Killed by Train

Are you fortunate enough to to have newspaper clippings in your files? Both of my grandmothers had clippings in their albums. Most of these clippings were not labeled. Thanks to the newspaper collection of the Kansas State Historical Society, I was able to locate these clippings and document the newspaper and the date.

When it comes to my Crawford research, I was also fortunate to connect with a Warren County, Indiana historian, Walter Salts. Walter had a collection of newspaper clippings. If he didn’t already have the clipping, he would research the local papers to see what he could find. While I no longer have a record of what he charged, I do have quite a few documents in my files with his stamp on them.

As I’m going thru the old paper documentation in my files, I recently came across some of those obituaries I got from Walter Salts. One of those obituaries was for Catherine W. Woodward Baughman who was killed by a train in 1899.

Warren Republican
Thursday, June 15, 1899

Baughman (handwritten)
Catherine W. Woodward
This lady was born in this county, at the home of her grandfather, the late Nelson Crawford, in this, Washington township, May 22, 1863, and departed this life in Neoga, Ills., Friday, June 9th, 1899, at 1 o’clock p.m., aged 36 years and 17 days.
In September, 1887, she was united in marriage to Dr. J. A. Baughman, of Ohio, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Elisha Briggs, this place, her uncle and aunt, Rev. John J. Claypool officiating. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Baughman went to Chicago where they resided one year to enable the doctor to complete his course in medicine. From Chicago, they went to Neoga, Ills., and located and had lived there about eleven years prior to Mrs. B’s death Dr. Baughman first met his wife at Ada, ?, where she was attending music school.
Mrs. Baughman’s death is a sad one, and reminds the living of the great uncertainty of life. She had left home to visit an aunt, Mrs. Demaris Briles, her father’s sister, living in the north part of town. On the way she stopped at her husband’s office, and after chatting pleasantly with him for a few moments, left intending to go directly to her aunt’s. On the way it was necessary to cross the track of the Illinois Central railroad. Upon nearing the crossing she met a lady friend and stopped and chatted with her a short time, then resuming her walk. The two friends had just parted when the lady noticed a fast approaching freight running at 40 miles an hour and making but very little noise. She cried to Mrs. Baughman, who was deaf in one ear, to warn her of her danger, but she did not hear. No bell was rung neither did the engineer use the whistle. Mrs. B. had gotten so near across the tack that one more step would have cleared her of her terrible danger. When the engine struck the unfortunate woman the body was thrown a distance of 69 feet, and when parties reacher her the spark of life had been destroyed at the first contact of the engine. THe accident occurred at one o’oclock last Friday afternoon. Her tragic death was like a great black cloud, casting a shadow over the entire community. TO the loving, devoted husband it s suddenness and terror stunned till sense

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and feeling failed to realize the bitterness of the cup placed to his lips to drink. The first word received by the relatives here of the death was a telegram from the doctor saying, “Kate killed by the cars to-day.” A second telegram notified them that the body would arrive here at 2 o’clock Saturday and to arrange for the funeral. After arrival of train here the remains were taken to the residence of Elisha Briggs, where at 2:30 p.m. the funeral discourse was preached by Rev. G. H. Clarke of the Christian church, of which denomination deceased had been a member from the age of 20. Interment was made in the cemetery at West Lebanon. The pall-bearers were Messrs. P. W. Fleming, Isaiah Smith, O. C. Rabourn, A. E. Wilson, W. H. Stephens and W. B. Durborow.

“Catherine W. Woodward,” 15 June 1899, from Warren Republican; Walter Salts Genealogy Collection, photocopy sent to Marcia Philbrick; photocopy in Crawford Family Papers owned by Marcia Philbrick, , Seneca, KS.

Curious to see if there were other articles about this train accident, I checked to see what I could find. Unfortunately, my search did not turn up a local article. However, I found a short mention of the accident in the Chicago paper, The Inter Ocean.

Killed by Illinois Central Train
Special Dispatch to the Inter Ocean
Neoga, Ill., June 9. — Mrs. Dr. J. A. Baughman was instantly killed by an Illinois Central South-bound freight about 2 o’clock today. She was going to her aunt’s home, carrying an umbrella which obscured her vision, and, being almost def, she neither saw nor hears the train, and just as she stepped on the track was stuck by the engine.

“Killed by Illinois Central Train,” The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), 10 June 1899, page 2; digital images, ( : viewed online 22 February 2023).

Since I love finding other items in the local newspapers, I was curious about whether the Warren Republican was available in a digital format. Thus, I did a simple Google search to see what I could find. The first result was a link to the Chronicling America site for the paper.

screenshot of Google search for Warren Republican newspaper Indiana

Following the link to Chronicling America, I found that the ‘Related Links’ information about the paper included links to NewspaperArchive.

screenschot of Chronicling America page for the Warren Republican

Going back to the Google search, I decided to see what else turned up. Lower in the list of results was a link to an LDS Genealogy site and to the Hoosier State Chronicles. While the Warren Republican was listed on the Hoosier Chronicles site, it was for a newspaper in a different town. The LDS Genealogy page was worth checking out. It listed all of the papers for Warren County, Indiana and included the years of publication. For those newspapers that have been digitized, it included links to the digital formats.

