Pueblo County, Colorado
Adobe Train Wreck March 16, 1906

Contributed by Jean Griesan.

Telluride Daily Journal – March 16, 1906 – Frightful Wreck – Fast Passenger Trains Meet in Head On Collision – Flames Consume Wreck Cremating the Dead and Dying Victims – Accident Happens 30 Miles West of Pueblo at 2 O'Clock This Morning – Over Fifty Killed; Nearly as Bad as Eden Wreck – Telluride People on the Train – Pueblo, Colo., Mar. 16 – In a blinding snow storm which prevailed last night in the Arkansas Valley, trains No. 16, east bound, and No. 3, west bound on the Denver & Rio Grande collided head-on near Portland, Colorado, about thirty miles west of Pueblo, about 2 o'clock this morning. Latest reports say about forty are killed and it is known that at least seventeen are injured. Confusion of orders is said to be the cause. Many wild rumors are in circulation to the effect that 150 are killed. It is not believed however, the dead will exceed forty although both trains were well loaded. A heavy snow storm continues and the suffering is great. The worst railroad wreck since the memorable Eden disaster occurred at 2 o'clock this morning on the D. &. R. G. near Adobe. East bound No. 16 crashed into west bound No. 3, telescoping the forward cars on each train. The coaches at once took fire and flames completed the horror begun by the collision. The number of dead is estimated at from fifty upwards. The number of injured is placed at twenty-five. The cause of the wreck is attributed to a failure to deliver orders to No. 16, so that No. 3 could pass here. Among the physicians who rendered assistance was Dr. F. N. Cochams, of Salida, who was on No. 16, but escaped injury. He at once entered upon searching for the wounded. He was assisted by doctors from Florence, who were soon on the scene. Most of the victims were pinned under the wreckage and burned before help could reach them. Most of the injured were on No. 3, which was heavily loaded. No. 16 carried comparatively few passengers and these escaped with slight shaking up. One name, whose name could not be learned, was the only one of a family of ten who escaped. He lost his father, mother, wife, three children, brother and two other relatives. Three of the crew of No. 3 were killed and two of No. 16. One of the engineers on No. 3, which was a double header, was found dead with his hand on the throttle. McParland, a relative of the famous detective, an express messenger is among the dead. Many of the bodies will never be identified because of the fact of their being burned to a crisp and unrecognizable. Part of the mail was destroyed, and also the express matter. Relief trains were at once dispatched from Pueblo and Florence, but were necessarily slow because of the smoke and cold. The first train bearing the injured reached Pueblo shortly after 6 o'clock. The recovered bodies of identified dead are: William Hollis, engineer No. 16; E. M. McParland, express messenger No. 16; Hugh Sudluth, fireman of No. 16; Walter Coslett, engineer first engine No. 3. A. H. Smith, fireman to Engineer Coslett, stated he saw the headlight of train No. 16 as it rounded the curve about 200 yards distant. He went to the engineers side and saw him at the emergency brake. Grant Kelker, engineer of the second engine on No. 3, and Harry Hartman, his fireman, both noticed the headlight of No. 16 as it rounded the curve. Kelker yelled “Look out” and applied the emergency brakes. Both escaped by jumping. Engineer Kelker stated he barely recovered himself when the whole train seemed to be on fire. Train No. 3 was composed of a mail car, express car, two day coaches, two tourist and two standard sleepers. All the sleepers were saved, none of the occupants being injured. All three engines are practically demolished and piled on top of each other. The first three cars of No. 16 were piled on to each other, but before the wreckage took fire, most of the passengers were removed. According to a statement of a passenger in the front coach of No. 3, there were only eight or ten vacant seats. Two men, J. L. Lawton of Bellflower, Missouri, and S. H. Sweeny of Trenton, Missouri escaped with slight injuries. Sweeny was pulled from the mass of wreckage just before the fire reached him. The place where the trains came together was near mile post 147. The trains were rounding a sharp curve, around a high bluff. It was impossible for the enginemen to see the other train until within about two hundred yards of each other. At this point the Santa Fe and Rio Grande tracks run close together and it was easy for the enginemen to suppose the oncoming train was on the Santa Fe tracks. Snow began falling at midnight, and severe cold added to the suffering of the victims. According to the first orders the trains were supposed to meet at Adobe, within half a mile of the scene of the wreck. At Florence No. 16 received orders to meet No. 3 at Beaver, five miles east of Portland. It is supposed No. 3 was to have been given similar orders at Swallows, but failing to receive these ran on to Adobe. The injured are: T. H. Webb, Yampa, Colorado, slight; Bert Meyers, Pottsville, Missouri, slight; W. L. Hewitt, Lebo, Kansas, slight; Claude Robinson, Denver, serious; E. Goldbery, Denver, slight; W. R. Page, Yampa, seriously; Ralph Britton, Brighton, Iowa, seriously; Mabel Fields, Wolcott, Colorado, seriously; Arthur E. Hewitt, Lebo, Kansas, seriously; N. W. Phillips, Codyville, Illinois, slight; C. C. House, Chama, New Mexico, slight; J. Percano, Florence, slight; Jack Scott, Montrose, slight; Ed. Brannet, Leadville, slight; Jno. Scott, Denver, cut about the arms and legs; A. Garber, New York, ear; Ralph Boniton, Brighton, neck; L. C. Ranscottom, San Francisco, neck; Dave McCullam, Chicago, porter, inhaled gas; Sarah Calligan, Cleveland, cut about the head; Myron Phillips, Salt Lake, ankle hurt; W. F. Paul, Portland, foot cut; Tom Webb, Chama, New Mexico, foot cut; Claude Robinson, Denver, leg broken; George Bradshaw, Chicago, foot smashed; S. W. Fields, Laramie, leg broken; Phillip Peters, address unknown, ribs broken and head cut; Chas. T. Rociene, Florence, leg lacerated; R. I. Jones, mail weigher, chest and head injured; A. E. Smith, fireman, slight; W. A. Watkins, Denver, head cut. One of the peculiar features was that of the Hewitt family, out of a family of eleven, only two escaped. The others were burned to a crisp. During the progress of the flames, one man was seen hanging from a car window, “For God's sake, save me,” he cried, but the heat was too intense for the rescuers to reach him, and he slowly roasted to death before the crowd around the burning wreck. Pueblo, Colo., Mar. 16 – 2 p.m. – Shortly before noon, a train arrived with the bodies of 16 of the dead. They were taken to undertaking establishments where the work of identification began. At noon it was said, only two bodies, those of Engineer Coslett and Engineer Hollis had been identified. The bodies are so blackened by fire as to be difficult to identify. How many more bodies are at the scene of the wreck it is impossible to establish at this hour. It can be stated positively that sixteen are killed and 34 injured. Denver, Mar. 16 – Local officers of the Rio Grande state that early reports of the wreck are exaggerated. They claim only sixteen people were killed, none in the Pullmans and that none of the injured are fatally hurt. All the killed were in the smoker of No. 3.

Eagle Valley Enterprise – March 16, 1906 – Fifty Perish in Wreck – Terrible Loss of Life Follows a Train Wreck at Adobe – Firemen and Engineers Killed – Wreck Was Caused by Failure of Operator to Hold Train No. 16 – This morning Rio Grande train No. 3 west bound and No. 16 east bound met in a head on collision at Adobe four miles east of Florence. Both trains were running at full speed when they came around a sharp curve. No. 3 was a double-header and telescoped into No. 16. The engineers and firemen were all killed and about fifty passengers were killed and burned to death while between twenty and thirty were injured. Fire broke out and but few escaped either being killed outright or burned to death. Both trains were almost totally wrecked. It has not been given out who was positively at fault but it is believed that an operator on the line failed to hold No. 16 for No. 3 to pass. The only passengers in the wreck known in this part of the country whose names have been learned are James L. Norvell of Steamboat Springs, who escaped uninjured, and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Webb of Yampa. Mrs. Webb was burned to death and Mr. Webb is badly crushed and mangled but is still alive.

