Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois on June 18, 1973 · Page 2
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Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois · Page 2

Galesburg, Illinois
Issue Date:
Monday, June 18, 1973
Page 2
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J 4 By WILLIAM CAMP (Staff Writer) The late afternoon was quiet and muggy more than a year later, and the heat bounced and shimmered away from the gravel and gleaming rails near M&quon. You have to hike the last three-quarters of a mile now fclong the stretch of track they call the Peoria Line, The old timers, some of them, still call the line the Peoria Mine Pool. They are the ones who railroaded along here when the coal mines were Still working «at Fiatt. Now it's just the Peoria Line. YOU DIDN'T HAVE to walk so far the last time you came here. Emergency vehicles had blazed a trail across fields and meadows. It's difficult to remember exactly how it was the night the impossible happened — the night hulking wreckage of mammoth railroad engines lay scorched and smouldering after the disastrous crash. Giant boxcars were tossed about like toys at the mercy of an outraged child, and four veteran railroaders had ridden to their deaths. If you were there, you probably best remember the shocked confusion that gathered along with the fire trucks, police cars and ambulances punctuating the night with their blinking lights. A man slipped as he climbed down an embankment near an overturned boxcar. Another man with a soot-blackened face and a Civil Defense patch on his sleeve maligned a newspaper reporter for being in a restricted area. It was dark by the time the raging firds were under control, and the balmy spring air was rank with the stench of smoke and diesel fames. AND IF YOU WERE there, you probably were unable to comprehend the magnitude of the devastation on this unimpressive railroad line where two Burlington Northern freights had rounded a curve and collided head-on. Relentlessly mashed together by thousands of tons of their own cargo, the lead engines crumpled and exploded in flames. From an airplane the next morning the trains resembled a great helpless snake, its middle splattered and broken. Approaching the curve now you are at the point where the engineer and front brakem'an on.the westbound train would have seen the lead engine of the eastbound freight approaching. Seven seconds later they died. Investigators sifting through the wreckage later said the emrgency brakes on the westbound freight were applied just before they hit. The eastbound train apparently never On uon McOrnvv - a drinker? "No, never," his son confirmed. "He never drank at nil. Like even at a New Year's Eve parly. He was worklrtg but he stopped by for awhile. He stood around and talked to people, but he just never drank anything." McGraw good man whb spent all his earnings on his family. We ware a close family. He was a good example for the boys •i Reporter Campbell Re*visits Muquon Crash Site, One Year Later THERE IS A STAKE driven into the rocks near the tracks at the point where they hit. To the east, where you came from, the single track stretches straight as far as you can see, bordered on each side by high weed-covered banks. Around the curve to the west, the ground slopes awdy toward a neatly groomed valley, and that stretch of track is also straight and open. But they had to meet right on this blind curve here at this unnamed place. Then you'll probably see the cross. It's a white wooden cross with neatly lettered words: "In Loving Memory, Robert McGraw, 24 May, 1972." McGraw was 35 years old, according to the countless news stories that have been written -about the wreck. He was the front-end brakeman on Extra 2043 East, which had left Galesburg 37 minutes before the collision. McGraw lived in Oneida. More than that the newspaper reporters didn't know. Mrs. Maynard Adams knew him though. She lived across the street from him. "HE WAS A FINE man, a family man,*' she recalled. "'He had five children of his own and theirs (the McGraw home) was a center for children. All the children loved to go there," Mrs. Adams continued. "When the newspaper stories came out about the drinking and that, we were just sick. Bob had told my husband many times how he didn't condemn those who drank but he just didn't like it himself." "I can't defend him enough," she concluded. One of McGraws' five children, 16-year-old Ron, remembered recently that "He was close to all of us. He had to work a lot, but he spent as much time at home with us as C pp ^Tloilllt he could. We did a lot of things together. We went to Cali- fomia three or four times. fdr all the kids. „ , ., ilt "IT HURT BAD ENOUGH to lose him," she said softly, "but when this alcohol thing oame out in the papers all twisted around, it was just too much." "He meant so very much to us," she added wistfully; The engineer on Eastbound 2043 was Frederick Mitchell. Mitchell was one of those whose reputation has been tainted by accusations of drinking, made during the initial stages of the investigation. That controversy has been renewed since publication of a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, but the alleged trace of alcohol reportedly attributed to Mitchell has been discounted as the result of "an invalid test" by experts including the man who performed the test. "That hurt almost as much as the acicident," his wife Grace said. Mitchell was 51 years old. More than 30 years ago an inscription in his high school yearbook predicted he would be either' a railroader or a farmer. "He actually wanted to be a farmer," his wife recalled later, but Mitchell was the son of a