899:

Southern Takes Charge of N.A. Railway—The Southern Railway assumed official control of the N.A. Railway Monday and will in future operate it as part of their system. By this line, the Southern has a through line only a few miles longer than the K.C. from Memphis to Birmingham, and, it is expected, will soon put on through passenger trains between the two points. The advantages accruing to Russellville and the brown ore operators of Franklin County in this having Birmingham markets opened to them are enormous and its effect will soon be felt. No change in schedule, etc., has as yet been announced.

The Winston Herald, February 8, 1901:

A Freight Wreck. A freight wreck occurred on the Northern Alabama Railroad last Thursday at Natural Bridge. Fourteen loaded freight cars went through a big trestle, leaving the caboose and engine on either end intact. The train men were fortunately at both ends of the train and escaped. The cars and trestle are a total wreck and the loss is estimated to be nearly $50,000. A large wrecking crew is at work and a new trestle will be completed by Monday. A large quantity of flour and perishable freight was a total loss, while hay and other stuff saved in a damaged condition. Passengers and mails are being transferred, and no serious delay was caused in the service. The truck got off and threw an ore car off the track, knocking out the benches like ten pins. The engine and caboose were left standing on opposite sides of the ravine, the links breaking and saving the lives of the train crew. No one was hurt.

The Mountain Eagle, October 28, 1903:

Drowned Herself and Baby. In a Water Tank of the Northern Alabama Railway. Mrs. Columbus Gentle, who lived near Haleyville, committed suicide by drowning herself and her two-months-old baby in Flat Creek tank on the Northern Alabama Railway. She had been acting peculiarly for some time, but nothing desperate was anticipated. Friday night she took the infant and without a wrap walked a mile and after climbing a ladder forty feet to the top of the tank, leaped into the water with her baby in her arms. Thus they were found Saturday morning by Ernest Williams, who has charge of the tank.

The New Era Herald, April 27, 1906:

Haleysville Department. Esq. John F. Curtis made two trips to Brushy Creek in Marion County, last week, with officials of the new railroad. On his first trip he carried Mr. Harris, Chief Engineer of this division, and Mr. Fish of Chicago, son of the President of the Illinois Central Railroad. On his second trip he carried Mr. Brumley, a prominent official and Mr. Baldwyn of Chicago who is Chief Engineer of the whole Illinois Central railroad. ‘Squire Curtis reports the foundation of the bridge across Brushy Creek being laid and filled with concrete. The engineers say the bridge will be the highest one in the south. Hon. B.B. Comer, and the Associate Railroad Commissioners, passed over the N.A. Railway Saturday on a special train on an inspection tour over the road. The train stopped at Haleyville several minutes during which time Mr. Comer and the other commissioners shook hands with our citizens and made an inspection of the depot, platform, etc. President Comer complimented the citizens of Haleyville on its new stone buildings being erected, and its new banks, and the new railroad being built at this point.

The New Era Herald, June 8, 1906:

A Railroad Wreck. Last Friday the passenger train had an awful wreck on Bear Creek Trestle and much property was destroyed, one person was killed, and many injured. The engine had crossed the creek and the front trucks jumped the track and ran along the trestle before jumping off the trestle. The train coupling between the baggage car and the passenger coaches broke loose and therefore no passengers were injured. The engine and baggage car ran overboard the trestle and fell 45 feet to the ground. The engine fell and stuck straight up endways in the ground. The colored fireman jumped and hit the trestle and broke his neck dying immediately. Engineer Jack Beavers stayed with his engine until about eight feet from the ground and jumped out dislocating his shoulder and breaking his arm. The baggage car was completely torn to smash. The baggage man and mailman was seriously injured and it was thought at first all three were fatally injured. But now it is thought all will live and get well. The wreck was a very bad one and caused great excitement. The heroic men who worked to rescue and assist the injured sufferers are to be commended and praised for their noble work.

The New Era Herald, August 3, 1906:

Lynn Locals. We learn there were three wrecks on the N.A. railroad on Monday. Only one amounted to much, which was near Saragossa, where four cars were wrecked and the track torn up so that the passenger train could not pass that day.

The New Era Herald, September 14, 1906:

A serious freight wreck occurred at Calumet on the N.S. railway, Thursday night in which the engineer, Jim Sharp, was killed and a car containing a load of cattle which had been shipped from Haleysville was wrecked killing two head of cattle. Traffic from the south was delayed several hours.

The New Era Herald, October 26, 1906:

On next Sunday morning the Northern Alabama Railroad will put on another passenger train which will start from Parrish in the morning and pass the southbound passenger at Nauvoo. We learn there will be a free ride given to all who want to take the trip on Sunday. This new train going up in the morning will enable us to get our mail more regular and will also add greatly to the passenger custom of the road—especially in the travel towards the north. Certain merchants at Jasper are circulating pink and blue circulars around in this section.

The New Era, August 30, 1907:

Haleyville News. On Friday morning last at 4 o’clock the I.C. tapped the Southern Railroad with their steel. If the Southern had put the switch-frog on the ground according to contract, the I.C. would have nothing to do but pull the throttle for Birmingham. The I.C. can handle freight by Nov 1st. They have put their telegraph office ready for business. The I.C.R.R. Company has the steel laid to the Northern Alabama railroad. Work is going on nicely. There is quite a space of 15 miles from Hodges to Club Hill that the steel has not been laid, and it will be done in a short while. Haleyville is on a boom.