Telluride Daily Journal – March 17, 1906 – “I Was Asleep; That Is All.” – This Is The Explanation Given by The Man Whose Failure to Deliver Train Order Caused One of the Greatest Horrors in Railroad History – Thirty-Six People Are Known to Have Perished With the Possibility That the Ashes of Another Score Are in the Ruins of the Burned Wreckage – Shreds of Cooked Flesh and Bits of Burned Bones All That is Left – Nineteen Utterly Unrecognizable Bodies Lie in the Morgues at Pueblo Today – Pueblo, Colo., Mar. 17 – While the exact number of lives lost in the Adobe wreck near Florence will never be known, it will undoubtedly take rank among the great disasters in the history of railroading. In other wrecks there have been heavier loss of life, but none so productive of horrors. There was not a single entire body recovered from the wreckage with the exception of the enginemen, who although horribly mangled were not reached by flames. Bits of charred flesh and pieces of bones were all that indicated the holocaust, but the bits of bones were picked up and from these it is estimated that no less than thirty-six perished. Seventeen charred and mangled and utterly unrecognizable bodies lie in the Pueblo morgue, two in the Florence morgue, several others are known to have perished and possibly a score burned to ashes. The following is a list of the known dead: Deputy Sheriff Edward F. Baird, Denver; W. C. Cosslet, engineer of No. 3; Mrs. Grace Crowley and baby, Emporia; Edward Crowley, Emporia; Roy Field, aged ten, Keystone, Wyoming; Mrs. A. C. Hewitt and baby, Lebo, Kansas; H. L. Hewitt, wife and daughter; Mrs. Winona Hewitt; William Hellis, engineer of No. 16; Fred Jones, Lebo, Kansas; Fred Limecolley, Denver; Eneas McParland, express messenger; Patrick Murphy, Florence; H. O. Huddeth, fireman of No. 16; Archibald Whitney, prisoner in charge of Deputy Sheriff Baird; Mrs. Belle Webb, Keystone, Wyoming. All the injured it is said will probably recover. S. T. Lively, the operator whose failure to deliver the train order to the west bound train resulting in the disaster, has been acting at Swallows station about ten days, although he is said to have been an experienced man, it is alleged, Lily has worked excessively for several days and had been deprived of natural sleep. It is claimed by the railroad, the operator assumed a longer shift on the night of the wreck than was usually required of him, for reasons known only to them. Lively has not yet been arrested. His only explanation of failure to deliver the orders is simply: “I was asleep. That's all.”

Aspen Democrat – March 20, 1906 – Frank Lively Held Responsible for Wreck – Denver, March 19 – General Manager A. C. Ridgway, of the Denver & Rio Grande, has telegraphed to E. E. Jeffery, president of the road, in New York, fixing the responsibility for the headend collision which took place near Adobe early Friday morning. He blames Frank Lively, operator at the Swallows station. Lively had relieved William VanDeusen, night operator, so that Van Deusen could go to Pueblo and cash the pay checks of Lively and himself. According to Manager Ridgway's telegram, eighteen bodies have been recovered and the death list will probably reach twenty. Six were injured seriously and a number of others slightly. All the injured will recover. Rio Grande officials in this city to-day, insist that at most not more than twenty-four persons perished in the wreck. They say that if more were destroyed it is more than probable that relatives would have inquired for them and some parts of their bodies would still remain. They maintain that the fire was not intense enough to cremate the bodies.

Fort Collins Weekly Courier – March 21, 1906 – Two Salida People Among the Dead – Special to the Courier – Salida, Colo., March 21 – It is now known beyond a doubt that A. M. Bartlo and daughter, Miss Grace, of this place, are among those who perished in the wreck at Adobe last Friday morning. Mrs. Bartlo returned from Pueblo yesterday, where she visited the hospitals and undertakers establishments, but was unable to identify her loved ones either among the dead or injured. She has plenty of evidence that they were on No. 3 west bound train.

Fort Collins Weekly Courier – March 21, 1906 – Prof. Gillette's Story of Awful Wreck – Prof. C. P. Gillette, professor of zoology in the State Agricultural college at Fort Collins, who was in the last sleeper of train No. 3, which was wrecked at Adobe, reached Denver last night and was at the Metropole. He said last night it was his opinion that the unfortunate people caught in the cars which burned probably were stunned by the force of the collision and that many of them were burned to death without having recovered consciousness. He holds this theory because he heard practically no groaning or screaming, though he reached the burning cars a few minutes after the collision. "The standard sleeper in which I was," said Prof. Gillette last night, "had just rounded the curve when the impact of the collision threw me against the head-board of the berth. I was sound asleep at the time. I looked out of the window. The rocks were lighted up and I wondered what was the matter. I asked the porter and he said that everything was all right. He had not been out of the car. I looked out again and I noticed that the light was much brighter. Again I asked the porter what the trouble was. This time he went out and he came back soon, saying that the cars and the people were burning up. I got into my clothes as fast as I could, and went out. When I reached the burning cars all had been done that was possible and the cars were a blazing mass. The most terrible sight that I saw was one man leaning out of the burning car window, his legs and feet caught inside the car. Every effort was made to get him out, but nothing could be done. When he learned that he could not be taken out he begged that they cut his legs off and then he begged that he be shot as he did not want to suffer the horrible death of being burned. "I talked with one of the men who got out of the chair car and who was brought into our sleeper, where he had an injured foot dressed. He said he was sure that not more than fifteen people got out of the car, and he was one of the last to go. He said that the car was full, every seat being occupied. I believe that the one thing that saved many lives was the fact that there were two engines on our train. These broke the force of the collision. The wounded were well taken care of and before the cars had ceased burning most of them had been made comfortable in the sleepers. I was told by one of the men in the smoker that no sooner had the train stopped than the flames in one end of the car leaped as high as the bell cord. While I did not see much of the agony of those who perished in the wreck I am sure that I have had all the wreck that I want, and I hope that I shall never see another. The train crews and the passengers who were uninjured were very prompt to do everything possible to rescue those imprisoned in the wreck. The railroad officials were prompt to get medical assistance to the scene of the disaster to care for the injured." Prof. Gillette was going from Fort Collins to Grand Junction to attend a meeting of the Horticultural society there. He continued his journey in the special train of sleepers made up and went to Grand Junction. – Denver Republican.

Fort Collins Weekly Courier – March 21, 1906 – Disaster Due to Lapped Orders – Denver, Colo., March 17 – Telegraphers learned of the fatal mistake that had been made some time before the two ill-fated trains crashed together at Adobe Friday morning, and after mad endeavors to avert the impending catastrophe, saw the futility of their efforts and made plans to care for the dead and injured in the wreck, which they knew was certain. The report is current here that the disaster was due to lapped orders.