Screenshot of LDS Genealogy page for Warren County IN Newspapers

Having found a digital version of the newspaper, I decided to see if I could find a digital copy of the obituary clipping. That search of the Indiana papers on NewspaperArchive for Baughman in June 1899 not only turned up the obituary I got from Walter Salts but another obituary and other items discussing her death and funeral.

The first was an article about the train accident: Run Down by the Cars

Run Down by the Cars
Mrs. Kate Baughman was run down by an Illinois Central freight train at her home at Neoga, Illinois last Friday about one o’clock and died in a few minutes. The mortal remains were brought to Williamsport Saturday and a funeral service was held at the residence of her aunt, Mrs. Elisha Briggs, in the afternoon, Rev. G. H. Clark of the Christian church officiating, after which the body was brought here and interred in the West Lebanon cemetery. The particulars of the sorrowful accident are as follows: Mrs. Baughman was somewhat deaf and in crossing the track she did not hear the train and as no whistle was blown to warn her of danger the train was upon her before she had quite gotten across the track. The engine struck her and hurled her some sixty feet away and death came instantaneously. The deceased’s maiden name was Woodward, her father, Harrison Woodward, who was slain in the war of the rebellion, being a resident of Warren county and the deceased spent her childhood days here.

“Run Down by the Cars,” West Lebanon Gazette (West Lebanon, Indiana), 15 June 1899, page 2; digital image, Newspaper Archives ( : viewed online 23 February 2023).

The second article was an obituary that provides a few additional details.

The deceased, Mrs. Kate H. Baughman was born in Warren county, May 22, 1863. She was struck by the cars and instantly killed at her home in Neoga, Ill, June 9, 1899.
She was best known to the people of Williamsport as Kate H. Woodward. Her father was a soldier in the war for the preservation of the Union and died a few days before she was born. Her mother lived at this place until the time of her death which occurred when Kate was thirteen years old. The orphaned daughter then made her home with her relatives and friends until she was of age.
About this time she attended the school of music at Ada, Ohio. Here she met Dr.Baughman, then, a medical student. Their friendship soon ripened into an engagement for marriage, which was solemized on the 22nd of September, 1887.
The first year of their wedded life was spent in Chicago where the doctor continued his medical studies. They then moved to Neoga Ill., where they lived happily together until her death.
She was a firm believer in the religion of Christ. She answered the Masters’ call at the age of 20, while at Ada, Ohio and united with the Christian church at that place.
Her life was a beautiful demonstration of the religion she professed. She loved God and all his creatures This was not a wasted love for anyone who knew her spoke in her praise.
She died suddenly but not unprepared. She was ready without warning. If we have not misjudged she is now the happy recipient of the reward of the righteous.
Her remains were brought to Williamsport and taken to the house of Elisha Briggs where the funeral services were conducted by Geo. H. Clarke, pastor of the Christian church. The body was taken to the cemetery at West Lebanon and interred by the side of her parents.

“Obituary,” Williamsport Warren Republican (Williamsport, Indiana), 15 June 1899, page 3; digital image, Newspaper Archive (www, : viewed online 23 February 2023).

Another short article gives the date of the funeral.

The remains of Mrs. Kate H. Baughman, who was killed on the railroad at Neoga, Ill. last week were brought here for burial, the funeral occurring Saturday. An extended obituary will be found on page three.

“Local news,” Williamsport Warren Review (Williamsport, Indiana), 15 June 1889, page 8; digital images, NewspaperArchive ( : viewed online 23 February 2023).

The last was a short article about Dr. Baughman traveling from Neoga, Ills to Williamsport for the funeral of his wife.

Mr. Sabine Briles and wife, of Neoga, Ills., accompanied Dr. Baughman last Saturday and attended the funeral of Mrs. Kitty Baughman at this place.

“Local News,” Williamsport Warren Republican (Williamsport, Indiana), 15 June 1899, page 3; digital image, Newspaper Archive (www, : viewed online 23 February 2023).

I’m thankful that my grandmothers and Walter Salts helped me gather obituaries and other articles about my family. I’m also very grateful for everyone working to digitize our historic newspapers. Without digitization, I likely would not have found these additional articles.

One thought on “Killed by Train

  1. This is really sad. Glad you found these articles. My 3rd great grandmother was killed by a train in 1903 when she was elderly, at least according to family stories. I haven’t found anything in the papers, but I haven’t looked in a long time. I should search again.

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