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1907 train wreck in Boyceville kills two

On Friday, September 20th, 1907, a disastrous train wreck occurred in Boyceville when two freight trains hit head-on, taking the lives of two. The following is the story as it was written in the Glenwood Tribune back in 1907.

Last Friday morning about 2:30 a disastrous freight wreck occurred on the Wisconsin Central at Boyceville, in which one man was killed and one other so seriously injured that he died a day or two later.

Through freight No. 24, engine No. 255, with C. D. Hinkley and engineer Fred Miller and fireman G. W. Whetstone in charge, east bound, was running about twenty-five miles an hour and when just in the yard at Boyceville crashed into a west bound extra freight. The latter was in charge of conductor Mickler, engineer Louis Emrish and fireman Fredrickson. Both engine crews with the exception of Miller on 24, and Fredrickson on the extra, jumped and were uninjured, but Fredrickson made no effort to save himself and when the crash came was buried under the coal and debris and was so seriously injured about the head that he never regained consciousness. Miller on 24 remained on his engine a few seconds too long and was just on the top step of his engine when the trains came together, the result being that he was caught and crushed to death.

The tenders of the engines and also the front ends were badly smashed, up to six or eight cars are a total wreck. The drives and leaders of the engines did not leave the track. Dr. Herriman, of Boyceville, was on the ground immediately after the wreck and the company surgeon, Dr. Park of Glenwood, arrived there a few hours later on the wrecking train and took Fredrickson, the injured fireman, to the hospital at Chippewa Falls. Miller’s body was taken to Minneapolis where his wife and two sons live. A temporary track was built around the wreck and by noon trains could pass.

The officials are investigating the cause of the wreck, but so far no reliable information has been given out. One thing however is quite certain and that is that the statement made by the Eau Claire Leader that the fault was with the night operator at Glenwood is entirely wrong, as is also the statement by the Stanley paper that the Downing man is to blame. It is claimed by those in a position to know pretty well, that the error was made by an agent west of here in failing to give the passing orders to No. 24 going east.