Fort Collins Weekly Courier – March 21, 1906 – Appalling Disaster on the D. & R. G. Railroad – From 40 to 50 Persons Either Killed Outright or Burned to Death in a Head-on Collision Between Two Swiftly Running Passenger Trains on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad near Adobe – Trains Take Fire and Many Pinioned Under the Wreckage Suffer Death in Its Most Horrible Form by Burning – Station Agent at Swallows Asleep and Train That He Should Have Held, Speeds on to Its Doom – Dr. Headden, Prof. Gillette and Prof. O. B. Whipple, of the Agricultural College, Escape Injury – A telephone message from Denver this afternoon states that Dr. W. P. Headden, Prof. C. P. Gillette and Prof. O. B. Whipple, assistant horticulturist, all of the agricultural college, who were on one of the ill-fated trains, bound for Grand Junction, miraculously escaped the fate that befell so many of their fellow passengers and are practically uninjured. Special to the Courier – Pueblo, Colo., March 16 – From 40 to 50 persons were either killed outright or burned to death, while two score of others were more or less injured in a wreck caused by a head on collision between two fast running passenger trains on the Denver and Rio Grande railroad at Adobe, four miles east of Florence, at 2:30 o'clock this morning. The collision occurred between west bound train No. 3 and east bound train No. 16. The disaster is said to have been caused by the night operator at Swallows, a station several miles east of Adobe, having been asleep when he should have been wide-awake at the time. This operator is reported to have telegraphed the train dispatcher at Pueblo in answer to questions, that train No. 3 had not yet passed his station, when it had gone by while he was asleep. As a result of this misinformation, the dispatcher issued orders which brought the two trains together in one of the most terrible disasters in the history of Colorado railroading – a disaster only second in its death-dealing results to the memorable Eden wreck. Orders have been issued to arrest the operator at Swallows. The two trains, which were bowling along at a high rate of speed to makeup lost time caused by a blizzard, came together with a terrific impact that carried death and destruction with it. Neither train saw the other until they were within 200 yards of each other nd then it was too late to avoid the disaster, but the brave engineer crews did their best to stay the hand of death. The two engineers died at their posts with their hands on the emergency brakes, which were hard set. To add to the horror of the accident, the wrecked trains caught fire and those who were pinioned underneath the wreckage and were not killed outright, were slowly burned to death or suffocated by the huge volumes of smoke that rose from the burning wood. Nature was in her ugliest mood for a blizzard was raging and the night was bitter cold. Despite the terrible obstacles, those on the two trains who were able, performed heroic services on behalf of their more unfortunate fellow passengers. Willing hands were urged on by saddened hearts to do the best, and all during the long cold hours of the early morning, the work of rescue and relief went on. Forty charred and blackened bodies have already been taken from the wreckage, while fifteen persons who were severely injured, are lying on cots at St. Mary's hospital in Pueblo, with the certainty that several of the number will later figure in the death list. The identified dead so far recovered from the wreckage are: William Hollis, engineer No. 16; Walter Causlett, engineer No. 3; P. G. McParland, express messenger on train No. 16; Thos. Brannen, Leadville, brother of John Brannen, burned to death; Woodward E. Baird, deputy sheriff of Denver, and his prisoner, Archebald Whiting; Fred Limecully, Denver; Patrick Murphy, Florence. The bodies of six of the nine members of A. F. Hewitt's family of Lebo, Kansas, have also been identified.

Fort Collins Weekly Courier – March 21, 1906 – Justice Bristol Pays Tribute to Victim of Wreck – "I knew Deputy Sheriff Edward Baird, who was taking a prisoner to the state penitentiary and was killed in that awful D. &. R. G. wreck, very well," remarked Justice Bristol this morning. "Baird was deputy sheriff at Leadville when I was there and he was a fine fellow. He was also deputy marshal and a detective. Everybody liked him and he was a most efficient officer, being brother of UnderSheriff Thomas Baird, Denver. Only 15 of the 60 occupants of the car in which the dead officer was riding, escaped. Baird had faced death in a hundred different ways, and was one of the bravest of men. That wreck was one of the worst that has occurred in this state in a long time. A little carelessness can often cause untold disaster, and it did in this case. It seems to me that something ought to be done to clear up the source of the trouble. The accident was worse than we can know, and not the least vestige of a chance should be given for another like it, either by this or any other road."

Fort Collins Weekly Courier – March 21, 1906 – Whole Number of Dead Will Never Be Known – Many Cremated in the Conflagration, Leaving Only a Few Ashes and Bones to Tell the Horrible Story – Denver, Colo., March 17 – Estimates of the number of dead who lost their lives in the collision between passenger trains 3 and 16 of the Denver & Rio Grande, one mile west of Portland early Friday morning, vary from 39 to 50. While the railroad company's officials insist that the number of killed will not reach 40, the coroner of Fremont county is equally insistent that the wreck cost the lives of almost half a hundred. It is certain that the accurate number of the dead will never be known. Many who met death in the conflagration which followed the collision, were cremated, and others were so badly burned that identification is impossible. It is admitted by officials of the railroad that from 15 to 18 foreigners, nearly all Italians, perished in the flames. All that remains to tell the story of the disaster are the ashes, with here and there a bone. It is estimated that the wreck will cost the D. & R. G. railroad $250,000.

Steamboat Pilot – March 21, 1906 – W. R. Page of Yampa was another Routt county man in the frightful wreck near Adobe on the Rio Grande. He escaped with only slight injuries. Mabel Field, who had a ticket to Wolcott, was severely injured.

Eagle County Blade – March 22, 1906 – Local Paragraphs – Mrs. Belle Webb, of Red Dirt on the Grand river, lost her life in the wreck at Adobe last Friday morning, being instantly killed and her body later burned in the wreckage. A son, Tom Webb, was badly hurt but will recover.