The New Era, October 11, 1907:

Dave Pelfrey Killed Near Haleyville. Dave Pelfrey, a resident and popular citizen of Winston County, and employee of the Illinois Central railroad at work at Brush Creek fell from the trestle one hundred and eighty feet high. His neck was broken and his body was horribly mangled. He was engaged in the work of bolting down the stringer to the ties and losing his balance, fell to the ground. Mr. Pelfrey was a good Christian gentleman and was well thought of by all who knew him. He married a daughter of Mr. Milton Bearden of near Ashridge, and leaves a wife and six small children. We learn he will be buried at Ashridge tomorrow.

The New Era, April 3, 1908:

A Young Man Hurt. Will Haynes, a young Northern Alabama brakeman, happed to a deplorable accident last Friday, one that cost him his right leg and a finger of his left hand, and tore his right ear almost off. He had been braking for the Northern Alabama railroad for about seven months and was on his regular run from Jasper to Sheffield. On pulling up to Darlington Station the unfortunate brakeman, before the train came to a standstill, stepped or jumped off on the platform. It had been raining that morning, and the platform was wet and slippery. As his foot struck the platform it slipped and the young man fell backward between the moving cars. His leg was caught under the trucks and crushed horribly below the knee. The train was moving slowly, but the victim of the accident was dragged some distance, and in some manner his finger and ear were hurt. The unfortunate young man was picked up and given all the attention possible and was brought to Jasper on the first train, and carried to his boarding house in West Jasper, where Drs. Goodwin, Stovall and Sowell amputated the leg and finger and attended to his other injuries. The leg was taken off just below the knee. Besides the injuries already mentioned the young man received severe bruises and cuts, but the reports from the bedside yesterday stated that he was doing very well, and that his injuries are not believed to be fatal.—Jasper Eagle

The Mountain Eagle, May 13, 1908:

Yards at Haleyville. Illinois Central Will Erect Round House and Repair Shop There. A telegram was received at Haleyville at noon today from the Illinois Central Railroad, by C.C. Burdett, station agent, E.E. King, master mechanic, stating that their crews now located at Hackleburg, would be moved here the first part of next week, and for them to be making arrangements for board for their men, which will number over one hundred. The yards are located just below the passenger depot, and there will be from eight to sixteen engines and crews making their headquarters there. At an early date they will build a round house and general repair shop. The I.C. has been running a local freight from Haleyville to Corinth since the first of March and put on a through freight the nineteenth of April. Yard Master has not yet been appointed for here, but it is thought that will be given out in a few days. They have been running a local passenger from Haleyville to Corinth, since March, and will run a through train from Jackson to Birmingham, beginning the latter part of May. They have just finished a new passenger and freight depot at this place, which they moved in Monday. Before this time they had been using a box car. The new depot is very finely arranged and is an up-to-date building in every respect. The Mobile & Ohio will also put on a through passenger and freight train, from Jackson to Birmingham, in a short time—Haleyville News

The New Era, June 12, 1908:

Haleyville. The I.C. railroad has put on their through passenger trains between Chicago, Ill., and Savannah Ga. arrives at Haleyville 12:30 p.m. going south; 4:15 going north and we are expecting at any time to hear the whistle of the Aberdeen and Tombigbee River Valley engines as the grading is going on south of Vernon and is expected to commence at this end at any date. The first passenger train over the I.C. was met at the depot by a large crowd to welcome her coming, and as they pulled in they gave three cheers and called on the conductor to make a speech. He mounted a goods box and went on: Washington’s birthday is a very important and suspicious occasion, for it was Washington said the first in war will be the first in pieces, and no one can look on the beautiful flag of the free without thinking of the I.C. R.R. Co., and Washington coming down the Delaware with a hatchet and a cherry tree. And when we think of that good man we must bow down our heads and say we thank you, oh, father of the I.C. Co., and for saving our country for J.P. Morgan. And we must not forget that it was Christopher Columbus who discovered Columbus, Ohio, and we must realize that it was Henry Patrick who said "Give me liberty or give me death," and we must realize the fact that it was Cal Harriman that sent this train to Haleyville and Capt. Fish to New York. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen and children. We leave here in the morning at 7.

The Winston New Era, October 8, 1909:

News Items of Local Interest. The only real important civil case on the docket of the court was the case of Willie Haynes against the Northern Alabama Railroad for damages for the loss of his leg while in their service. The jury awarded the young man $9,500, which is quite a neat little sum, but does not repay him for his great loss and consequent physical agony. The young man is said to have had his limb amputated the third time before he could get well.

The Winston New Era, April 15, 1910:

A Piece of Railroad To Sell. Sheriff W.D. Lowery has secured a writ of fiery fascias out of the circuit court of Franklin County against the Northern Alabama Railroad Company. Mr. Lowery avers that the defendant company owes him certain fees. Mr. Lowery has advertised six miles of the main line of the Northern Alabama between mile posts 21 and 27, including roadbed, track and right-of-way, for public auction in sheriff’s sale on April 18th. The case will be watched with much interest by Russellville people. The track in question lies between that town and Spruce Pine and is part of the main line of the defendant company.

