The Billings Gazette from Billings, Montana on June 20, 1938 · 1
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The Billings Gazette from Billings, Montana · 1

Billings, Montana
Issue Date:
Monday, June 20, 1938
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rf rf r MONTANA WEATHER WYOMING WEATHER Generally fair Monday and Tuesday; little change In temperature. 0v Generally fair Monday and Tuea. day; little change In temperature. J FINAL MORNING EDITION VOL. L. NO. 228. ASSOCIATED PRESS BILLINGS. MONTANA, MONDAY, JUNE 20, 1938. UNITED PRESS PRICE FIVE CENTS. TriMTTHn M FIVE BILLINGS RES JHE W RAILROAD TR ( - f liU I GIRLS PU Oil 'OLYMPIAN' Mrs. LeRoy Bailey, Daughters Juanita and Joyce; Mrs. Milton Leer and Baby. VICTIMS WERE DAKOTA VISITORS All Had Been Guests of Relatives; Were En Route on Ill-Fated Flier to Homes Here TWO young Billings mothers and their three children were among the more than 30 persons killed in the wreck of the Olympian, crack passenger train of the Chicago, Milwaukee, -&t.JPaul & Pacific railroad, 30 miles east of Miles City, early Sunday morning. Billings victims of the worst train disaster in the state's history were Mrs. LeRoy R. Bailey, 32, of 619 North Twenty-sixth street, and her two daughters, Juanita Bailey, 6, and Joyce Bailey, 3; and Mrs. Gladys C. Leer, 27, of 216 South Thirty-sixth street, and her 1-year-old daughter, Lavon Leer. The small children were the only children of the two mothers. Both Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Leer and their daughters boarded the ill-fated Olympian flier at Hettinger, jj. D., Saturday night and had planned to change to westbound Northern Pacific train No. 1 at Miles City early Sunday morning for the remainder or their Journey home. Mrs. Bailey and children were returning from a three-week visit with relatives in North and South Dakota, while Mrs. Leer and Lavon had spent the last five weeks visiting her parents at Hettinger. Mrs. Leer was the wife of Milton C. Leer, service man at the local Gamble ,.ore. She had been a resident here aoout three years. The daughter was born in Billings about a year ago. Besides her widower, who left for Miles City early Sunday, and her parents, she leaves a brother and sister at Hettinger. Mr. Bailey, a tireman employed by (Continued on Page 2, Column 6.) I Notice in The Gazette THE WEATHER. LOCAL WEATHER REPORT. Data for 24 hours ending at 5:30 p. m. ncterday. furnished by United States weather bureau station at municipal airport: Temperature at 6:30 a. m 52 Temperature at 5:30 p. m 77 Hr-?t)tlmum jf Minimum J Mfan temperature 66 Relative humidity at 5:30 a. m. 90 per cent Relative humidity at 5:30 p. m. 37 per cent Precipitation Jjj Barometric pressure at elevation of 3570.49 feet At 5.30 a. m 26 30 inches At 5:30 p. m 26.32 inches Character of day Clear Sunrise today at 4:22 a. m. Sunset at 8:08 Moonrise today at 11:47 p. m. Moonset at 11:52 a, m. STATE WEATHER REPORT. Helena. June 19. -(API -Maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation in the following cities for the last 24 hours ended at 6 o'clock Sunday night re ported here were: Max. Mln. Prec. 58 48 Havre Helena Kallsppll Miles City Cheyenne Denver Boise Bclon Cnlew "hicn Oalvcslon Ic'.tr-iiville C"-'s City r,ni At!7!rs 48 60 46 60 40 66 50 38 76 74 66 58 62 70 68 58 40 54 54 50 66 'lrreapnlls New York JJ Omaha JJ Portland J: Salt r.ekp City 74 San Francisco 70 Seattle JJ Cnnkane ? Wllllston 84 VITAL STATISTICS. nun hs. Girls. Mrs. Harry Heln. 3221 Montana avenue. Mrs. William Calder, 111 Elm drive. Slip1 l.fff ;f ?y mi: mmutm These five views depict the stark City, early Sunday morning. Upper photo shows a coach lying twisted jnd broken atop the wreckage of the locomotive and baggage cars, parts of which can be seen piled up on the opposite side of the. coach. Another coach stands rights side up broadside in the stream, water flowing through its shattered windows. In three of the four photos below, the naked brld?e piers over which the speeding train plunged are clearly shown. The view in the photo at the upper right shows how one car halted on the rail bed, only inches from taking the fatal drop into the chasm. These photographs are among the first taken of the wreck and were snapped by Leo Carper, Billings salesman, who went from Miles City on a relief train to the scene of the disaster. I TUESDAY Expect 200 Persons to Attend Six-Day Annual Conference. First of approximately 200 delegates and visitors from throughout the state were expected to arrive in Billings Monday for the opening here Tuesday' evening of the six-day annual Montana conference of the Methodist church, which will continue through Sunday. (Continued on Page 2. Column 7.) m mm mam mmm 'OLYMPIAN WRECK DISASTER FROM CAMERA'S EYE " !'Wf-!.!'