Durango Wage Earner – March 22, 1906 – One Hundred Killed in Rio Grande Wreck – Denver, March 16 – Great loss of life attended the collision of a passenger train on the Denver and Rio Grande in a snow storm on a curve between Florence and Portland early this morning. Forty to fifty are either killed or missing. Many are believed to have perished in the flames. The wrecked trains were west-bound doubleheader Utah and California express and east-bound local made up at Leadville. Relief trains were sent from Denver, Pueblo and Florence. Florence, Mar. 16 – The wreckage took fire immediately after collision and the cars were consumed, burning alive many of the injured who were caught in the debris. The bodies of those killed outright were also cremated. The wreck is one of the most horrible that has ever occurred on the Denver & Rio Grande, being surpassed in number of fatalities only at the Eden disaster north of Pueblo a year and a half ago. Wrecking trains are already at the scene and physicians are doing their best to alleviate the suffering of the injured. The weather is bitterly cold and the scenes at the point of the wreck beggar description. The two trains met on a curve and crashed together. One of them was a double-header and the impact caused the two engines and smoker and day coach of one of them to turn over. The cars were crowded with passengers. Both cars took fire and only fifteen passengers escaped with their lives. A heavy snow is in progress and is interfering with the rescue work. Among the dead are said to be the majority of both train crews. Train No. 3 known as the Utah and California express left Denver for the west at 8 o'clock Thursday evening. Train No. 16 known as the Colorado and New Mexico is made up at Leadville and left that point at 10:30 o'clock last evening. At 9 o'clock the wreckage was still burning fiercely practically nullifying the efforts of the rescue gangs in their work to rescue the dead bodies from the debris. Scores of people are coming from Florence to assist in the work of rescue. The conductor of No. 3 is Frank Swith and the engineer is Walter Coslet, both of Pueblo. The conductor of No. 16 is M. Garrett and the engineer is W. H. Hollis, both of Pueblo. The Globe Express Messenger McCartland in No. 16 is missing and undoubtedly is in the wreckage. Engineer Cosett of No. 3 was killed. J. H. Smith fireman of No. 3 escaped by jumping. The majority of the dead were on train No. 3. General Superintendent Welby of the Denver & Rio Grande left Denver this morning on the 8 o'clock train for the scene of the wreck. He said: "Both train crews overlooked their orders. The coaches and baggage cars of both trains burned up. The smoker passengers are the victims. Most of them were killed in that car." Many were the scenes of agony attending the disaster. An express messenger was caught under the wreckage and burned to death while people stood helpless by. Efforts were made to quench the flames with snow before they approached him but they failed. Snow was piled on him to protect him from the intense heat but nothing availed. He died suffering fearfully. Another man pinned by an iron rod, whom the rescuers tried to save before the flames reached him said: "Leave me to die, save yourselves, I'm too badly hurt to want to live." A man and his wife tried to escape through the window. The wreckage held them both. They burned alive together while the little child clung to them. The rescuers caught hold of its arm and tried to drag it out, but the flesh came from the bones. Practically every person killed was cremated. Many wild rumors are in circulation at noon as to the number killed, some placing it as high as 150, but it cannot possibly reach 100. It is a morning of horror. Practically all the passengers who were killed outright went down in the forward coach. From the wreck standpoint the smash-up is the worst that has ever been recorded in the history of railroading in Colorado. The three big engines were reduced to so much iron and steel and only the sleeper on both trains escaped destruction. The identified dead are: William Hollis, Engineer of train No. 16; Walter Causlett, Engineer of No. 3; F. M. McParland, Express Messenger, burned to death; Thomas Brannon of Leadville, burned to death; John Brannon of Leadville, burned to death; Mabel Fields of Wolcott, Colo.; C. C. House of Chama, N. M.; J. Bercano of Florence, Colo.; Bart Myers, Pottsville, Mo.; W. Land, Le Bau, Kans.; Arthur E. Hewitt, Le Bau, Kans.; N. M. Phillips, Coffeyville, Ill., L. C. Ranscotton, San Francisco; Sarah Galligan, Cleveland, O.; Myron Phillips, Salt Lake; W. F. Paul, Portland, Ore.; David McCullom, Chicago. Among the injured are: L. F. Rose, Mail Clerk; Edward F. Wood, Mail Clerk; Claude Robinson of Denver; H. Goldberg, Denver; R. R. Jones, Denver; W. A. Watkins, Denver; Hugh Seddeth, fireman; T. H. Webb, Yampa; W. R. Page, Yampa. One of the peculiar phases of the wreck was that not one of the cars on train No. 3, where all the fatalities occurred, left the track. They remained upright and burned. The special wrecking trains are now here and everything is being done to clear the wreckage and take good care of the injured. When the wrecker reached the scene at 6:30 the fire was so fierce from the burning coaches that operations were seriously delayed. The sleeping cars on the Limited were all saved. The occupants were unhurt. Railroad officials from Pueblo estimated that the dead numbered fifty and the injured 25. At the point where the wreck occurred fifteen persons were killed in a collision in 1900. The Santa Fe and the Rio Grande tracks run close together here. The crew of each train supposed the other train was on the adjoining track. Among nine members of the Hewitt family, from Lebo, Kans., only two escaped unscathed. The following comprise the lists of dead and injured so far as results have been obtained from the wreck. Investigation continues with the purpose of ascertaining how many others are missing. (The dead:) William Hollis, engineer of No. 16, Pueblo; Walter Coslett, engineer No. 3, Pueblo; H. D. Sudduth, fireman No. 16, Pueblo; Edward E. Baird, deputy sheriff, Denver; R. G. Whitney, on the way to the penitentiary at Canon City in charge of Baird, Denver; A. N. Barklo, Salida; Miss Grace Barklo, Salida; Enos M'Parland, express messenger, Denver; Taylor Hewitt, Lebo, Kas.; Mrs. Lillian Hewitt, Lebo, Kas.; Pearl Hewitt, 15 years old, Lebo, Kas.; Mrs. Katherine Hewitt and baby boy, Lebo, Kas.; Fred Jones, Lebo, Kas.; Fred Limecooley, Denver; Patrick Murphy, Florence; Mrs. Winona Hewitt, Lebo, Kas.; Ed Cowley, Emporia, Kas.; Mrs. Grace Cowley and baby, Emporia, Kas.; Mrs. Belle Webb, Keystone, Wyo.; Claude Hewitt, Lebo, Kas. The injured: P. Peters, baggageman, Denver, ribs broken, head cut; James Proconone, Florence, head hurt and otherwise injured; Ira Elrood, Gypsum, Colo., foot sprained; Miss Mabel Fields, internal injuries, serious; E. A. Hewitt, Lebo, Kas., one leg broken, other injured; Miss Mary Gooch, Oakland, Calif., suffering from shock; Thomas Webb, Yampa, Colo., right foot sprained; R. W. Phillips, Caysville, Utah, foot sprained; C. C. House, Chama, N. M., both kneecaps, right hand and mouth cut; L. C. Ramsbottom, San Francisco, neck hurt; W. R. Page, Yampa, Colo., back slightly injured; I. Kissel, New York, head slightly hurt; A. Gerber, New York, ear torn; C. M. Wright, New York, head injured; James Page, Whitewater, Colo., head cut; F. H. Smeeney, Clinton, Mo., foot crushed; J. L. Lotton, Belleflower, Mo., hip crushed; G. O. Clark, Portland, Colo., head cut; J. C. Peale, Denver, neck slightly injured; J. S. Reef, Leadville, Colo., slightly injured; B. I. Jones, Denver, back hurt; A. L. Knous, Ouray, Colo., neck hurt. Pueblo, Colo., March 17 – The revised list indicated that 36 people perished in the Denver & Rio Grande passenger wreck near Portland, Colo. Seventeen bodies are in the morgue at this place burned beyond recognition. Three names have been added to the list of identified dead. They are Patrick Murphy of Florence, Colo.; Ray Field of Keystone, Wyo., and Mrs. Webb of Keystone, Wyo. Murphy saved several of his fellow passengers and lost his life while engaged in this work. Mrs. William Burnside, daughter and grandchildren from Kansas were erroneously included in the list of the dead.

Eagle County Blade – March 22, 1906 – Local Paragraphs – J. W. Newell, manager of the Iron Mask mine, and J. S. Reef, of Pierce & Reef, the large cattlemen, both well known in this county, were in the Denver & Rio Grande wreck at Adobe last Friday morning. Mr. Newell escaped without injury, but Mr. Reef sustained a badly sprained neck, though his hurt is not serious.

Eagle County Blade – March 22, 1906 – Local Paragraphs – Fred Smith, the Water street barber, was in the disastrous wreck at Adobe last Friday morning, being a passenger on train No. 3, which suffered the most. Mr. Smith was a passenger in the coach and says immediately after the collision he kicked out a window and escaped from the car. Even after his safe arrival in Red Cliff that evening Mr. Smith was pretty well excited. He is able to give a graphic description of the wreck and escaped unhurt. Since witnessing the horrible scenes following the collision he declares he will never again ride on a railroad train. It is either stay the remainder of his days in dear, old Red Cliff, or travel on foot when he moves.

Eagle County Blade – March 22, 1906 – With two rival coroners working on the case, the facts concerning the frightful railroad wreck at Adobe, ought to be brought out. One circumstance that appears to reflect upon the sincerity of the public officials as well as upon the officials of the railroad, is the statement that the operator whom everybody believes to have been responsible for the sickening disaster, was not at least put under surveillance, but was allowed, several days after the wreck, to quietly disappear. His evidence is important and there was certainly no very great effort made to have it available when needed.

Aspen Democrat – March 22, 1906 – Denver and Rio Grande – Officials Will Be Censured by Jury – Must Shoulder Responsibility of the Wreck Near Adobe – Canon City, Colo., March 21 – The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad company is to be censured and censured severely by the coroner's jury for the Adobe wreck, if indications today point to aught. It is in the wind that the jury will not rest the blame on the single shoulders of the boy operator, Lively. Some one else higher up will be blamed, although, of course, the jurors feel that they cannot overlook Lively's dereliction of duty in sleeping at his post. A subpoena for William Van Dusen, night operator at Swallows, has been issued that he may be examined when the inquest is resumed next Monday. Sheriff Esser at once proceeded to Pueblo where he located the witness. Van Deusen accepted the service but was plainly surprised that the inquest was not ended. Since the wreck Van Deusen is said to have been drinking heavily, which, it is declared, kept him from his post of duty on the night of the wreck. He has been released by the railroad, it is reported. It is thought he is now willing to give full information as to the operating methods of the railroad company.

Aspen Democrat – March 22, 1906 – Total Death List Now Numbers Seventy-Two – Denver, March 21 – The Denver & Rio Grande officials say that no more than twenty-four persons perished in the wreck last Friday, but forty-eight passengers still remain unaccounted for. If these passengers were killed, this will bring the total death list to seventy-two.

Aspen Democrat – March 23, 1906 – Boy Operator At His Home – Frank Lively Will Return to Testify – Anxious to Tell What He Knows of Adobe Wreck – Denver, March 22 – Frank Lively, the Swallows operator, whose unfortunate nap was the cause of a headend collision at Adobe last Friday, is at his home in Munfordville, Ky., ready to return to Colorado and tell all he knows. In substance, this is what a dispatch from Louisville, Ky., told this morning. Operator Lively reached his home in Munfordville last night. He was met at the train by many of his old-time friends who sympathized with him and congratulated him for the manly stand taken for shouldering the entire responsibility of the wreck. "I, running away?" he said in response to a query. Then he added a moment later: "Such a report is nonsense. I have simply come to take a rest. When they want me in Colorado they can notify me and I will return. I have nothing to conceal and will tell all I know regarding the wreck." Operator Lively declared there was nothing to say. "I have practically told all," is the way he put it. "I worked overtime, asked for relief plainly several times and finally fell asleep and let No. 3 get past me."

