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Matthew Allison
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Birth: Aug. 16, 1876
Armstrong County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Dec. 9, 1931
Blair County
Pennsylvania, USA

Blair County, PA Application for Marriage No. 12571. Abstract.

Name--woman: GRACE LUCAS
Age--man: 27 years
Age--woman: 29 years
Residence--man: Derry, Westmoreland Co. Pa.
Residence--woman: Altoona, Pa.
Parents' names--man: Alexander & Elvira
Parents' names--woman: George & Marg't. Quick
Previously married, how often?--man: -----
Previously married, how often?--woman: Once
Date of death of woman's former husband: July 19, 1899
Color of parties: White
Occupation of man: R.R. Brakeman
Occupation of woman: At home
Where born--man: Indiana Co. Pa.
Where born--woman: Milesburg, Centre Co. Pa.
On 16 March 1904, Matthew Allison and Grace Lucas appeared before H.E. Ferguson, Clerk of the Orphans' Court of Blair County, to attest to the truth of the above facts; on the same day, this clerk awarded the couple a license to marry.
On 16 March 1904, Matthew Allison and Grace Lucas were united in marriage at Altoona, Pa., by W.W. Williamson.

1910 PA Census: Blair Co. Altoona City, Ward 6, #2310 4th Ave., ed 50, p. 32a, lines 1-4
Series T624, roll 1317, dwelling --, family --, [undated] 1910

Mathew ALLISON, Head, age 34, marr. (1st time) 6 yrs, b. Penna., parents b. Penna., Flag Man: Railroad
Grace, wife, age 35, marr. (2nd time) 6 yrs, 3 children / 2 surviving, b. Penna., parents b. Penna.
Helen M., daughter, age 5; Clarance G., son, age 1 11/12

1920 PA Census: Blair Co. Altoona City, Sixth Ward, #2316 Fourth Ave., ed 60, p. 4b, lines 56-61
Series T625, roll 1538, dwelling 86, family 88, 3 January 1920

Matthew R. ALLISON, Head, owns home, mortgaged, age 42, married, b. Penna., parents b. Penna., Flagman: Railroad
Grace M., wife, age 45, married, b. Penna., parents b. Penna.
Helen M., daughter, age 15; Clarence G., son, age 12
Earl M., son, age 6
Margaret QUICK, mother-in-law, age 79, widowed, b. Penna., parents b. Penna.

1930 PA Census: Blair Co. Altoona, Sixth Ward, #2316 4th Ave., ed 7-19, p. 8a, lines 42-46
Series T626, roll 2004, dwelling 178, family 182, 9 April 1930

Matthew ALLISON, Head, owns home, value $3,000, age 53, first marr. at age 27, b. Penna., parents b. Penna., Brakeman: P.R.R.
Grace, wife, age 54, first marr. at age 28, b. Penna., parents b. Penna.
Helen M., daughter, age 25, Clerk: Electrical Co.
Clarence G., son, age 21, Reads Meters: Electrical Co.
Earl M., son, age 16

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Certificate of Death
Place of Death: Logan Township, Blair County
Residence: P.R.R. 3 miles east of Gallitzin, Pa.
Personal and Statistical Particulars:
Sex: Male
Color: White
Marital Status: Married
Wife's Name: Grace M. Allison
Deceased's Date of Birth: Aug. 16, 1876
Age: 55y 3m 23d
Birthplace: Armstrong Co. Penna.
Occupation: Brakeman: P.R.R. Co.
Name of Father: Daniel [Alexander-ed.] Allison
Birthplace of Father: Penna.
Maiden Name of Mother: Elvira Snyder
Birthplace of Mother: Penna.
Informant: Mrs. Grace Allison, 2316 4th Ave., Altoona, Pa.
Medical Certificate of Death:
Date of Death: Dec. 9th, 1931, 7 p.m.
Cause of Death: Neck broken -- accident on Pgh. Div., P.R.R.
Signature: C.C. Rothrock, Coroner, 12-10-1931, Altoona, Pa.
Burial: Rose Hill Cemetery, Dec. 3, 1931
Undertaker: Mauk & Yates, Juniata, Altoona

Altoona, PA: Altoona Mirror, issue of Thursday, 10 December 1931, p. 1, col. 1 & p. 14, col. 2


Matthew Allison of 2316 Fourth Avenue, a Brakeman, is Killed When Buried Beneath Wreckage--Enginemen and Trainmen Escape With Minor Injuries.


Seventy-six of Eighty-eight Cars and Engine Pile Up Over Four Tracks on Emerging From Gallitzin Tunnel, Blocking All East and Westbound Traffic.

A Pennsylvania railroad freight train ran away on the eastern slope of the Pittsburgh division last evening at 7.10 o'clock, left the rails at a curve near the old Bennington station and the locomotive and seventy-six of eighty-eight cars were wrecked and piled up over four tracks, blocking all train traffic.

Matthew Allison, aged 55, of 2316 Fourth avenue, this city, a brakeman of the crew, was killed when he was buried beneath a great mass of coal and cars. The enginemen and other members of the crew escaped death by jumping from the runaway and suffered only minor injuries.

Allison's body was recovered from underneath the mass of coal and other wreckage at 10 minutes after 10 o'clock this forenoon.

The train got beyond control while passing through the Gallitzin tunnel, gained momentum as it emerged from the eastern end and left the rails at a curve, just about where old AG tower is located and where several years ago a serious passenger wreck occurred.

Dead and Injured.

The dead:

Matthew Allison, aged 55, brakeman, of 2316 Fourth avenue, buried beneath the wreckage.

The injured:

M.J. Leasure, aged 56, engineer, of 1410 Eighteenth street, sprain and contusions of right foot and body bruises.