.f.-A!;!;.!.lV.vTvl::T-y mmMiiimii tragedy of the wreck of the Olympian, the Milwaukee railroad's crack passenger train, 30 miles east of Miles CRIES, SCREAMS MINGLE WITH SHOOTS Injured Are Dragged From Submerged Coach; Ghastly Scenes Are Encountered by Those Who Rushed to Scene of Rail Wreck. Miles City, June 19. (Throughout the gray morning hours and all during the day Sunday the grim work of removing bodies from the tangled steel that had once been the "Olympian" went on. Rescue crews dragged nearly' 25 Injured and nerve-wracked passengers from the first coach that hur JM.i.1S"!...iu. OF RESCOERS dled the missing bridge span and landed on the west side of the creek beside the broken baggage car. When the rescue crew and Custer County Coroner Ralph Bray began the work of removing the Injured, water was pouring Into the coach (Continued oa Page. 3, Column S.) IDENT AGED! ! : ;,.s. -v-jr m$ E Maine, Minnesota to Vote; New Deal Is Merely Spectator. Washington, June 19. (U.PJ The new deal was merely a spectator In the political bleachers Sunday night as voters in rock-ribbed Republican Maine and Farmer-Labor Minnesota prepared to end the first lap of the 1938 primary race at the polls Monday. This doea not mean, however, that (Continued on Page 2. Column 6.) PRIMARIES HD D 65 HURT AS OLYMPIAN PLUNGES INTO CREEK EAST OF MILES CITY Report Bodies of 17 Victims Recovered Sunday; Think 17 in Submerged Car; Final Death List Expected to Pass 50; Flood -Weakened Structure Js Cause of Worst Railroad Tragedy in Recent Years; Many Montana and Dakota Residents Were Aboard Ill-Fated Milwaukee Flier. Miles City, June 19. (AP) Crashing through a weakened trestle, a crack passenger train of the Milwaukee railroad carried more than 30 persons to their death early Sunday in a flooded Montana creek. About 65 other passengers were injured, two of them critically, and 40 escaped without injury. The bodies of 17 passengers had been recovered Sunday night. Railroad officials said they believed the bodies of 17 more were in a tourist sleeper that still was submerged in flooded Custer creek, 26 miles east of here. Of the bodies recovered, 12 were brought to Miles City, and four others were stretched out on the creek banks Sunday night, awaiting removal to morgues. The body of a woman about 45 years of age was recovered from the river near Glendive, approximately 50 miles from the scene of the wreck. It was, believed she was one of the five or six passengers train porters said had been swept away in the flooded creek. I 1 Train Wreck Casualty Toll Miles City, June 19. (") Casualties In the wreck of the Milwaukee road's Olympian included: IDENTIFIED DEAD. Frank Merrifield, engineer, Miles City. H. E. McCoy, fireman. Miles City. Charles James, baggageman, Miles City. Milton Norberg, railway mall clerk, Aberdeen, S. D. Mrs. Ernest Johnson, Miles Oily. Mrs. Josephine Frelich. Lemmon, S. I., formerly of Miles City. Mrs. Leroy K. Bailey, 31, and her two daughters, Juanita, 6, and Joyce, 3, of Billings. Mrs. Milton I.fer, 27, Billings, and 1-year-old daughter, Lavon. SERIOUSLY INJURED. Daniels, Mrs. R. C, Deer Lodge. Waring, Mrs. J. N.. Springfield. Stumley, Lucille, Keldron. S. D. Dobbins, Albert, Chicago, waiter employe. Smykowsky, Mike, Chicago, cook employe. SLIGHTLY INJURED. Oaskle, Miles, Mitchell, S. D. Tiessman, John. St. Paul. Moran, Frank, Chicago, employe. Richard, Edward S Chicago. Williams, Louis, Chicago, employe, Woodson. ElenzlP, Chicago, employe. Gehrig, Paul, Mr. and Mrs., Minneapolis. Gehrig, Jack, Paul, Leo. Barbara and Maurlne and Helen, Minneapolis. Caskle, Mr. and Mrs. R. F., Mitchell, S. D. Mohr, Leola, Garden City, S. D. Brown, Mr, and Mrs, and daughter, Shirley, Perry, lowa. Hatch, Gruce, McLaughlin, state unknown. Yountz, Ralph, Butte. Shlrlev, Henry; (fireman), Miles City. Berry, Francis, Mobile, Ala. Jackson, Arthur M., Chicago, employe. Teoples, Edgar, Chicago, employe. Bernard Ick, H. E., Milwaukee, steward. Leonard, Dr. T, N., Spokane. Jansen, Evelyn, Freeport, III. Kolester, Kermlt, Aberdeen, S. D. Buckley, Harry, Chicago, employe. Hook, Mrs. Harry, Valley Ford, Wash. Hook, Eleanors, 15, Vallev Fords Wash. Hahn. Mr, and Mrs. C. J. and daughter, Catherine, 18, St. Maries, Idaho. Blackman, Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Hinsdale, 111. (Continued on Page 3, Column 7.) Naval Flyer Dies As Ship Falls in Bay San. Francisco, June 19. IU.R) Lieut. William M. Holsenbeck, Jr., 30, was killed and his observer, Mechanic Robert A. May, 18, was Injured Sunday when a, naval reserve plane fell Into San Francisco bay near Alameda. The accident, cause of which was not