Yuma Pioneer – March 23, 1906 – Fearful Wreck and Loss of Life in D. &. R. G. Railroad Collision – Pueblo, Colo. – The Adobe wreck will rank as one of the great railroad disasters in the history of railroading. In other wrecks the loss of life has been greater, but none was productive of scenes more horrible. The collision happened at Adobe, four miles east of Florence, at 2:30 o'clock Friday morning. A blinding blizzard was raging and the thermometer was 2 degrees below zero. Rio Grande passenger train No. 3 from Denver collided with No. 16 from Salt Lake. Operator J. S. Lively at Swallows is said to have slept and failed to deliver orders. The accident happened on the same curve where about a year ago seventeen persons were killed. Two great mogul locomotives were hauling No. 3, the westbound train, and they bore down on the engine pulling No. 16, around the outer edge of a sharp curve encircling the high bluff at the point of the wreck, on a down grade at the rate of forty-five miles an hour. Going thirty miles an hour was No. 16. Shut off from each other's view until almost together, there was no chance for brakes. The engineers who lost their lives hardly knew what happened. The great engines came together in the light of their headlights with tremendous force. The leading engine of No. 3's double header was jammed and crushed between the mogul behind it and the one pulling No. 16 like an empty tomato can. The sheathing of one set of boiler tubes covered that of another great energy generator. Cars piled up in high masses of steel beams and woodwork and caved in and down on their slumbering occupants. The scene that followed, as described by the few survivors who have been able to talk coherently, can only be left to the imagination of people fortunate enough not to have been present. No man can say to-day, to-morrow or next week how many travelers met their doom in that irresistible grind of wood and steel. Sixteen charred, mangled and utterly unrecognizable bodies lie in the morgue at Pueblo, six more have been identified, and more than a score were doubtless burned to ashes. Conservative estimates on the total loss of life place the number of dead at thirty-five. Rio Grande officials at Pueblo insist that the exact number of persons on the two trains cannot be ascertained; that it is impossible. The Republican of Sunday morning says: Operator L. S. Lively has been suspended from further duty and Operator Wm. VanDeusen will be relieved, it is stated, as soon as a suitable man can be sent to Swallows to take his place. As far as the train dispatcher's office in Pueblo know, say the men in charge, VanDusen was working his own shift at the Swallows station all the time and the first information received by the office was when the wreck occurred. It is understood that Van Deusen had made arrangements to lay off and had come into the city to spend the night. It is not known definitely whether he did this or not. The opinion of the railway men as expressed is that Lively was directly responsible and that Van Deusen to some extent indirectly for the catastrophe. Walter Murphy, the Florence oil driller who was supposed to have perished in the car while rescuing passengers from the flames, has turned up safe and sound, with but a few scratches. It appears that he rescued a number of persons and then went with the injured people to Portland station, where he assisted in caring for them, before he took the time to return to his home. A heartrending story of mother love and self-sacrifice is told by Conductor Kroeger, who had charge of the Pullmans on the westbound train. "I saw one mother," he said, "with a little babe in her arms. She knew that it was almost an impossibility to be saved herself, but her only thought was of her child. One hand was pinioned by the debris, but her head and the other arm were free. She was trying to keep her head from the flames and with her free hand was holding the infant as high in the air as she could. Just as we were about to reach her she gave a gasp and fell back into the flames with the babe." There is only one change in the death list as made up yesterday. The name of Patrick Murphy is stricken out and that of Thomas Brennan substituted. The list follows: William Hollis, engineer, Pueblo; Walter Cosslett, engineer, Pueblo; H. D. Suddeth, fireman, Pueblo; Ed. E. Baird, deputy sheriff, Denver; Archibald Whitney, convict, Denver; E. M. McParland, messenger, Denver; A. N. Bairtlo, Salida; Miss Grace Bairtlo, Salida; Taylor Hewitt, Lebo, Kansas; Mrs. Lillian Hewitt, Lebo, Kansas; Mrs. Winona Hewitt, Lebo, Kansas; Pearl Hewitt, fifteen years old, Lebo, Kansas; Mrs. Katherine Hewitt and boy baby, Lebo, Kansas; Ed. Cowley, Emporia, Kansas; Mrs. Grace Cowley and baby, Emporia, Kansas; Fred Jones, Lebo, Kansas; Fred Limecooley, Denver; Mrs. Belle Webb, Keystone, Wyoming; Ray Field, aged ten, Keystone, Wyoming; Thomas Brennan, Leadville. In a fated car, bound for the coast, was a family party consisting of eleven persons. Of that party but two have survived the awful crash and the holocaust which followed. In one awful moment the family of Taylor Hewitt of Lebo, Kansas, was all wiped out of existence. The party, when it left Lebo, was composed of Taylor Hewitt, the father; Pearl Hewitt, fifteen years old; Mrs. Lillian Hewitt, wife of the elder Hewitt; W. L. Hewitt and his wife, Winona; E. A. Hewitt and his wife, Catherine, and his baby, Claudius, four months old; Ed. Cowley, a son-in-law, and his wife, and Fred Jones. Of this number but W. L. Hewitt and his brother E. A. Hewitt survive. It is but little that either of the survivors of the ill-fated family can tell of the awful disaster. Mr. Hewitt found his brother, who was wandering about in a dazed condition. How the second Mr. Hewitt escaped from the wreck is not known, he not being able to tell how he happened to be on the outside of the car. In the first coach of train No. 3, in which the greatest havoc was wrought, were a large number of foreigners, Italians, Slavs and Huns, bound for the Pacific coast. The "homeseekers" rate of $25 to Pacific coast points had tempted these to make the journey. There is almost an absolute certainty that the exact number of these will never be known and that their identity will never be established. No one knew whom these people were or where they were going. To the trainmen there were so many Italians or so many Slavs, represented in the majority of instances by block tickets. Their few scattered bones will fill the graves of the unknown, while in the old home far across the seas there will be eyes dimmed by long watching for the wanderers doomed never to return. Possibly it will never be known exactly how many perished in the wreck at Adobe. At headquarters in this city it is still maintained the exact number of killed was twenty-four, of whom eighteen were passengers and four train employes. According to the reports of the two conductors the count shows that there were 159 passengers on No. 3 and forty-eight on No. 16, or 207 on the two. The injured passengers and those who escaped unharmed added to the number of bodies taken out tallies with the train count. All of the killed, excepting the four trainmen, were in the one car. Train No. 3 had made no stop after leaving Pueblo. At that place nine persons got off and thirty got on. Deputy Sheriff E. E. Baird of Denver, one of those killed in the wreck, was taking Archibald Whitney to Canon City to serve a long sentence in the State Penitentiary. It was at first reported that after Mr. Baird's death, which seems to have been instantaneous at the time of the collision, Whitney was burned to death while chained to the seat and unable to break loose. But Undersheriff Thomas Baird, brother of the officer who was killed, when talked with at Denver, said that he had talked to the coroner who found a pair of handcuffs in the wreck across a charred body. No iron was fastened to the handcuffs as would have been the case had he been chained to the seat. "None of the officers," said Sheriff Nisbet, "chain the prisoners to the seat. I have talked with Baird many times about this very thing and he was always opposed to the practice. Baird always claimed that the proper way to conduct a prisoner was to handcuff the right arm of the prisoner to the left arm of the officer. Baird left Denver with the prisoner, White (Whitney), in this way and they were seen in the train handcuffed together. Baird would be the last man to handcuff a prisoner to a seat. I am confident that he did not do this, as I have stated he was very much opposed to doing so. In conferences with the other deputies held several times Baird always said that he would not handcuff a prisoner to a seat, and I am sure that he did not do it in this instance."