The Winston New Era, April 29, 1910:

Child Killed By Train. Dora, April 15—The two year old child of N.R. Robertson, who lives one mile from Bergen near Wyatt was killed instantly yesterday by the Illinois Central which was going into Birmingham. The mother of the child had sent the children after water and they were crossing the tracks of the Frisco Railroad, which is used by the Illinois Central from Jasper into Birmingham. All of the children crossed over and the smallest one got across but became confused and started back. The engine struck the child and the blow broke its arm and neck killing it instantly.—Jasper Eagle

The Winston New Era, July 15, 1910:

Engineer Killed At Haleyville. C.D. Robson, freight conductor on the Illinois Central Railroad, was killed at Haleyville, Saturday. Robson, whose home was in Edwardsville, Georgia had just arrived in Haleyville with his train and was putting it up when in some manner the train backed upon him, killing him instantly. Engineer William Williams was in charge when the accident happened. Robson’s left leg and arm were severed from his body and he died soon after the accident. Robson was a young man, being 29 years of age, and had been married but three months. He is survived by his widowed bride. Mr. Robson suffered terribly after the accident until he died. His young wife was almost prostrated when the news of her husband’s death reached her.—Jasper News

The Winston New Era, January 6, 1911:

A Narrow Escape. Charley W. Tims, the repair man for the Illinois Central railroad from Haleyville to Corinth, Mississippi made a miraculous escape from death last night. He had left Vina with the understanding that he had an hour to drive his handcar to Red Bay before the fast mail, No. 10, was due. He had directed his attention to other things and was not expecting the train when all of a sudden he realized that he was in a wreck. He says that the first idea that passed his mind was to jump from his car. Immediately he made a spring and was not more than in the air until his car was torn to pieces by the mail train and a portion of the machine thrown upon him. He received some bruises and scratches, but no serious injury.

The Winston County News, May 12, 1911:

A True Young Man. A day or two after the railroad accident here recently, which cost Doug Allen his life two railroad men were talking on the streets of their dead comrade. Said one, "there was no better boy in the service of this or any other road than Doug Allen. He died right, ready to meet his God, for he had lived right. He was always ready and willing to do his part of any work no matter how hard; there was never any grumbling or kicking. I do not believe that in all the years I have known him working by his side, when he would naturally be careless about what he said that I ever heard him say a word against anybody or use an expression his mother or his sister could not have heard without pain." "And I," said the other one, "know what you say is true every word of it. He was an exception of a boy, none better, few so good. His clean, manly life made him ready always for the change when he should be called." What a sermon is preached by the manly life of this boy; a life that left a greater impression on the minds and hearts of his comrades than the most eloquent sermon they have ever heard—Russellville Times

The Winston New Era, June 9, 1911:

Times Have Changed About Lynn, Alabama. Now, for the information of your many readers I want to say that Winston has undergone a radical change in 24 years, it being this length of time since the N.A. railroad track was graded in the vicinity of Lynn. Further, I built and helped to build the first houses at Lynn. Was present with the civil engineer laid off the town lots. The lumber that was used was of the roughest of the rough kind being hauled on a tar pole wagon drawn mostly by oxen. Not a buggy in Beat 3. The first train which ran the rail was greeted by people from far out in the country, north, south, east and west, who came to see the sight. Babies and small children would go into "delirium trembles," de-aproning their mothers. These are some of the long agos. A.R. Lackey.

The Winston Herald, March 14, 1913:

Northern Alabama Adds To Service. Two passenger trains each way a day will be operated between Birmingham and Sheffield and Tuscumbia over the Southern and Northern Alabama railroads as soon as the schedule can be arranged. This announcement was made Monday when the case J.H. Morris and others vs. the Northern Alabama Railroad was called at the meeting of the railroad commission in Montgomery. L. Sevier of Birmingham, representing the railroads, announced that the lines had agreed to put on the service within 30 days. The early morning train leaving Sheffield and Tuscumbia will enable passengers to reach Birmingham at 11:20 a.m. and the train Tuscumbia and Sheffield in the afternoon will put passengers into Birmingham at 7:40 p.m. Trains leave Birmingham at 7 a.m. and 4:05 p.m., respectively, to connect at Parrish with trains for Sheffield and Tuscumbia. The new service is due in large part to the efforts of Mr. J.H. Morris of Tuscumbia, who has been working on the matter for a long time. The following telegram received today from Mr. J.H. Morris of Tuscumbia and sent from Lynn, Alabama gives the schedule which will be put into effect: Lynn, March 4—The Tri-Cities Daily: Improved passenger train service on the Northern Alabama Railway effective inside of thirty days, by order of the Alabama Railroad Commission. Train No. 1 leaves Tuscumbia 5 a.m.; arrives Parrish 9 a.m. Train No. 2 leaves Parrish 9:25 a.m.; arrives Tuscumbia at 1:25 p.m. Train No. 3 leaves Tuscumbia at 1:25 p.m.; arrives Parrish 5:20 p.m. Train No. 4 leaves Parrish at 6:10 p.m.; arrives Tuscumbia 10:15 p.m. This double daily train service between the Tri-Cities and Birmingham with first class connection with all trains at Parrish, and connecting with all through trains at Sheffield to and from Memphis, Chattanooga and Nashville. Colbert, Lauderdale, Franklin, Winston, Walker and Fayette papers please copy, and all petitioners give this schedule their hearty endorsement and thoroughly advertise it, thereby showing the railroad company their appreciation of this new service.—J.H. Morris, Tri-Cities Daily It is said the gas well men, who started a test well here and lost their tools so deep that they could never recover them, passed thro’ a six foot vein of asphalt of the best variety, besides fine beds of other minerals. But no one but the company knows the exact result of the test, but you may rest assured that our country will be none the worse for the test, even if they did not go deep enough to penetrate the gas deposits which experts say underlie all this region.

