|Birth: ||Oct. 24, 1841|
|Death: ||Mar. 5, 1900|
Son of William Hainey BRIGGS and Jane Isabella WILSON. Husband of Sarah Elizabeth HILDEBRAND. Father of: Charles R., Ira Otis, Mayme Rowe, Currence Wilson and Lula Carothers.
CONDUCTOR BRIGGS KILLED
A Terrible Accident on the East Broad Top Railroad
The most serious wreck in the history of the East Broad Top railroad occurred on Monday morning. The train known as the miners' train left Rock Hill at 5:30 o'clock, the train consisting of one passenger coach, two miners' cars and fifteen coal cars. When the train left the station there were a large number of miners on board, the number being added to at each station as the train sped up the mountain. When the train reached Coles, where it is crossed by the northbound train, there were possibly 125 miners and a larger number of passengers than usual on board. After the northbound train had passed it pulled out on its way to Robertsdale and ran along nicely until a point in Martin's Meadow, about five hundred yards north of Cook's Staion, was reached, where the engine struck a broken rail. Frank GALBRAITH, the engineer, noticed it at once and whistled for brakes, at the same time reversing his engine and putting on the vacum (sic) brake. The engine and fifteen coal cars and the two miners' coaches passed over the break in safety. When the front truck of the passenger coach, which was the hind car of the train, struck the broken rail it went off the track, running on the ties a distance of about 140 feet, and then toppled over the embankment on its side. In falling over it pulled the miners' car preceding it along, and that in turn carried the one next to it aside. The scene just at this time, with the cars on their sides and the men penned in them like rats in a trap, is said by those who were in it to be indescribable. It was but a short time until the men began to make their escape through the windows of the cars. In the passenger coach were a number of passengers, among them being three women and a small babe, all of whom were gotten out in comparative safety. After all had been gotten out, and it was found that, with the exception of some five or six who had received pretty severe cuts and bruises, no one was hurt, there was great rejoicing, until some one asked if anything had been seen of the conductor. No one had seen him, and on examination of the wreck he was found under the passenger coach. It was lifted off him by the superhuman efforts of the miners and he was removed from beneath the wreckage. Life was found to be extinct, he having doubtless died instantly. His neck was broken and one leg nearly severed by a piece of broken glass. When the car left the rail Conductor Briggs, after cautioning the passengers no to be afraid, went out on the platform. It is not known whether or not he jumped from the train, but it is the general opinion that he did not, and that he stuck to his post until the car went over the embankment. The superintendent of the road at Rock Hill was notified at once. He sent a special train to the scene of the wreck to bring the body of Mr. BRIGGS down and also took Dr. BROWNING up to look after the injured. The most seriously injured are Grant SCHMITLE, one leg badly bruised, and Homer BOOHER, a three-inch cut on the head. F.R. LYON, mine superintendent at Robertsdale, was on the train and received a severe cut on one hand. The body of Mr. BRIGGS was brought down at 11 o'clock and taken to HOUCK & CHILCOAT's undertaking rooms and prepared for burial.
Coroner SCHUM was notified of the accident and empaneled the following jury of inquest: W.T. BROWNING, R.J. COONS, H.B. MIDDAGH, John COX, Samuel WILSON and D.R.P. ENYEART, who, after being duly sworn and viewing the scene of the wreck rendered the following verdict: We, the jury of inquest in the case of George Wilson BRIGGS, after viewing the scene of the accident and hearing the witnesses in relation thereto, find that the said George Wilson BRIGGS came to his death accidentally by being crushed beneath a railroad car on the line of the E.B.T.R.R. near Cook's Station, Huntingdon county, Pa., at 6:50 a.m., March 5, 1900. Said accident was due to a defective rail, which could not have been forseen or prevented, and further we find that all employes of said railroad were not neglectful in any way in causing said accident. George Wilson BRIGGS was one of the most popular employees of the East Broad Top railroad. He entered the employe of the company in 1874, when the road was opened, and had been for twenty-three years a conductor. He was a gentleman of sterling integrity, a faithful employe and loved by the patrons of the road who daily met with him. He had resided in Orbisonia for a long time, was a consistent member of the Methodist church, and a member of the board of school directors. He was aged about 54 years, and is survived by a wife and five children, two sons and three daughters. Also by six brothers and three sisters. Mr. BRIGGS' funeral took place at Orbisonia yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Revs. J.K. KNISELY, of Flemington, and W.R. WHITNEY, of Orbisonia, officiating. Services were conducted at the house. The funeral was the largest ever held in the town. The mines at Robertsdale were not operated, work was suspended at the railroad shops, as well as on the railroad, and the schools were closed, so that old and young were permitted to attend the burial of the deceased, who was one of the most popular men in the community. Delegation of friends were present from all points along the line of the East Broad Top R.R. At the grave the members of Cromwell Lodge, No. 572, Free and Accepted Masons, rendered the impressive burial ritual of the order, and laid to rest their departed brother.
8 March 1900
William Hainey Briggs (1818 - 1902)
Jane Isabella Wilson Briggs (1817 - 1883)
Sarah Elizabeth Hildebrand Briggs (1846 - 1919)*
Charles Briggs (1869 - 1916)*
Mayme Fayette Briggs Rowe (1876 - 1949)*
Lula L. Briggs Carothers (1884 - 1905)*
Plot: Lot #2
Created by: Kathryn Doyle
Record added: May 29, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14443089