Routt County Sentinel – March 23, 1906 – Frightful Scenes at Adobe Wreck – The exact number of lives lost in the Adobe wreck near Pueblo last Friday morning will probably never be known. Conservative estimates place the number of dead at 36. The following is a list of the victims of the wreck who have been positively identified: William Hollis, engineer, Pueblo; Walter Cosslett, engineer, Pueblo; H. D. Suddeth, fireman, Pueblo; Ed E. Baird, deputy sheriff, Denver; R. G. Whitney, convict, Denver; E. M. McParland, messenger, Denver; A. N. Barklo, Salida; Miss Grace Barklo, Salida; Taylor Hewitt, Lebo, Kan.; Mrs. Winona Hewitt, Kan.; Pearl Hewitt, 15 years old, Lebo, Kan.; Mrs. Katherine Hewitt and boy baby, Lebo, Kan.; Ed Cowley, Emporia, Kan.; Mrs. Grace Cowley and baby, Emporia, Kan.; Fred Jones, Lebo, Kan.; Fred Limecooley, Denver; Mrs. Belle Webb, Yampa; Ray Field, aged 10, Yampa; Thomas Brennan, Leadville. The railroad company has ordered an investigation into the cause of the wreck, who is responsible and the nature of the culpability. Everyone connected with the running of the ill fated trains will be questioned. This investigation will be conducted by officials and will be thorough requiring several days' time perhaps to conclude it. It has transpired that there were two regular operators at Swallows station, at the point where No. 3, the westbound train, should have received running orders. S. F. Lively was the day man and William Van Deusen was employed at night. Both men were experienced in their line of work and had done railroad work for some time. Without getting the approval of their superiors, in fact without notifying them at all, Van Deusen, according to semi-official information, made an arrangement with Lively to work for him on Thursday night and did not himself show up for duty. Lively resumed the duties of Van Deusen and was at the station at Swallows and received the order concerning the west bound train. He had been asleep, it is reliably reported, and the ticking of the telegraph instrument awoke him. The order was transmitted and Lively checked it back. He did not know that No. 3 had already passed Swallows and received the order entirely unconscious that the train was already rushing toward the station beyond. In a few moments a headlight of a train coming from Pueblo was seen approaching Swallows. Lively stepped out to deliver the order controlling No. 3, when to his horror he discovered that the oncoming train was No. 16, running behind No. 3. The full realization of his negligence then burst upon him and he ran frantically into the station, grasped the key and called Florence. Too late, however, for No. 16 had pulled out of Florence, eastbound, and there remained no recourse that could be resorted to that would stop the trains speeding on to destruction. Both Lively and Van Deusen have been ordered discharged. Railroad men say that this result would have followed the knowledge of their laxity reaching the head officials, whether a wreck had resulted or not. Edwin Lloyd McCullough, staff correspondent of the Denver News, gives the following account of the horrible catastrophe that befell Mrs. Webb of Yampa and the awful experience of her son in witnessing his mother's death: Thomas H. Webb, who lost his mother and little brother-in-law, Ray Field, in the wreck, had the terrible experience of knowing that his mother was literally burning to death. He was within hearing of her agonized screams for help without being able to turn a hand over for her. “When the final crash came,” said Mr. Webb, “I knew at once what was the matter. I knew that a wreck had occurred; my thoughts instantly turned to my loved ones. I broke loose from some thing that held me and made my way to mother. My sister in law, Mabel Field, was in the same seat with mother and I helped Mabel out through a window and saw that some people looked after her. I turned my attention to mother then and attempted to extricate her, but she was pinioned in between some seats and I soon saw that it was useless to work longer; that nothing short of a miracle could release her. She was fastened from the knees down. The fire started at the forward end of the car and soon grew into a big blaze. It kept getting closer and my mother begged me to get her out before the fire reached her. Surely man never worked but (?) worked. I pulled with all my might and main. I secured an iron piece from a car seat and tried to pry mother loose, but it was no use. I stayed at her side trying to release her until the heat drove me out of the car. I could not bear to see her suffer, and when she cried for me to save her, even after I had escaped from the car, I simply went crazy. I don't know what I did. I suppose I acted like a madman, just as many others there. I attempted to get back into the car, but a dozen hands held me back. I screamed that my mother was burning up and men told me that I would simply burn, too, or something else; I don't know what. Oh, I never want to see such a sight again. I never want to see a railroad train again. I feel that I am losing my mind; that I am going mad. I cannot get the sight of my poor mother burning up there before my eyes and I unable to help her – I say I cannot get that terrible sight from my brain. It is burning it self deeper into my brain and I feel that I am burning up. Oh! What shall I do? What shall I do?” Mr. Webb's condition is considered dangerous, because of the shock. His injuries are but slight – a sprained ankle and a slightly mashed foot, but doubt is expressed by attending physicians as to his recovery. He keeps raving that he must rush to the rescue of his mother, or that she is burning and that he is the only one who can save her. “Oh, let me go! Please let me go!” he will plead, in loud but plaintiff tones that penetrate the halls and corridors of St. Mary's hospital until they reach the ears of those on the first floor. “Why don't you let me go to save my mother? She is burning, burning, I tell you. Her hair is all gone now – don't you see? Why do you hinder me? Oh, please, please, please let me go! Oh, I will be ever so good to you, kind people, if you will only let me save my mother!” Attendants at the hospital cannot make him understand that the fitful dreams he now sees are but visions of the horrors through which he has already gone. His delirium is pitiable in the extreme, and even those inured to the hospital tragedies are moved by the sight of the strong man broken down by grief. The surgeons say there is danger that he will die, and even greater danger that his reason will be dethroned.

Durango Democrat – March 28, 1906 – Three More Known Victims of Wreck – Quincy, Ill., March 27 – It is positively known that Leonard Keck, Frederick Nickoly and Wilfrid Dickhut, three young men who left here for McCloud, Calif., were killed in the recent wreck at Adobe, Colo. One of the survivors of the party has written that he left them in the smoking car less than ten minutes before the accident, and that the bodies must have been completely incinerated.

Eagle County Blade – March 29, 1906 – More Wreck Fatalities – Prominent Mining Man of This County and Relatives Lost – It has just been positively learned that the terrible railroad wreck at Adobe on March 16th numbered three more fatalities not heretofore reported. The lost are W. H. Miller, of Edwards, this county, and his nephew and his nephew's wife of Hillsboro, Indiana. The young man was a son of Robert J. Miller, a prominent man of Indiana and formerly sheriff of his home county. This party of three was undoubtedly aboard train No. 3 and all were killed and their bodies incinerated. Robert J. Miller has traced part of his missing relatives' baggage to Glenwood Springs, where it was recovered. In addition, his brother and son, before starting west, each purchased a new watch. The numbers of these watches were secured and the watches have been recovered from the debris of the wreck, being identified by the numbers which were not effaced. W. H. Miller was an old resident of this county and had spent many years prospecting in the Lake Creek country. Just recently, through his brother, capital has been interested, and just as he was about to see the labor of years rewarded, his life, and that of his relatives, who were newly married, is snuffed out in a most shocking manner. Mr. Nels Nelson, of Edwards, writes The Blade the following connection with the tragedy: “W. H. Miller, of the Miller Mining and Milling company, on East Lake creek, was killed and burned in the D. & R. G. wreck at Adobe on the 16th inst. Mr. Miller went back to his old home in Indiana last fall. He and his nephew and wife left on the 14th for Edwards, Colorado. Not reaching his destination as was expected, a telegram was sent to his brother, R. J. Miller, notifying him that his brother W. H. Miller, and party had not yet arrived. Upon receiving the telegram, Mr. Miller at once went to the scene of the disaster, and to Pueblo, and all that could be found of the Millers was a small portion of their baggage. The many friends of Mr. Miller will regret hearing of this terrible accident, and extend heartfelt sympathy to the survivors of the Miller family.”

Yuma Pioneer – March 30, 1906 – Superintendent Frank Putney of the railway mail service at Denver is being overflooded with inquiries in regard to the mail carried on the trains wrecked near Adobe March 16th. All the mail on train No. 16 was destroyed. As most of it included business letters, many containing drafts and checks from Leadville, Salida, Gunnison and other surrounding towns, much trouble will likely result from the loss.

