|Death: ||Sep. 9, 1917|
Casper Record no. 1
September 11, 1917
Eric Anderson And Frank Cross Meet With Death
Train Goes Through Bridge, Supports Of Which Were Burned
Occured Near Walton
Bodies of Victims Arrived Over Northwestern Sunday Afternoon
Sunday, one of the most beautiful days of an early fall, was turned to a day of deepest gloom in Casper when dire tiding went out that a terrible wreck had occured on the Wyoming & Northwestern during the night previous and that Eric Anderson, one of the most popular engineers making his home in Casper, had met sudden death in company with his fireman, Frank Cross.
The news spread like wild fire to the farthest corners of our city and when the passenger train from the west arrived at 1:30 bearing the bodies of the unfortunate victims, the station platform and grounds were crowded with a great mass of people.
The wreck occured two and a half miles west of Wolton at the foot of a long hill at 2:30 Sunday morning. A bridge crossing a dry gulch caught fire from some unknown cause, burning the timber supports from under the track, the rails remaining intact across the span and their gleam under the head light of the engine probably assured the engineer that all was well as they went onto the shell at a good rate of speed and the engine and seven cars crashed through into the gulch seventeen feet below.
The train was in charge of Conduc Earnest Anderson who with the brakeman was riding in the caboose, the brakeman having left the engine only a few moments before the crash and thus escaped death by a narrow margin.
The two dead men were dug from the mass of debris only after about eight hours of frantic work on the part of the members of the train crew who escaped a a relief crew from Casper. The engineer was found crowded up against the boiler head with his skull crushed, showing that death had been merciful in coming instantly, while the fireman was found on his side of the cab also jammed against the boiler with his arm around the support as is customary when looking ahead out of the cab window. Both bodies were mutilated by glass and the flesh was cooked by the escaping steam from the boiler.
A fire started in the debris after the fall and this was extinguished after a desperate fight by the conductor and brakeman as no water was handy and they were obliged to use bottles of beer to put out the flames.
A carload of bottled beer was being hauled directly behind the tender of the engine and this crashed down on top of the locomotive, breaking the bottles into millions of pieces and on top of this came a carload of cement, the two cargoes making a pile of wreckage hard for the workmen to clear. It is said that only the smallest splinters are left of the refrigerator car wich carried the beer, excepting the trucks.
A train was made up in Casper and sent out to the scene of the wreck to meet the passenger train from Lander. Passengers walked across the dry gulch and a transfer was made of mail and baggage and the makeshift train was sent east from here several hours behind schedule.
As to the cause of the fire, the officials will yet say nothing, but it is supposed to have caught fire dropped from an engine which crossed with a train several hours before the terrible accident.
Eric Anderson was about 48 years of age when death called him from his post of duty. He came to Casper about twelve years ago from Deadwood, where he had been in the service of the Northwestern Line. For several years he has been firing out of Casper, a great deal of the time on the same engine that carried him down to death. Only a few months ago the death of Engineer Bracken and the retirement of Engineer H. O. Smith moved him up for a regular engineer run.
He leaves to mourn him a loving wife and two fine boys, fifteen and thirteen years of age. Also two brothers, Matt and Fred, who will arrive today or tomorrow from Deadwood to attend the funeral. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and his sorroing Masonic brothers are using their customary diligence in looking after the funeral arrangements.
The deceased was of a most cheerful, kindly dispostion which endeared him to his brother railroadmen and in fact, everyone with whom he came in contact. he owned a fine residence property on South Durbin street where they have lived for several years. He was known in railroad circles as one of the dependable men in the service and his untimely death is being mourned by every man in the company from the highest officials to the foreigners on the section for whom he always had a smile and a word of good fellowship.
Eric Anderson was a veteran of the Spanish Americn War, volunteering his services when the first call was made and serving with honor with Troop A, Third U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. Upon his return to Deadwood after the war closed, he was married to Miss Elva Wooley of that city, and a few years after they came to Wyoming to make their home in Casper.
Very little is known about Frank Cross, the dead fireman. He had been working for the company as fireman for two months, and was practically a stranger in the city. Telegrams have been sent to the master mechanic's office in an endeavor to trace his relatives, and an answer to the telegram is expected this afternoon.
Funeral services for the dead engineer will be held tomorrow afternoon from the Masonic temple, and will be under the auspices of Casper lodge, No. 15, he having been a Mason in good standing at the time of his death. Services at 3 p.m.
Plot: Block 35, Lot 16, Grave 5
Created by: Cemetery Walker
Record added: Jun 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54276603
Your service to our country is remembered by the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans.|
Spanish American War
Added: Mar. 19, 2015
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR - You served our country faithfully. May we always cherish our freedom by honoring your memory. God bless you!|
Added: Mar. 8, 2011