Elmer E. Wright, aged 50, fireman, of 206 Coleridge avenue, Llyswen, severe contusions of the back.

R.B. Heacox, conductor, of 2115 Seventh avenue, slightly bruised about both legs and body.

W.S. Himstead, flagman, of 621 Ninth avenue, Juniata, body contusions.

Evan Jones, aged 39, brakeman, of South Fork, fracture of right wrist and body contusions.

Altoona Crew on Train.

The train, extra No. 4272, composed of eighty-eight cars of coal from the South Fork branch, was manned by an Altoona crew. It pulled away from South Fork during the early hours of the evening and reached Gallitzin a little before 7 o'clock. It hauled heavy by reason of the colder weather and icy rails.

The train got beyond control as it was passing through the Gallitzin tunnel, due to the failure of the air-brakes to function properly. It was running at the rate of thirty-five miles an hour when it emerged from the tunnel and a half-mile further on it struck a curve, left the rails and piled up, blocking all tracks.

The crew left this city yesterday morning about 10 o'clock with a train of empty coal cars for Lovett on the South Fork branch. It took the loaded train at that place, hauled it to South Fork and pulled onto the main line to deliver it to Altoona. The seventy-six cars wrecked are reported as destroyed and many thousands of tons of coal are piled up over the roadway and down the embankment.

Danger Is Realized.

Engineer Leasure and Fireman Wright realized the danger that confronted them when they discovered that something had gone wrong with the air line of the train and that the application of the brakes failed to impede or slacken the movement. Two pushing engines, helping the train over the hump in the Gallitzin tunnel, tended to increase the momentum. A closed angle cock in the airline is believed to have been the cause of the loss of breakage.

Both enginemen decided that their escape from death lay in jumping, both expecting that the train would leave the rails at the Bennington curve where several wrecks occurred in past years.

Wright was the first man to jump. He leaned from the engine just south of Bennington crossing while Engineer Leasure made his jump at the crossing. Both men were fortunate in landing safely in the snow-covered six-foot, sliding along the ice for a considerable distance. Brakeman Jones got off about the same time while Conductor Heacox, riding the rear of the train, took similar chances in leaping to safety. Flagman Himstead was in the cabin.

Rides to Death.

Brakeman Matthew Allison was riding the front end of the train and was following his duty in applying the hand brakes in responding to the whistling of Engineer Leasure for the train crew to put into effect that emergency measure in controlling the train.

He was about fifteen cars to the rear of the engine when the train left the rails and piled up. His fellow trainmen, following the derailment, made a search for him and, not finding him, came to the conclusion that he had ridden to his death on the runaway and was buried beneath the wrecked cars and mass of coal.

The injured trainmen were brought to this city, taken to the office of the company's relief doctor and there were treated for their injuries. The Altoona hospital ambulance was at the station but it was not needed, the trainmen all being able to walk. After being treated they went to their homes.

Officials Notified.

The Pittsburgh and Middle division officials were notified of the wreck. Superintendent L.B. Sinclair of the Pittsburgh division and members of his staff reached the scene at 10.30 o'clock and took immediate charge of the situation. They remained on the scene all night.

Superintendent James B. Phelan of the Middle division and his staff were also on duty at the local office in this city to render what assistance they could in the movement of passenger and freight traffic.

Passenger traffic both east and west was diverted around the wreck by way of the New Portage railroad. A couple of the through trains went east over the Petersburg branch after discharging passengers at Hollidaysburg from which place they were brought to Altoona by bus. Freight traffic was suspended.

Wreckers Called.

The wrecking crews stationed at Altoona, Gallitzin, New Florence and South Fork were called out and arrived on the scene at short intervals after 8 o'clock. They went to work first to locate the missing trainman, Brakeman Allison.

They attacked the wreckage from both ends, the Altoona wreckers working at the eastern end and the Pittsburgh division crews at the western end. The engine was turned over on its side and extended across the four tracks. A number of the cars following it were piled up over the tracks while four went down the embankment.

It is thought that the train was traveling from fifty to sixty miles an hour when it wrecked. The momentum was so great that the locomotive and cars slid along the rails, tearing them up for a distance of 200 yards or more.

Injured Awaited Here.

News of the wreck spread rapidly here and with the hospital ambulance at the local station a crowd of several hundred people gathered there. An emergency train left here about 11.20 o'clock last night and returned at 1.50 o'clock this morning with the injured trainmen.

They were treated at the P.R.R relief station at Eleventh avenue and Thirteenth street by company physicians and then taken to their homes. They were all concerned as to the fate of their fellow trainman, Allison. They had participated in the search for him until the relief train arrived to bring them home.

Brakeman Jones joined the crew at South Fork to fill in to bring the train to Altoona. He was the worst injured of the crew, having sustained a fracture of the wrist. He went to his home early this morning.

All Traffic Blocked.

All traffic on the mountain, from Altoona to Gallitzin, was blocked by the wreckage until 10 o'clock this morning when No. 4 track was cleared and work started to repair it for the movement of trains. It is expected that it will take the remainder of the day to clear away the wreckage.

All east and westbound passenger trains were run around the wreck by way of the New Portage railroad, Duncansville to Gallitzin. The trains from the east were practically all run on scheduled time to this city but lost time in being dispatched around the wreck over the New Portage. All the eastbound trains were late arriving here because of run over the same route.
Family links: 
  Grace M. Quick Allison (1875 - 1967)
Rose Hill Cemetery
Blair County
Pennsylvania, USA
Created by: Michael S. Caldwell
Record added: Jun 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 112842240
Matthew Allison
Added by: Michael S. Caldwell
Matthew Allison
Added by: annie
Matthew Allison
Added by: annie
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