The Winston Herald, May 30, 1913:

Cullman News. Jim Barnett, a railroad worker fell under a freight train which he was trying to board Tuesday morning and the wheels ground him to pieces. His body was brought to Cullman, prepared for burial, and then taken to Bangor and interred there.

The Winston Herald, June 6, 1913:

Arrested for Trying to Wreck Train. May 30—Floyd Kimbrell a 16-year-old youth of Fayette County, is lodged in the Walker County jail at Jasper, charged with attempting to wreck the Birmingham-Columbus Southern railway passenger train. Since his arrest and imprisonment he has made a complete confession of his attempt to wreck the train. He states the motives behind his act were to get even with the collector who some time ago, put him and his little brother off the cars on account of his failure to pay fare demanded by the collector. The wreck was planned near Oakman, when the boy attempted to placate his revenge by placing on the track crossties. His plans failed, however, as the ties were discovered in time to stop the train. When he arranged his wrecking device, it is stated, he went up on the hill where he could see the wreck take place. On the failure of his plans he followed the train toward Oakman and was arrested within less than an hour after the train had passed, by an officer who was on the track.

Trains Collide and Many Are Hurt. May 31—A head-on collision occurred Friday afternoon about two miles east of Sheffield, when the passenger train on the Northern Alabama Railway, southbound, collided with the Southern, westbound, known as No. 35 The impact on the Northern Alabama was terrific, passengers being thrown violently forward, J. Bradley Williams, of Tuscumbia, engineer on the Southern train, was cut by flying pieces of glass. R.Y. Darnell, of Sheffield, baggage man on the Northern Alabama, was severely injured; Engineer Gault was considerable bruised and received a sprained ankle; Fireman Pendleton Gaines was also severely injured. Over 42 were injured, some very slightly. The engine of the Northern Alabama was crushed entirely under the Southern. The wheels of the express car were jammed under the passenger coach and completely demolished. Adjusters of both railroads are on the grounds and making adjustments with those slightly injured.

The Winston Herald, October 10, 1913:

Haleyville Items. The John Dodd Wholesale Grocery Company has moved into its new brick block, and has started its business. The Illinois Central Railroad has surveyed a spur track from its depot up into town and will erect a cotton platform handy for the shippers. This track will pass immediately in the rear of the Dodd building giving them service for carload shipments, and will also furnish facilities for other warehouse sites and filling needed facilities in this respect for the town.

The Winston Herald, April 3, 1914:

Runaway Car Hits Seminole Limited. Jasper, March 27th—Running wild at the rate of fifty miles an hour, a flat car loaded with steel rails plunged into the locomotive of the Seminole Limited of the Illinois Central Railway, at the Northern Alabama depot here Thursday afternoon. Both sides of the locomotive were punctured with steel rails and it was smashed in front. Nobody was injured. The car was reported to have broken loose from a work train six miles north of here, and to have sped down the track with increasing velocity because of the general downward grade of the right-of-way. The Seminole Limited was preparing to pull out from the depot when the loaded car smashed into it. The passenger train was being pulled by the same locomotive which went into a ditch near here last December in which accident the engineer was so badly scalded he died.

The Winston Herald, May 22, 1914:

Fatal Collision Near Jasper. May 20—Extra Conductor H. Plant, was instantly killed, Engineers A. Smith and W. Allen seriously injured and two Negro firemen hurt, one having both legs broken, when a double-header Mobile and Ohio freight train plowed into the rear of a Northern Alabama freight train three miles south of here late Tuesday afternoon. None of the crew of the latter train received serious injury. Conductor Plant was buried under one of the big locomotives, where he was fearfully scalded. Both locomotives were derailed, one being badly damaged, and several cars of pig iron and slag were torn to splinters. Conductor Plant lay under the steaming engine two hours before it became known that he had been killed. He had not been missed, and his body could not be seen for the volume of escaping steam. His watch was running when taken from his pocket, although scalding water had been pouring over it for two hours. It could not be learned today why Conductor Plant was riding on the engine. Friends of his suggested that, as the regular conductor was attending to the train, he preferred the fresh air and scenery from the front. The cause of the wreck has not been determined early this morning. Members of the Northern Alabama train crew said they had out torpedoes, but had called in their flagman preparatory to pulling out. Trainmen of the Ohio & Mobile have made no statement. The trainmen of the Northern Alabama freight escaped with slight wounds but tell thrilling stores of how they were caught on the margin of death. The flagman, J.W. Slay, tells a story of his narrow escape and his efforts to save a life. Slay says he ran to his caboose and gave the signal for his train to start when he heard the double header coming nearby. He quickened his sprint to full speed in order to arouse any that might be in the caboose clear and save his own life without serious injury except bruises received about the head and face from flying objects from the effect of the collision.

The Winston Herald, July 10, 1914:

The mutilated body of Charlie Burks who lived near here was found on the railroad at Delmar on Wednesday night of last week. We have heard two reports concerning his death. One to the effect that he was killed by the train; another that he was shot and placed on the track, but all efforts to get the true facts have only developed the information that his body was found Wednesday night and sent to Haleyville for examination and preparation for burial. Later being sent home then to Johnson Grave Yard where interment took place late in the afternoon. He leaves an aged mother, five sisters, three brothers, and a number of other relatives to mourn his loss. Mr. Burks’ death is the second to occur in their family in the last fourteen months, his father having died one year ago last May. The friends wish to extend their heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved ones.