immediately determined, occurred on a routine flight. Holsenbeck and May had taken off from Oakland airport In their Grumman acout ship and when they failed to report to the naval reserve base a search was started. The plane sank in shallow water. Holsenbeck's body was recovered from the wreckage. May was found by rescuers as he swam toward shore. He was taken to the Alameds county hospital. Holsenbeck's horns la In Georgia. Lou Grill, editor of the Miles City Star, said he believed the death list would pass 50. He estimated "thirty to forty" bodies might be in one submerged car which railroad workers were unable to raise from the flooded creek. The tragedy was the worst in American railroading in Irecentyewrsmnd was the first on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad in 20 years in which a paying pas senger met death. It came without warning as the 12-car, air-conditioned train, en route from Chicago to Tacoma, Wash., sped through a cloudburst in the Custer creek section 30 miles east of here shortly after midnight. The bridge, buffeted by waters of a "flash flood" from the storm racing down the gulch almost dry a few minutes earlier sagged under the weight of the steam loco motive and sent it hurtling into the stream and against the opposite bank, dragging the tender, express car, baggage car. mail car, two day coaches and three tourist sleepers into the flood. A track walker had reported that the creek was nearly dry only a few minutes before the train passed. Pn.Q.vnc7Prs m re t- rf fhem .luninff - "r " " ....w.. , or drowsine in their seats were! caught without warning. "The first I knew, the train started to settle' said Thomas Thoreson of Dawson, Minn., a survivor who was in the smoking car. "It was as if we were going through air. "Then there was a terrible bump. I didn't know what happened. The water started pouring In. People in the other part of the car screamed and fought to get out." His companion, Ellis Lund, also of Dawson, Minn., said "It was like a dream. I hardly know 'how I got out." The two men were listed as heroes by survivors. One of them crawled through a window they forced open. Together the two helped out "15 to 20" persons. Many passengers escaped from the submerged Wreckage when trainmen smashed windows to allow them to escape. Three porters who assisted In the rescue work said they saw "six or seven" bodies swept through car windows and carried downstream by the current. A hospital train rushed from Miles City to the Isolated crash scene, 30 miles east, as soon as word of the acident reached the city. The hospital train brought the Injured to Miles City for treatment. The train struck the bank of the creek with terrific force, even the sleeping cars being twisted out of shape. Many of the dead were found in a sleeping car which was completely submerged. (Continued on Page 2, Column 2.) GRAPHIC AERIAL ACCOUNT OF RAIL WRECK IS GIVEN By H. R. KESTER. (Written for The Associated Press.) MILES CITY, June 19. (P) A cloudburst of unprecedented proportions falling along the short course of Custer creek sent a great wall of water down a gulch that drops from the bench above, against the Milwaukee steel and concrete bridge with such force that it was washed out as if it had been so much straw. This occurred only a few minutes. after a reported Inspection by the I jy be told by anyone except thOM railroad company s track walker, wno found the creek bed practically ary at the time. Milwaukee No. IS (the Olympian) coming along shortly afterward drove at full speed into the gap and piled up with nearly all lta 13 cars crashing Into the thick muddy waters gwlrltng at flood atage. What happened afterward can hard- i I hi, III DESCRIBES RAIL BIAS IK Dan Kelly Is Passenger on Olympian but Escapes Injury; Appalling Sights Told. Miles City, June 19. (IP) Dan Kelly of Butte, vice president and managing director of the Anaconda Copper Mining company, described the seen at the wreck . of the Olympian near here Sunday as "tragic." Kelly was a passenger on one of the rear Pullmans, one which did not plunge Into the flood-swollen waters of Custer creek when the crack Milwaukee road flier, bqund from Chicago to Seattle, crushed a water-reeked trestle and toppled into the water. "We were aware something terrible had happened." Kelly said, "but we did not realize the enormity of the (Continued on Page 3, Column 1 ) wrio lived through the horror. The engine and several of th coaches hurtled across the open ee tlon, piling up and toppling back into the waters. Viewed from tho air it w a though some great fore had set about to effectively acramble th (Continued on Pago 3. Coluioa

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