Walter Jacob Hollar

Walter Jacob Hollar

Bronson, Branch County, Michigan, USA
Death 16 May 1903 (aged 21)
Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana, USA
Burial Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 63734459 · View Source
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Walter was a twin.

He was a telegraph operator at Burdick, IN when he died.

He was to be married the next week following his death.

He died in a railroad accident at age 22.

Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway freight train No. 62 consisting of 41 railcars loaded with dairy products and merchandise departed Chesterton headed eastbound at 12:25 am on Sunday, May 17. A soon as No. 62 cleared the switch east of Chesterton, engine No. 157, referred to as a "pusher engine," departed eastbound behind the freight train. Pusher engines were used to provide assistance to freight trains that had to proceed over an incline between Chesterton and LaPorte County.

Both engines were traveling at a speed of approximately 30 to 35 miles per hour. A pin connecting the engine and railcars on the freight train failed, resulting in the train breaking apart about two miles east of Chesterton. A a result of the break in the train, the air brakes were automatically applied to the freight cars and the runaway railcars stopped almost instantly. Meanwhile, the pusher engine continued eastbound unaware of the stalled freight cars in front of it. Brakeman Roy Tucker was in the caboose of the freight train and observed the pusher engine bearing down on the stalled freight cars and he jumped from the caboose to avoid the collision.

On the pusher engine were Engineer Jack Diehl, Conductor Murray, and Butler Shaner. All three of these men miraculously escaped serious injury when their engine collided into the caboose of the freight train. The caboose was completely crushed. Also on the pusher engine was Walter Jacob Hollar; however, Hollar was riding on the front of the engine unbeknownst to Engineer Diehl. Hollar, age 22, was a resident of Burdick and was riding home on the front of the pusher engine after having spent an evening in Chesterton. Hollar was a telegraph operator for the railway at Burdick. Hollar was found alive by Engineer Diehl hanging over the pilot beam of the pusher engine with his foot held fast between the wrecked caboose and engine. Hollar died before the two cars could be pulled apart from one another to release him. A wrecking crew arrived from Chicago and pushed the remains of the caboose down the embankment and burned it.

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  • Created by: Eva Hopkins
  • Added: 4 Jan 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63734459
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Walter Jacob Hollar (5 Aug 1881–16 May 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63734459, citing Chesterton Cemetery, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Eva Hopkins (contributor 47159848) .