N&W in 1904 -- Fatal Injury

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Dec 1 21:18:57 EST 2007

Fireman on World's Fair Special Fatally Injured by Rock Thrown by Miscreant
As the World's Fair special was nearing Dunlow Saturday evening, the passengers were startled by the announcement that Fireman Walter Baisden was dead in the cab, and in a few minutes it became circulated throughout the crowded train that he had succumbed to heart failure. Later signs of life were discovered and upon investigation it was found that the prostrate man had been struck on the head with a stone and the skull above the left temple fractured. This occurred a short distance above Radnor and from that point to Wayne the engineer had to stop his train at every flag station and do his own firing. At Wayne, Andrew Daniels, who looks after the pumping stations along the line, was taken on board and fired the engine into Kenova. There was much indignation manifested among the passengers when the cause of Baisden's injury became known. It is believed that the deed was committed by some drunken miscreant and not by any one having designs upon the life of Baisden.
The stricken fireman was taken to his home at Kenova.
His condition is extremely critical and the chances are decidedly against his recovery.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 8, 1904

[Ads in the BDT indicate that the N&W may have run as many as three trains a week to the St. Louis World's Fair, over another road beyond Cincinnati, of course. Dunlow,WV was on the old Twelve Pole line about half way between Naugatuck and Kenova. It is also interesting to contrast the handling of an injured person in 1904 compared with today's ambulances, rescue squad vehicles, and helicopters that can reach almost any accident location and whisk the injured party to a nearby hospital. In most of the 1904 newspaper articles involving injuries, the victim was taken to his/her home instead of a hospital, which was probably non-existent in most locales.]

Gordon Hamilton
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