The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic, Oct. 11, 1923
HIT BY A TRAIN: The list of tragedies which have occurred at Stronghurst’s railway grade crossings was extended last Saturday morning when Herbert A. Shallenberger met almost instant death and his 14 year old son Alfred sustained frightful injuries when the truck in which they were riding was struck by the east bound local morning passenger train at the Broadway Santa Fe crossing.
Mr. Shallenberger, who lately entered the employ of the W. H. Cross Produce Co., had with his son and made an early morning trip for a load of coal from a car standing on the side track near the station. Having loaded their truck, they started for home and drove on the main tracks of the railroad directly in front of train No. 24 which was coming from the west and preparing to make the regular stop at the station just a block east of the crossing. The engine pilot struck the truck almost in the center and carried it a distance of two or three rods where it came in contact with the water service stand pipe standing between the tracks. This heavy iron structure was broken squarely off by the impact and the truck completely demolished, the parts being scattered along the track. The engineer of the train applied the emergency brakes when the first crash came and stopped the train a short distance west of the station. When the few people who were in the vicinity and had witnessed the accident rushed to the spot, they found Mr. Shallenberger lying between the rails beneath the first coach of the train and his son lying just outside the rails on the south side of the tracks. The man was lifted from beneath the coach and carried to the side of the track where he expired within a few minutes. While the body was not mutilated to a great extent, there was a fracture of the skull sufficient to have caused death and a number of fractures of bones in other parts of the body.
The son had in the meantime succeeded in crawling away from the rails and when aid arrived was found sitting on the iron switch rods on the south side of the tracks. He was picked up and carried to the station where it was found that the flesh had been stripped from the side of one leg from the knee down and was hanging in shreds from above the boy’s shoe top. He was also suffering from other external wounds and internal injuries. First aid relief was administered and the injured lad was then rushed to the Santa Fe Hospital at Fort Madison in charge of Dr. Harter on the fast mail train from Chicago, which was stopped to take them aboard. At the hospital it was quickly decided that the only hope of saving the boy’s life lay in an operation and the injured limb was accordingly amputated a few inches above the knee. Unless unforeseen complications occur, the lad’s injuries are not expected to prove fatal.
The remains of Mr. Shallenberger were removed to the Regan undertaking rooms where they were viewed by the coroner’s jury empanelled by Dr. Emerson of Lomax who had been summoned. The inquest was held at about five o’clock after the arrival of train No. 23 from the east, this train being in charge of the same crew which was with the train which caused the accident. Train No. 23 being held here while the inquest was in progress. Engineer Tincher testified that he did not see the truck drive on the crossing and that he stopped his train within two car lengths after he heard the first crash. The fireman of the train did not testify, but it was brought out in the testimony that he was back on the tender when the accident occurred, preparing to take water for the engine at the pipe a few rods east of the station.
Drayman C. S. Forbes was perhaps the only real eye witness of the accident being close enough to observe the details. (A drayman is a man who hauls freight.) He had driven to the station and was watching the approaching train and also the truck crossing the tracks. His testimony was that the truck was proceeding at a moderate rate of speed and the occupants were apparently oblivious of the fact that a train was approaching. There were two or three freight cars standing on the house track on the west side of the crossing and these cars would naturally obstruct the view toward the west of any one approaching from the north. There is, however, a space of about 60 feet between the house track and the main tracks and that should apparently furnish sufficient space for a car moving at a moderate rate of speed to be brought to a stop.
Probably, the only person who knows whether or not the driver of the truck saw the onrushing train before the crash is the surviving victim who is now lying in the hospital and whose version of the accident has not been obtained as yet. The verdict of the coroner’s jury was “accidental death” with no expression of opinion as to the blame.
COMMUNITY CLUB MOVES LIBRARY: At a meeting of the Community Club, a proposition from the manager of the Co-operative Store to place the club library in the front part of the store was accepted. This location will make the library more accessible to the public, an arrangement which will no doubt be highly appreciated.
***OBITUARY***SHALLENBERGER: Herbert A. Shallenberger was born in Clark County, Mo., on April 24, 1875 and died at Stronghurst, Ill. On Oct.6, 1923, being 48 years, 5 months and 12 days of age. On Feb. 28, 1906 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary C. Nickel. To this union were born six children: Myrtle C., Alfred S., Helen I., Herbert, Jr., Lena May and Wesley North, the last of who passed away Sept. 6, 1917. Herbert professed conversion in early manhood and united with the Baptist Church at Ft. Collins, Colo. After moving to Illinois he united with the Christian Church at Stronghurst and on Oct. 7 was to have been chosen Sunday school superintendent, but before the time arrived, the Lord called him higher.