Trains Collide; Kills 2. Cordova, July 14—Two are dead and several more are more or less seriously hurt as the result of a head on collision which occurred on the Southern Railway near here at about 1:15 this afternoon when the eastbound local freight No. 62 carrying some 25 cars crashed into a switch engine carrying five cars. John Mullins, residing at Avondale, fireman on extra 529, and J.B. Varnum of Cordova, a car repairer, were instantly killed; C.V. Sapp, conductor, also of Cordova, has his foot crushed and sustained other minor injuries; John Pranyon of Avondale, arm broken and body badly bruised and Gus Dunker of Avondale, fireman on the local freight, and the only one of the local crew to be injured has a broken arm. The cause of the accident is attributed to a mistake in orders. Both trains had been ordered to meet at Warrior siding, for which point the switch train was making at about 15 miles an hour. For some reason the freight passed by the siding and collided head-on into the extra in a cut just east of that point. The collision came without a moment’s notice, the two trains being practically upon each other before the crew realized their mistake. The local was in charge of Engineer Andy Hoehn and Conductor Paul Chambers, both unhurt. Porter Brown of the extra jumped from the train and ran back to flag freight No. 119, which was following. The dead and injured were rushed to Birmingham on a special train over the Frisco, accompanied by physicians. Due to wreckage piled up and torn up condition of the track the Southern passenger trains are detouring via the Frisco.

The Winston Herald, January 7, 1916:

Slept On Track; Seminole Hit Him. A special from Haleyville to the Birmingham Ledger says: Claud Hooker, 18 years of age was instantly killed about 12 miles from Haleyville on the Illinois Central railroad by the fast Seminole Limited southbound at two o’clock Tuesday afternoon. It seems that young Hooker, who was an employee of the railroad company, working on the work train, had gone to sleep on the track and did not hear the train as it approached. The engineer claims that he was turning a curve and could not see Hooker until it was too late to stop. Hooker was a resident of Haleyville.

The Winston Herald, May 17, 1918:

A Fatal Railroad Wreck Near Natural Bridge. On Wednesday afternoon an M&O freight train wrecked near Natural Bridge, five cars were derailed and the engineer, a Mr. Davis, who lives at Jackson, Tennessee; was killed outright and the fireman injured.

Brakeman Loses Foot. Ellis Carmichael of Dixie Springs, a brakeman on the Northern Alabama Road, sustained a crushed foot in a railroad accident at Bear Creek, six miles north of Haleyville last Saturday afternoon. Mr. Carmichael was front brakeman on a freight train and the train was taking a siding when the accident happened. His foot was amputated below the knee at Haleyville.


The Haleyville Journal, June 11, 1921:

M. & O. Wreck. Sunday Near Natural Bridge. Two Men Narrowly Escape Death When Train Left Track and They Sustained Injuries. The M. & O. freight train of the St. Louis division, jumped the track about two miles south of Natural Bridge Sunday morning at 9 o’clock, two men narrowly escaping death when they jumped from the train as it left the track. Conductor J.L. Sanders, 41, who lives in Birmingham, had his left leg broken and complained of injuries to his back and chest. W.F. Gibbs, 28, fireman, who lives at Jackson, Tenn., had his left leg broken in two places and his knee cap knocked out of place and almost torn off. The injured men were brought to Haleyville and placed under the care of Dr. W.E. Howell, Southern railway physician, who gave medical aid and bandaged up the limbs. He stated in his report that the men were not permanently injured and would soon be walking around. The place in which the train jumped the track is only fifteen rail links from where the M. & O. wrecked and killed Engineer Davis and wounded several others three years ago.

The Winston Herald, September 29, 1922:

Killed By Train. Jasper, September 25—William Latham, who resides about 12 miles north of Jasper, was killed at a railroad crossing near Saragossa by a Northern Alabama train some time Sunday night. It is supposed that he went to sleep on the crossing and the passenger train bound for Sheffield at about 7 o’clock killed him, as he was seen a short time before this. This is the fifth man to be killed by trains near Jasper within the past three weeks.

The Advertiser-Journal, October 8, 1931:

Body of Ralph Ogletree Found. Resident of Brewton Falls from Freight Train Near Lynn and is Killed. Last Tuesday afternoon the body of an unknown young man was found at the bottom of a railroad fill near Lynn, about 20 miles south of Haleyville. Policeman J.H. Lester went with Special Agent Shelton of the I.C.R.R. to investigate. It seems the dead man and a companion were on a north bound freight, and when the companion awoke Monday morning he found himself in the Haleyville railroad yards and his buddy missing. He then walked back hunting for him but the last heard of him he was within two miles of where the dead man was found. He must have given up the search and jumped another freight. In making their investigations the officers heard of this boy as he had been making inquiries along the road and had mentioned the name of Ogletree and Brewton, Ala. As no means of identification had been found on the body the section hands had buried it late Tuesday night. The Chief of Police of Brewton was called up by Lester about midnight Tuesday night and after some time it was found out that the dead man’s name was Ralph Ogletree, of Brewton, and his companion’s name was Earl Waters, of the same town. On instructions from Brewton J.R. Dozier of the Short & Bell Burial Association sent and had the body taken up and prepared for shipment to Brewton where it will be reburied. As the body was at the bottom of a fill it was not found until Tuesday. How he came to fall off the train is unknown.

