N&W in 1908 -- On-the-job hazards

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Mon Oct 20 20:58:32 EDT 2008

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
September 27, 1908

T. E. Roach Has Ugly Gash Cut Over Right Eye--Assailant Escaped

T. E. Roach, news agent on train No. 10, was painfully cut and bruised about the head yesterday by a drunken negro. When the train was between Switchback and Maybeury, Mr. Roach started through the car crying his wares, but found his progress blocked by John Williams, who had his feet on the arm of a seat across the aisle from his body. Mr. Roach politely asked the negro to remove this feet, but Williams' reply was a volley of curses. He threatened to throw the news agent through the window and attempted to carry his threat into execution, but found it too big a job. He struck Mr. Roach over the right eye with a pair of knuckles or possibly a knife, cutting a gash in which two stitches had to be taken, and broke the skin with a blow near the top of Roach's head. The news agent was not idle but returned the negro's blows with interest though with little effect. Others on the train, among them a colored man, came to Roach's assistance and Williams was overpowered. However, when the train reached Maybeury the confusion caused by passengers entering and leaving the car gave him an opportunity to escape, of which he took advantage.

[The "Good ol' days" could be rough.]

Gordon Hamilton
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