Aspen Democrat – March 30, 1906 – Will They Send For Him? – Canon City, March 29 – Sheriff Joseph Esser has received a letter from F. F. Lively, at his home in Munfordville, Ky., in which he states that owing to the bad financial condition of himself and family he is not able to return to Colorado to testify regarding the wreck at Adobe, unless furnished transportation and expenses. He says he has always made a full statement of all he knows about the awful disaster to Superintendent Rockwell of the Denver & Rio Grande, which will be brought out in the investigation conducted by the company.

Fairplay Flume – March 30, 1906 – Blames the Dispatcher – Story Told by Telegraph Operator Lively – Louisville, Ky. – Eugene Lively, auditor in the local freight office of the Louisville & Nashville railroad, and a brother of Frank S. Lively, whose nap at the telegraph key caused the recent wreck on the Denver & Rio Grande near Adobe, Colorado, which cost many lives, Thursday afternoon gave out a statement tending to exonerate his brother from all blame and to throw some light on the system of operating the road. Frank Lively is at his home in Munfordsville, this state, and while refusing to be interviewed himself, authorized his brother to make the following statement: “My brother,” said Eugene Lively, “went on duty at 7 a.m. and worked all day. The night operator was in Pueblo. At 6 o'clock Frank asked for relief, but was refused, the train dispatcher not allowing him to go to supper. Three times that night he asked to be relieved, saying he was sleepy. Each time he was refused relief. “Shortly after midnight he fell asleep, but was awakened by passing trains. The dispatcher asked him if No. 3 had passed, and he told him it had not, as up to that time he had heard every train that did pass. After this he went to sleep in earnest and then the dispatcher asked him to copy orders for No. 3. Frank did not know if No. 3 had passed and so told the dispatcher, adding that he did not want to take the orders for a train he was not certain about. He protested vigorously, but the dispatcher overruled his objections and directed him to take the order. A few minutes later, the train came by and he handed the order to the engineer and conductor and was informed that No. 3 was twenty minutes ahead of that train. My brother then informed the dispatcher that No. 3 had passed before he had received the order. Frank Lively has no intention of going back to Colorado unless his information is desired. He blames in a large measure the system of the road for the disaster, which allows trains to pass unless stopped by certain lights. We hold that the train dispatcher is more to blame than Frank.” The Lively boys are the nephews of Tom Dawson, private secretary to Senator Teller of Colorado, and sons of H. P. Lively, state senator from Hart county during the long session of the Legislature following the adoption of the present constitution in 1892.

Yuma Pioneer – March 30, 1906 – Coroner's Jury – Finds Negligence But No Criminality – Case of D. & R. G. Accident – Operator Lively Was Asleep When Train Passed – Night Operator Van Duesen Censured for Absence from Duty – Denver – A Canon City dispatch says: The coroner's jury which investigated the Denver & Rio Grande wreck at Adobe last Friday a week ago, which resulted in a loss of about forty lives, Monday evening returned the following verdict: “An inquisition holden at Canon City in Fremont county, state of Colorado, on the 16th, 19th, 20th and the 26th of March, 1906, before W. C. Stephenson, coroner of said county, upon the body of Enod McParland and W. Cosslett and others meeting death in the Adobe collision, there lying dead, by the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed. Said jurors, on their oath, do find the deceased came to their deaths as the result of a collision between Denver & Rio Grande trains Nos. 3 and 16 near the station of Adobe, in the county of Fremont and state of Colorado, the 16th day of March, 1906, and that said collision was the result of negligence on the part of one S. F. Lively, an agent of the company, who was stationed at Swallows, but that said negligence was not willful, malicious or felonious, and is not of such a nature as to render the said Lively or the said railroad company liable to criminal prosecution under any statute in the state. That the train dispatcher in Pueblo gave orders that the aforesaid train pass Adobe, which orders were delivered to No. 16 at Canon City and to No. 3 at Pueblo; that after giving said orders the dispatcher inquired of said Lively whether or not No. 3 had passed; that said Lively replied in the negative, and the dispatcher immediately gave the order that said trains pass at Beaver, a station between Swallows and Adobe, instead of Adobe. That said order for passing at Beaver instead of at Adobe was delivered to No. 16 at Florence, and was received by said Lively for No. 3 at Swallows. That the fact was that No. 3, before the receipt of said order, and before the making of the aforesaid answer to the train dispatcher, passed Swallows, whose passing had not been observed by Lively, because he had been asleep at the time of its passing; but the jury believes that the said Lively believed said train had not passed. We condemn the action of the night operator W. Van Deusen, in deserting his post of duty. The jury further finds that one of the rules of the Denver & Rio Grande relating to signals given in the operations of its trains is number 524, and reads as follows: 'A fixed signal must be used at each train order office, which shall display red when trains are to be stopped for orders; when there are no orders the signal must display white.' This jury condemns said rule as unsafe in the operations of trains on such a system as the Rio Grande, and says that in the judgment of this jury said rule is responsible in a measure for the aforesaid collision. This jury believes that said rule should be at once revoked and a rule be adopted in its stead requiring all stations to display danger signals and no train be permitted to pass until the operator in charge of a station, after call from the approaching train, changes in view of the engineer the danger or stop signal to a clearance or proceed signal, thus giving to the trainmen a guarantee that the agent is both alive and awake and discharging his duties, as a positive guarantee that he knows the train is passing and positively has no orders for them. We commend this change in signals at this time as inexpensive and of such a nature that it may be immediately promulgated. We commend the ultimate adoption by this great railroad system, for which we entertain great respect, because it is a great system as doing much for the commercial development of our country, of either double tracking its line or adopting some approved automatic lock signal system.”

Ouray Plaindealer – April 6, 1906 – A. L. Knous returned Monday evening from a few weeks visit in Denver with his family. Mr. Knous was one of the fortunate ones who escaped with but slight damage in the recent D. & R. G. wreck near Adobe. His many friends are glad to welcome his safe arrival home.

Aspen Democrat – April 6, 1906 – The Hewitt Boys Get Eighteen Thousand – Denver, April 5 – Roy Hewitt and Arthur Hewitt, sole survivors of the Hewitt family, members of whom were killed in the Adobe wreck on the Denver & Rio Grande, have affected settlement with the company for $18,000, according to James Morrison, attorney for the boys. They brought suit for $88,000. The Hewitt family was on its way to Oregon where they were to operate a sawmill and all the family, whose home was in Lebo, Kas., were killed, with the exception of Roy and Arthur. Roy was quite severely injured, but is now out of the hospital. Arthur, whose leg was broken, is recovering rapidly. Both are still in Pueblo.

Yampa Leader – April 7, 1906 – In Memoriam – Memorial services will be held Sunday evening at 7:45 o'clock in honor of those of our community who died recently under circumstances that made funeral services impossible. They are Mrs. Isabelle Atkins Webb, Mildred Smith and Violet Gertrude Boore.

Telluride Daily Journal – April 18, 1906 – A gentleman who was in the smoking car, where most of the fatalities occurred in the recent Adobe wreck, in the course of a personal letter to the Journal, says that every seat in the car was taken, many standing in the aisles, and expresses the opinion that were the truth known more than sixty lives were lost in the wreck.

Yuma Pioneer – April 20, 1906 – The bodies of eight unidentified victims of the Adobe railroad wreck were buried at Pueblo on the 7th inst.

Ouray Plaindealer – April 27, 1906 – Phil Peters Jr., of Montrose who was shaken up some in the recent wreck at Adobe, visited Ouray last Sunday.

Telluride Journal – May 17, 1906 – L. Reese, of Denver, representing the Studebaker Wagon company, spent last night in Telluride, going to Ouray this morning. Mr. Reese is a brother of “Nigger” Reese, the expressman who ran into Telluride on the Southern a few years ago, who was killed in the wreck on the D. & R. G. a couple of months ago.

Durango Democrat – December 25, 1907 – Judgment for Death in the Adobe Wreck – Denver, Dec. 24 – James Brennan secured a verdict against the Denver & Rio Grande railway for $3,500 this morning in the district court before Judge Shattuck. Brennan had sued the company for $5,000 for the death of his son, Thomas Brennan, who was burned to death in a car in the awful wreck at Adobe. Attorney E. F. Richardson appeared for the plaintiff.