The Mountain Eagle, Jasper, AL, January 2, 1935:

An Old Man Killed On Railraod Track. Earl A. [Marcus E.] Gossett, of Phil Campbell, a man 78 [82] years of age, was struck and killed by a freight train on the Northern Alabama trestle near Calumet [Station] last Wednesday. Gossett was enroute to Bankhead from Phil Campbell afoot when the accident occurred. He had relatives at Bankhead. The remains were brought to Jasper by the undertaking establishment of A.B. Legg and Sons, where it was identified by relatives of the deceased.

The Advertiser-Journal, Haleyville, AL, January 3, 1935:

Man on Trestle Killed by Train. JASPER, Ala., Dec. 27 -- Earl A. [Marcus E.] Gossett, 78 [82], Phil Campbell, was instantly killed when he was struck by a Mobile & Ohio freight train Wednesday while Gossett was walking the trestle near Calumet. He was on his way to visit relatives at Bankhead and was within two miles of his destination when he was killed. Finding of accidental death was reported by Coroner Joe Legg. Funeral services will be held Friday at Phil Campbell.

The Advertiser-Journal, July 4, 1935:

Train Kills Two Men Instantly Near Nauvoo. Men Were Probably Asleep When Fast Train Hit Them. Bodies Were Very Badly Mangled. One a Winston Co. Man. Accident Occurred Near Nauvoo Monday. Two men, who undoubtedly were asleep, came to a tragic end, when they were killed instantly by a railroad train near Nauvoo Monday afternoon. George Stockman, whose age was 50, and Tommy Jackson, aged 28, were found with badly mangled bodies. A coroner’s jury assembled by coroner Joe Legg, who investigated the accident, returned with a verdict of "accidental death." After the investigation, coroner Joe Legg expressed the belief that the men had fallen asleep on the track and were struck by a train. The two had apparently been dead several hours when their bodies were discovered by a passerby. Stockman was a married man, being survived by his widow and several children. Jackson is survived by his parents, of Lynn, in Winston County.

The Advertiser-Journal, June 17, 1937:

Rode First Train on Northern Ala. J.A. Ferguson, who lives near Saragossa, was in Jasper a few days ago and added some more railroad history to J.E. Lacy's statement published in last week's issue of the Mountain Eagle. Mr. Ferguson says the first passenger train operated on the N. Alabama railroad entering Jasper was run on May 16, 1888, and his father, Joe Ferguson, who held a county office at that time, rode the first train from Jasper to his home at Saragossa or Prospect. - Mountain Eagle

The Mountain Eagle, June 17, 1937:

First Train to Jasper Fifty Years Ago. The first railroad train to enter Jasper came in 50 years ago last Friday, according to W.H. Snoddy, who remembers the date very distinctly. Mr. Snoddy says the first train entered Jasper June 11, 1887, at 11 a.m. It came up from Cordova which is situated on the Southern. It came to Cordova over the Southern, Mr. Snoddy says, and over the new Frisco track to Jasper. It was a freight train bringing supplies for the Frisco, and Mr. Snoddy asked permission to ride it into Jasper and the request was granted.

The Advertiser-Journal, February 10, 1938:

Man Killed by Train Near Natural Bridge. Oscar C. Dennis, 39, a World War Veteran, was killed about 6:30 Friday morning, February 4th at Natural Bridge by a train on the Southern Railway. The body was brought to Haleyville by Dozier’s Funeral Service, and it was found he had a brother living at Bessemmer and a son in Birmingham. His body was carried to Bessemer for burial by Jacob’s. It was learned he had not been heard of by his family in over one year.

The Advertiser-Journal, December 19 & 26, 1940 & Wikipedia:

A large crowd of several hundred townspeople gathered at the Illinois Central depot last night to get a glimpse of the new "City of Miami" streamliner on its maiden trip from Chicago to Miami. The "City of Miami" arrived at about 8:45 going south and took several minutes to take on fuel oil. Haleyville and Columbus, Georgia are the only two points between Chicago and Miami at which the "City of Miami" will take on fuel. A special tank and pipe line has been built here. The train, comprised of luxurious coaches and capable of seating 254, will come through Haleyville going north and south every three days. The first northern trip from Miami to Chicago will bring the "City of Miami" through here again Friday morning. The next southern run will be Saturday night and another northern run next Monday morning. The Illinois Central is one of a number of railroads which are cooperating in the Chicago-to-Miami run. Trains will leave Chicago and Miami daily. The streamliners cut several hours off the time between the two points. The modernistic "City of Miami," streamlined in every detail and painted a brilliant orange, scarlet, and green, is powered by a diesel-electric locomotive – the first to come through here. On the inside, semi-tropical Florida has contributed the blues of the skies, the blue-greens of the ocean, the yellows of the fruit, the greens of the foliage, and the sand tones of the beaches to create an atmosphere of the territory it will serve. All of the coaches have comfortable lounge chairs. Each passenger has a chair to himself, bought in the same manner as Pullman berths. A dining car and observation care are for the comfort of all passengers. The newest designing is employed throughout the train. All of the wheels have roller bearings, making for a much smoother, easier, and noiseless "glide ride." The engineer’s cab is on the front of the locomotive, instead of the back as on old locomotives, and the engineer has a 190-degree view instead of having to stick his head out of the window for a view of the tracks ahead. The train is said to be tested to run 120 miles per hour on straight track, with an average speed of 50 miles per hour. Warner Flack, widely-known here, is one of the engineers on the "City of Miami." The maiden voyage started in Chicago December 18, 1940 and arrived in Miami 29 and a half hours later. Participating in the ceremonies, which were broadcast, incident to the christening just before it started were Commissioner James A. Dunn of Miami, nine honorary hostesses sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Miami, J.L. Beven, president of the railroad, C.A. Liddle, president of Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Co., and members of the train crew. Miss Charlotte Beven, younger daughter of Mr. Beven, christened the train with water from Biscayne Bay. Exclusive of the regular members of the operating train crew, the personnel complement will total 17 persons, as follows: steward, stewardess, two coach attendants, club car porter and assistant, train porter, six waiters, and four cooks. A public address system and radio, reaching every section of the train, are among the many features that are new and different in the "City of Miami." The train is air-conditioned and seats are all reserved. The streamliner was discontinued on April 30, 1971.