He leaves to mourn his untimely death, his wife, his five children, his mother, three brothers-Frank of Kahoka, Wm. of Terre Haute, Ill., and John of Revere; also five sisters-Mrs. Lucy Rayburn and Miss Edna of Kahoka, Mrs. Martha Wickham of Valparaiso, Ind., Mrs. Vera Brown of Sioux Rapids, Iowa, and Miss Ethel of Baden Station, St.Louis.
He was a kind husband, a loving father, a generous neighbor and will be mourned by all who knew him. Funeral services were held at the Stronghurst Christian Church on Oct. 7th and the remains were shipped that evening to the former home of the deceased in Clark County, Mo., where further funeral services were held at the Cedar Grove Church on Oct.8th. Afterward the body was laid to rest in the Cedar Grove Cemetery. (He had been hit by a train.)
BIG TIME AT OLD BEDFORD: “Last Sunday was a red letter day at Old Bedford. At 10 o’clock the Sunday School, at 11 the preaching services with a great congregation, at 12 o’clock a basket dinner. It was a great dinner participated in by hundreds.
At 2:30 after the dinner had settled a multitude of preaching services with delegations from Blandinsville, Stronghurst, Raritan, LaHarpe and elsewhere attending. Then in the evening the capacity of the house was tested by another great congregation that enjoyed the third able sermon pronounced that day by the Rev. F. W. Leonard of the Blandinsville Christian Church who led the meeting. The music led by the choir of talented and trained singers and joined in by the large congregation was inspiring and enjoyable. The meetings with an interruption of four days on account of bad weather have been in session for over two weeks and will continue all week being over next Sunday.” –Blandinsville Star Gazette
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: Mrs. Ella Coppage of Emerson, Iowa is visiting relatives. Miss Lota Brown of Colchester died in the Macomb hospital from the effect of burns received while lighting a fire in the kitchen stove at her home on the evening previous. Harold R. Hodges, a well known young business man of Blandinsville and Miss Stella Viola Markee of the same village were united in marriage at the home of the bride’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Henry Markee last Saturday. Miss Evelyn Carothers has returned from Chicago where she went to have cataracts removed from her eyes. The Oak Grove Fruit Farm of W. T. Weir is a mighty busy place these days with something like 20,000 bushels of apples being disposed of, much of the fruit being taken by people who drive long distances in their autos to the orchards. The apples this year are of exceptionally fine quality due to the extreme care which Mr. Weir exercises in the matter of spraying. Mrs. Dr. Henderson who recently went to visit friends in Colorado is reported to be quite ill. Mr. Newt Campbell, an old and respected citizen of Blandinsville who has been in failing health for a long period, passed away at his home last Saturday morning. Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Browning drove over from Burlington last Sunday and spent the day at the W. L. Spiker home. Mrs. Spiker accompanied them back for a visit with her daughter, Mrs. R. B. Chase and family. Frank Crenshaw spent the last half of last week looking after his farming interests in the vicinity of Quincy. W.E.Salter, who spent the summer with friends here, has returned to Chicago to make his home with his daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Chas. E. Painter of Terre Haute Township are the happy parents of a young daughter born Oct. 7th. Reports say that Mrs. Wm. Bricker of Raritan neighborhood is seriously ill with inflammatory rheumatism and that a trained nurse is attending her. Charlie Green of Lansing Mich., a former resident and one time Raritan merchant, is renewing old acquaintances.
NEW GROCERY STORE IN TOWN: The Benner Tea Co. of Burlington, Iowa which operates a chain of grocery stores in Iowa and Illinois under the name of “Benteco Kash Stores,” has rented and fitted up the room in the Chant building one door north of the Grandey dry goods store where they will conduct a grocery on the “cash and carry” plan. Mr. Roland Davidson of Stronghurst has been employed as the local manager and Friday of this week has been set for the opening day.
***OBITUARY***SMITH: Mr. Preston Smith, a well known and highly respected farmer living east of town, passed away at Monmouth hospital early Thursday morning following an operation for appendicitis. Although his condition was very grave from the start, he rallied from the operation and his death came as a great shock to his family and many friends. The funeral services were held at Smithshire with burial at Kirkwood. Mr. Smith is survived by his wife and five children and also a number of relatives in Virginia. His mother came from Virginia to attend and will remain for a visit with the family. Miss Eloise, Maynard and Goldie were member of the Media High School last year and their teachers and schoolmates sent a large spray of red and white carnations to express their sympathy.