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Chris Madsen
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Birth: unknown
Death: Jun. 3, 1888
Denver County
Colorado, USA


The Death of Engineer Chris Madsen at Denver

Word was received here Sunday noon announcing the death of Engineer Chris Madsen at the Union Pacific hospital at Denver. The death of Madsen makes four victims of the Bordeaux horror of last Wednesday. Frank Miller went to Denver on Sunday night and brought the remains back last evening. On reaching the city the remains were taken to his late residence, No. 305, Ninth street, and will be buried from there this afternoon.

The deceased leaves a wife and four children. He had been in the employ of the Union Pacific Railway company twelve years and was universally respected by all who knew him as a careful, trustworthy man. His loss is greatly deplored in this community where he was best known.

It was thought at first that he would recover, but inflammation finally set in and he was soon beyond all medical aid. Thus he passed away, and now there are none left to tell how the orders given that day were disobeyed.

The funeral will take place this afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Presbyterian church. The funeral will be in charge of Locomotive Engineers, who cordially invite all friends to attend.

Cheyenne Daily Sun no. 73 June 05, 1888, page 3



A Dreadful Accident on the Cheyenne & Northern.

News of a serious accident on the Cheyenne & Northern reached the city yesterday afternoon and, as usual in such cases, the first reports were sufficiently harrowing to startle the whole community.

It was finally definitely learned that three men had been killed and six injured, three of them perhaps dangerously. Immediately upon the receipt of the first information here a special train was ordered out by the railroad authorities, and Dr. H.W. Stevens and several assistants, equipped with all necessary appliances, were started to the scene of the accident.

Definite news of the accident came in slowly, and it was not till nearly 6 o'clock that anything but the bare details were received. From what was then learned it appeared that the accident was the result of a collision between a work train and a light engine.

The heavy rains had caused a serious washout on the road at the ninety-second milepost, which is several miles beyond Bordeaux. A work train and force of men had been sent out to repair the damage, and the northbound train when it reached Bordeaux had been held there. The engine was afterwards detached and sent forward under flagging orders to learn the progress of the wreck. The engineer of this engine was Chris Madsen and the fireman Charles Reem. Conductor John Hader accompanied them.

Meanwhile the men on the train had completed their work and started to return to Bordeaux. The train consisted of the locomotive, caboose, wrecking car and about twelve stock cars. C.E. Brooks was the engineer and Mayfield the fireman. Mr. Kelly was the conductor. In rounding a sharp curve the light engine and the work train came into collision with terrific force. The forward stock car was sent crashing into the caboose. The driving wheels of one engine were knocked from under it and the tender of the other whirled from the track.

It was a case of confusion worse confounded. A few of the men on the work train saw what was coming and jumped; others less fortunate were unable to do so and were forced to bear the brunt of the collision. Conductor John Hader was killed outright. John Mayfield, a brakeman, and Charles Reem, a fireman, were so horribly injured that they both died within two hours after the accident. Six others were more or less badly hurt.

The light engine had been run with the tender forward, and the force of the collision was sufficient to whirl the coal forward in a perfect shower. The fireman was completely buried under a mass of it and when his mutilated body was subsequently dug out he made a desperate effort to extend his right hand in mute token of his appreciation of the effort made to save him. Hader had been paralyzed by a heavy lump of coal. Reem was in the caboose when it was telescoped by the car in the rear. The sight was an awful one.

Word was sent to Bordeaux as quickly as possible and from that point word was telegraphed to Cheyenne. Mr. and Mrs. John Hunton at once had a double team hitched up and drove to the scene with a quantity of ice and such appliances as they thought might mitigate the suffering of the injured. By the time the special train with Dr. Stevens reached Bordeaux the injured had been transferred to the same point and everything that could possibly be done under the circumstances for their comfort was done expeditiously.

Engineer Chris. Madsen, Engineer Brooks and John Toole were found to be most badly injured. Madsen had his legs, body and face badly burned. A jagged wound two inches in length extended through his left cheek. He also suffered from concussion of the brain. Brooks' injuries were of a similar nature. John Toole suffered from concussion of the brain and spine. Dr. Stevens regarded all of these men as seriously injured, and although it is hoped no fatal results will follow, no prediction can be made until after closer examinations than it has yet been possible to give them.

Among the others injured were Roadmaster Delaney, who suffered from a badly sprained ankle; Patrick Maloney, who met with a similar accident, and Thos. Walsh, whose shoulder was sprained and his face severly burned. Andrew Heenan was one of those who jumped from the train. He was severely shaken up but is not severely hurt.

The dead presented horrible spectacles, they were so badly burned that while being moved the skin pealed from their bodies like masks.

The run to the city was made very slowly. The train did not reach here until about 9 o'clock. At that hour the depot platform was thronged with people eager to learn all the particulars. The moment the train stopped the platforms of the two cars were packed with anxious and curious people eager to obtain an entrance. Depot Policeman Deitrick stood guard at the door leading into the car where the injured men lay, and admitted only such as had business there. One of the first duties was to remove the three dead bodies. They were all taken to the Warren Mercantile Co.'s establishment to be prepared for burial. Only four of the injured men remained in the car to be transferred to the company's hospital at Denver. These were Madsen, Brooks, Toole and Walsh. Cots were improvised out of the seats and on these they were stretched.

The car was finally attached to the regular Denver train. Mrs. Brooks, wife of the injured engineer, arrived from Laramie on a special train and accompanied her husband to Denver. Mrs. Madsen and Engineer Jepson accompanied Madsen, while Dr. Stevens remained with the injured to care for their wants.

The news of Conductor Hader's death aroused the deepest feeling of sympathy as he was the best known in this city. He has been conductor on the Cheyenne & Northern since the road was first opened and filled the bill to perfection. That he was popular with all the patrons of the road but mildly expresses the actual fact, for he was always eager to oblige every passenger, no matter at what personal inconvenience. He leaves a wife and two step children, the eldest of whom is a boy of 16 years. A rather strange circumstance in this connection in the fact that he took out a policy of insurance for $5,000 in the Union Mutual Life of Maine, from Mr. Allen of this city just two weeks ago. His widow will now receive this amount of money.

John Mayfield also lived in this city. He was a married man, but leaves no children.

Reem was a man about 25 years old. He lived in Laramie, and usually worked on the line between that city and this.

An inquest will be held on the bodies by Coroner Chaffin to-day.

Cheyenne Daily Leader May 31, 1888, page 3

Family links: 
  Elma Collenburg Pattee (1883 - 1906)
Lakeview Cemetery
Laramie County
Wyoming, USA
Plot: Lot 721 Space C
Maintained by: Lostnwyomn
Originally Created by: BrixtonWy
Record added: Apr 27, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14088295
Chris Madsen
Added by: Lostnwyomn
Chris Madsen
Added by: BrixtonWy
Chris Madsen
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Lucy
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Rest in peace.
- BrixtonWy
 Added: May. 25, 2007

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