The Haleyville Advertiser, June 14, 1945:

Southern Railway Motor Car Collided with Train Monday. A Southern Railway motorcar collided with a train Monday morning near Bear Creek, the second collision it has had recently. Section workers on the car escaped serious injuries by jumping off before it was struck by the oncoming train. L.M. Herald, section foreman, injured one of his feet in the jump from the car. The motor car collided with a passenger car several weeks ago at a crossing near Bear Creek, injuring six of the workers.

The Haleyville Advertiser, October 4, 1945:

Delmar Man Killed by Train Monday. Henry Canida Fatally Injured When Truck Hit at Railroad Crossing. Henry Canida, 70, of Delmar was instantly killed and his son, Leonard, seriously injured Monday afternoon when the truck in which they were riding was hit by a G.M.&O. freight train just below Delmar. Leonard, a sawmiller, was driving the truck, loaded with lumber, and was attempting to cross the railroad crossing when hit by the oncoming train headed south. Mr. Canida was thrown from the truck and was killed instantly. He suffered a broken neck, right leg and right arm. Leonard, who suffered a fractured neck, ribs, and right fore arm and numerous cuts and abrasions of the body, was brought to Dr. Blake’s Clinic by Mr. and Mrs. Opie Gamble who sent a Nichols ambulance after Mr. Canida. The accident occurred about 4 o’clock just a short distance from the Canida home. Funeral services for Mr. Canida were to be held today (Thursday) at Union Grove with Nichols in charge of arrangements. Surviving are the widow; two sons, Leonard, Delmar, and M.J., of U.S. Army; five daughters, Mrs. Maude Salter, Mrs. Lucille Salter, Mrs. Irene Weaver, Misses Flora and Alma Canida; five brothers and one sister.

The Haleyville Advertiser, June 6, 1946:

Streamliner Hits Crosstie on Track. 11-Year-Old Boys Put Timber on Railroad to See it Run Over. An attempt to wreck the ‘City of Miami’, streamlined passenger train of the Illinois Central System, was blamed Monday on two 11-year-old boys of Cullman County. The boys, cousins, placed about half a crosstie on the track between Hackleburg and Hodges Sunday, May 26, just before the streamliner came through there speeding at 75 miles per hour. The boys were in that neighborhood because of the serious illness of their mutual grandparent. The engineer saw the heavy piece of timber in time to slow the train down to 50 miles per hour, and the cowcatcher knocked it off the track. The boys insisted in a preliminary hearing before the U.S. District Attorney John D. Hill, they meant no harm by the act, and did not know the seriousness of the offense. They said they only put the crosstie on the track to "see the little wheels of the train knock it off." One of the boys admitted it was the second train he had ever seen in his life. After the preliminary hearing the two boys were released into the custody of their parents. The attorney decided their trial would be held within two weeks during which time a decision would be reached as to what punishment will be given them.

The Haleyville Advertiser, April 24, 1947:

I.C. Streamliner Wrecked April 19. Two Killed When Train Turns Over at Switch. The City of Miami, crack Illinois Central streamliner that passes through Haleyville on a regular run between Miami and Chicago, wrecked April 19, killing two crew members and injuring 24 passengers. The all-steel, Diesel-powered train was traveling at 60 miles an hour when it left the rails at a switch near Champaign, Ill., where it makes a scheduled stop. The locomotive twisted sideways, tearing up rails and ties, and all the cars left the rails. The baggage car flipped over on its side, but the five coaches remained upright. The road bed was torn up for a quarter of a mile. Killed were Charles Redus, 70, Centralia, Ill., the conductor, and C.W. Woods, Champaign, Ill., the baggageman. The injured were taken to three hospitals, where 18 were kept for treatment. The railroad said the fireman, Thomas Woodhall of Chicago, reported the switch was open. The train had 220 passengers on its run, which is scheduled for 30 1/2 hours.