Steamboat Pilot – February 8, 1908 – J. L. Norvell returned home last Friday from a visit in different portions of the state. He was on the wrecked coach between Yarmony and McCoy, but is used to such little things, having been in the Adobe and other wrecks and escaped unharmed. Jim is kept for better things.

Record Journal of Douglas County – February 28, 1908 – An echo of the Adobe wreck on the Rio Grande railroad, March 16, 1906, was heard at Denver a few days ago when Eliza Blatz and her daughter filed two suits, asking $10,000 damages from the road. One suit is brought in the name of Mrs. Blatz and Theresa Blatz and asks $5,000. The other by Mrs. Blatz alone. Charles B. Blatz, the husband and father, was killed in the wreck.


Baird, Edward E. – Denver; Deputy Sherriff

Bartlo, A. N. – Salida, Note: A. N. Bartlo was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado. Cemetery records state that he was born in December (1859?) 1861 and died on March 16, 1906.

Bartlo, Grace – Salida, Note: Grace Bartlo is listed on a marker in Fairview Cemetery in Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado. Her body was never recovered. Cemetery records state that she was born on January 1, 1890 and died on March 16, 1906.

Blatz, Charles B. - Denver .

Brennan, Thomas – Leadville, brother of John Brannen

Cosslett, Walter C. – engineer first engine No. 3, Note: Walter Cosslett was buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo, Colorado.

Cowley, Edward (child of) – Emporia, Kansas, son of Edward Crowley and Grace Hewitt Crowley

Crowley, Edward – Emporia, Kansas, son-in-law of Taylor Hewitt, husband of Grace Hewitt

Crowley, Grace Hewitt – Emporia, Kansas daughter of Taylor Hewitt, wife of Edward Cowley

Dickhut, Wilfrid – Quincy, Ill.,

Field, Ray – Keystone, Wyoming, aged 10, brother-in-law of Tom Webb.

Hewitt, Catherine, Lebo, Kansas wife of E.A. Hewitt

Hewitt, Claudius – Lebo, Kansas, 4 months old, son of E.A. Hewitt

Hewitt, Lillian Mrs.– Lebo, Kansas, wife of Taylor Hewitt

Hewitt, Pearl – Lebo, Kansas, fifteen years old, daughter of Taylor Hewitt

Hewitt, Taylor Mr. – Lebo, Kansas

Hewitt, Winona Mrs. – Lebo, Kansas, wife of W.L. Hewitt

Hollis, William H. – engineer No. 16 Pueblo, Note: William H. Hollis was buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo, Colorado.

Jones, Fred – Lebo, Kansas

Keck, Leonard – Quincy, Ill.

Land, W. - Lebo, Kansas

Limecooley, Fred – Denver

McParland, Enod M. – Denver, express messenger No. 16,

Miller, unknown Mr., Hillsboro, Indiana, son of Robert J. Miller

Miller, unknown Mrs., Hillsboro, Indiana, wife of son of Robert J. Miller

Miller, W. H. – Edwards, Colorado

Nickoly, Frederick – Quincy, Ill.

Reese, Mr. – Denver, Colorado

Sudluth, Hugh – Pueblo, fireman No. 16

Webb, Belle (Isabelle Atkins Webb) - Yampa, – Yampa Leader – April 7, 1906 – In Memoriam – Memorial services will be held Sunday evening at 7:45 o'clock in honor of those of our community who died recently under circumstances that made funeral services impossible. They are Mrs. Isabelle Atkins Webb, Mildred Smith and Violet Gertrude Boore.

Whitney, Archibald – Denver, prisoner

Unidentified, 8, buried at Roselawn Cemetery, Pueblo.


Bradshaw, George – Chicago,

Boniton, Ralph, Brighton

Brannet, Ed. – Leadville,

Britton, Ralph – Brighton, Iowa

Calligan, Sarah – Cleveland, Ohio

Clark, G. O. – Portland, Colo.

Elrood, Ira – Gypsum, Colo.

Fields, Mabel – Wolcott, Colorado

Fields, S. W. – Laramie,

Garber, A. – New York,

Goldbery, E. – Denver, Co.

Gooch, Mary – Oakland, Calif.

Hewitt, Arthur E. – Lebo, Kansas

Hewitt, W.L. "Roy" – Lebo, Kansas

House, C. C. – Chama, New Mexico

Jones, R. I. – Denver, mail weigher

Kissel, I. – New York

Knous, A. L. – Ouray, Colo

Lawton, J. L. – Bellflower, Missouri

McCullam, Dave – Chicago, porter

Meyers, Bert – Pottsville, Missouri

Page, James – Whitewater, Colo.

Page, William Robert - Yampa – Yampa Leader – November 3, 1906 – William Robert Page – William R. Page, one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Yampa, passed away at the Yampa hospital Thursday morning, death resulting from a complication of diseases. Mr. Page was a passenger on the ill fated Rio Grande train which was wrecked at Adobe in March, and while not seriously injured himself, his nervous system sustained a frightful shock by reason of the terrible scenes which he witnessed, more than a score of people being burned to death before his eyes. As a result he suffered agonies from neuralgia, which so undermined his health that when he was attacked by typhoid fever two weeks ago his system was unable to withstand the attack. The neuralgia had settled in his teeth, which ulcerated, and the poison reached the brain, being the direct cause of death. William Robert Page was born in Springfield, Illinois, in November, 1850. He was married to Miss Florence Heiner early in life and had four children, all boys, out of this union. After the first wife's death he was again married, to Miss Ada Heiner, and six children, all girls, were the fruit of this marriage. Mr. Page was a man who commanded the respect of all who knew him by the sterling uprightness of his character and genial disposition. His death is mourned by three sons, one of whom lives in Iowa, another in Yampa, and the third in the San Luis valley, Colorado, where also his surviving wife and six daughters are making their home. Only the two sons who are living in Colorado were able to attend the funeral, which was conducted from the Congregational church yesterday under the auspices of the local camp of Woodmen of the World, of which the deceased was a member, as well as the Masonic fraternity.

Paul, W. F. – Portland, Ore.

Peale, J. C. – Denver

Percano, James – Florence

Peters, Phillip Jr. – Montrose, baggageman, Ouray Plaindealer – April 27, 1906 – Phil Peters Jr., of Montrose who was shaken up some in the recent wreck at Adobe, visited Ouray last Sunday.

Phillips, Myron – Salt Lake

Phillips, N. W. – Coffeyville, Illinois

Ranscottom, L. C. – San Francisco

Reef, J. S. – Leadville, Colo.

Robinson, Claude – Denver,

Rociene, Charles T. – Florence,

Rose, L. F. – Mail clerk

Scott, Jack – Montrose,

Scott, John – Denver

Smith, A. H. – fireman No. 3

Sweeny, S. H. – Trenton, Missouri

Watkins, W. A. – Denver

Webb, Thomas H. – Yampa, Colorado

Wood, Edward F. – Mail clerk

Wright, C. M. – New York

Passengers on the Trains, Uninjured, but mentioned:

Cochams, F. N., Dr. – Salida,

Garrett, M. – Pueblo, conductor No. 16

Gillette, C. P. – Fort Collins - Professor of the Agricultural College, Fort Collins.

Hartman, Harry – fireman of second engine No. 3

Headden, W. P. – Fort Collins - Dr. of the Agricultural College, Fort Collins.

Kelker, Grant – engineer of second engine No. 3

Kroeger, Mr. –

Murphy, Walter – Florence, Co.

Murphy, Patrick - Florence

Newell, J. W. – Eagle County, Co.

Norvell, James L. – Steamboat Springs, Co.

Smith, Frederick – Red Cliff, Co.

Swith, Frank – Pueblo, CO., conductor No. 3

Whipple, O. B. - Fort Collins, CO. - Professor of the Agricultural College, Fort Collins.

to the Pueblo County Index Page.

Please e-mail comments and suggestions to Karen Mitchell kmitchweb@gmail.com
© Karen Mitchell