The Haleyville Advertiser, August 18, 1949, Diamond Jubilee Edition:

Haleyville's First Railway Passenger Service Began Here in Summer of 1887. In 1884 the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad controlled the Selma, Rome, and Dalton and the Memphis and Charleston lines in Alabama. At this time the development of the Birmingham District had been begun and the E.T.V. & G. realized the importance to its system of a share of the traffic originating in that territory and at the same time of a short-line connecting between the Selma, Rome, and Dalton and the Memphis and Charleston lines. Accordingly certain individuals interested in the E.T.V. & G. obtained a charter in 1884 to organize the Birmingham and Tennessee River Railroad Company to begin at or near the town of Brierfield in Bibb County, State of Alabama and passing through the counties of Bibb, Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Walker, Winston, Marion, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale in said State of Alabama to a point on the line between the states of Alabama and Tennessee near the headwaters of Cypress Creek. Construction of the line began in July 1884 and during the next two years 22 miles of road was located, graded, and partially railed. Control of the line then passed to the Sheffield and Birmingham Railroad Company. Thereafter the construction which had been begun at Sheffield was progressed so that in August 1887, 50 miles of road from Sheffield to Delmar had been laid with rails, bringing Haleyville its first regular railroad service. At this point in the construction of the line, the Sheffield and Birmingham Railroad entered into a merger agreement with the Alabama and Tennessee Coal and Iron Company, the railroad emerging under the style of the Sheffield and Birmingham Coal and Iron and Railway Company. After the consolidation, the railway pressed forward the construction of the line to Jasper, to which point it was opened on May 16, 1888. In 1889 control of the line passed to the newly organized Birmingham, Sheffield, and Tennessee River Railway Company which secured a new charter authorizing it, among other things, "to maintain and operate a railroad…from the city of Birmingham to Jasper in Walker County…" and with specific power to purchase all rights and claims of predecessor lines. Thereafter, during the year 1889, the new company extended the line from Jasper to a connection with the Georgia Pacific Railway at Parrish. The reorganization of 1899 was not a success and after the Birmingham, Sheffield, and Tennessee River had been in operation of its property for four years it defaulted interest on its bonds. A receiver was appointed and in the subsequent reorganization the line came under the control of the newly formed Northern Alabama Railway Company. In 1894, Southern Railway Company having succeeded to the control of the E.T.V. & G. lines, including the Memphis and Charleston, and having as well as the Georgia Pacific line, felt the need of a short-line connection between Memphis and the Birmingham District and to this end acquired, in April 1899, as stated in the Fifth Annual Report of Southern Railway Company, "a large majority of both the bonds and capital stock of the Northern Alabama Railway Company." Although no formal consolidation was then effected, the line became, except in name, a part of the Southern Railway System. However, formal consolidation was effected on December 30, 1939, and the line is now operated as a part of Southern Railway System's Birmingham Division.

The Haleyville Advertiser, October 9, 1951:

Last Saturday night, October 6th, the Southern Railway’s passenger train No. 2, going north, made its final run through Haleyville. The railroad company discontinued the runs, from Sheffield to Parrish, Ala., and back daily, saying the operation was costing them several thousands of dollars annually. Bus service and the increasing number of privately owned automobiles had practically ruined the once heavy passenger trade of the Southern through this area. But stopping the Southern means a familiar sight will be missing in this vicinity. Many residents, on their way to work, would watch the Southern as it chugged its way into Haleyville at 6:52 each morning and back through at 7:35 each night. The Southern Depot will continue to function here, handling freight service going north and south. G.W. Hall is the local agent. [Photo available in newspaper.]

The Haleyville Advertiser, March 4, 1952:

ICRR Freight Cars Derailed Near City. Five freight cars of a 48-car train were derailed – three of them turned over – about 8:20 Monday night near the road crossing in South Haleyville. No one was injured. Estimated damage was heavy, both to the cars and the track. The main rail line, serving the Illinois Central, Southern, and Mobile and Ohio Railway companies, was torn up for a distance and all traffic on the line was halted. A broken rail caused the wreck. Engineer Abe Martin was pulling the train onto the main line from the I.C. yards. It was the first section of No. 75, going south toward Birmingham. The derailed section of the train was eleven cars from the caboose. The automatic brakes went on and stopped the train after one car turned over and came uncoupled. A section crew, wrecker crew, and other workers immediately set to work clearing the tracks. The rail line carries heavy traffic, both freight and passenger trains, between Birmingham and points south, and Chicago. Others on the train besides Engineer Martin were Wallace Taylor, conductor; Gene Yarbrough, fireman; Henry Hilton, flagman; and Kirby Benton, brakeman.

The Haleyville Advertiser, February 20, 1953:

‘City of Miami’ Derailed Here. A near tragedy was averted last night (Thursday) in Haleyville when the crack City of Miami passenger train came to a stop after three cars were derailed. No one was reported injured. Some eight hours later workmen had cleared the tracks enough for the City to proceed on toward Birmingham, leaving two of the derailed cars behind. A defective rail, or some other cause not official described, caused the derailment at the South Haleyville crossing. The huge diesel engines passed over the defect or object on the track without mishap. The baggage car also got by, but the next three cars left the rails and ran some distance on the ties, miraculously staying upright. Had the City been late, chances are the derailed cars would have turned over down an embankment, with possible death and injury to dozens of passengers. Being on time, Engineer J.A. Vernon left the I.C. depot and was making about 30 miles per hour by the time he reached the crossing. Had the train been late he would normally have been making 40 miles per hour at that point, which is allowed by regulations. Mrs. John Markham of Chicago said she felt only a slight jolt when the cars left the rails. R.C. Richhei of Miami, traveling with his wife, said there was no panic but the passengers knew something was wrong and some near him appeared to be praying as the train came to a stop. One young lady, going from Chicago to Florida with her parents, said her father was in bed after suffering a heart attack in Illinois. He was in one of the derailed cars, but when the train pulled out, he appeared none the worse because of the delay and excitement. The eight hour delay held up several passenger and freight trains coming through Haleyville from Birmingham and points south, from Chicago and other northern areas and by way of Sheffield via the Southern Railway.