railroader. They had moved from Knoxville to a home near Galesburg about two years earlier, their "acreage," she called it. "We worked on it and we walked on it," she went on. "EVERYTHING WE DID we did together," she added. And he did not drink, according to his family and friends. Two Mitchell children are married and a son is in college. Bill Watkins, another engineer and friend; "Fred was top notch. Along with another man out here he was in a class by himself — right on top." In the accident report issued by National Transportation Safety Board investigators, the four men on the westbound 5 (Continued on page 3) Cleaning Up After Saturday Week: Most Night Loss Storm Weather and River Stages By LARRY REID (Staff Writer) Galesburg-area work crews may spend the greater part of this week cleaning up what it took Saturday night's 5-minute windstorm to.destroy. Moving from west to east, the storm swept through the area showing no partiality for things in its path. It v was all over in the length of time it took one motorist to drive from the southeast edge of Galesburg. to the Holiday Inn north on U.S. 150. ' HOWEVER, that was all the high winds needed to smash store windows, uproot trees, scatter tree limbs and branches throughout the city and damage roofs. Only minor injuries were reported. Winds ripped away the roof of Nelson's Auto Parts, 1850 N. Henderson St., and scat- camping tered portions of it on the highway and in the lot of the nearby Angelo's Italian Restaurant. Police said flying debris damaged some cars parked at the restaurant. One man said motorists had difficulty driving out of the Harbor Lights Supper Club across the road from Nelson's because the debris on the highway caused a traffic jam. LIGHTNING apparently struck a tree at Club 19 along U.S. 150 and sent it crashing onto the roof of the establishment. Charles Calderone, co- owner, said the tree punched three large holes in the roof. He estimated damage at $30,000. No one was injured, Calderone said. City Manager Thomas Herring, who made an inspection of the city, said two large units were blown Storm's Aftermath The tedious job of cleaning up debris is the job of many Galesburg area residents this week following Saturday night's windstorm. A camper cover, above, was wrapped around a light pole at Weaver-Yemm Chevrolet Inc., 2195 N. Henderson St., after high winds hit. Carl Bloomberg, at right in the foreground, owner of Plantland, 1782 S. Seminary St., surveys damage to the greenhouse. The storm also caused considerable damage tQ the home of John Thulin, 1315 N. Cedar St. (Register-Mail photos by Dale Humphrey.) eavy over by high winds at Weaver-Yemm Chevrolet Inc., 2195 N. Henderson St. Herring said a third unit was damaged when it was struck by one of the overturned units. A number of camper covers for pickup trucks were blown about, and one ended up hanging from a light pole, he said. SIGN panels were blown out at the Belscot Family Center, 940 W. Fremont St. and at Eagle Discount Supermarket, 860 W. Fremont St., Herring remarked. Only the frame remained after winds destroyed the barrel above the Kentucky Fried Chicken establishment at 1017 N. Henderson St. Franc's Furniture Store, 1865 N. Henderson St., was doing business today despite heavy damage. Ken Wagner, the manager, said nine win­ dows were smashed by high winds and rain caused water damage to furniture. Herring said a window in the Bowman Warehouse Shoe Store, at the southwest corner of Park Plaza and Main Street was smashed during the storm. The Plantland building at 1782 S. Seminary St., was reportedly blown into a field. Some Illinois Power Co. crews spent 36 consecutive hours repairing damage to lines. Robert Schaefer, assistant electric superintendent, said that whil$ damage was widespread throughout the area, the heaviest part of the trouble was concentrated in the northeast section of Galesburg. DAMAGE, he said, also occurred at Abingdon, Knoxville, Hermon and DeLong. Some individual homes were still with­ out power this morning, Schaefer said. However, he said most of the major damage was repaired Sunday by 10:30 p.m. Illinois Power Co. crews from Aledo, Kewanee, LaSalle. Ottawa, Jacksonville and Champaign assisted with repairs here, he said. THE DUTY sergeant and his radio ! operator at Galesburg police headquarters were swamped with caffis as residents reported blocked-streets and downed power lines. According to police radio logs, mare than 1,000 callers telephoned headquarters—mostly reports of electrical outages. Off-duty police officers began arriving at the station as soon as the storm let up. Patrolmen helped residents move debris and report damage to the power company. Galesburg Fire Chief Ted Webber and five off-duty firefighters arrived at Central Fire Station after the winds subsided, but no fires were reported. From 60-90 calls came into Central Station in about two hours. "Numerous incidents of burning transformers were reported," Webber said today, "but we didn't have to fight any of them." FIREMEN stood by, however, as power company workers cut power from the downed wires. Police said a motorist driving on U.S. 150 north of Galesburg, reported his car was pushed sideways off the highway toward Lake Storey. The See 'Damage'- (Continued on Page 3)- I.- ;ll U i) t> ,r r 11 MM i • -PI rl" J I 'll' 1 (lUtt'l t "ft t H 1 1 MM 1 WWW IN HI "u.Hh J i M ^ 1 -1 1 5 ? 1 ill 1 - .( fmmg WW" MI ii' :.i: • -«LI •A it! iul it' I • i i 1 W-.nt lid 1 p "i!! UK •*L HI' IM kl ii H '.L' M M r • r n i i 'ii * 'I I h PI mil"!! ' i mini i 11 Mi 1 M> , 1 1 Mil :„, Ik;;. 1 mm .1- 1 'f • h - r i hi -i. n "H I'lii 1 •< '11. i- ir Hi- \\\ Li* * r J'! i .01 I- " I 11 a: I ll I'-• l • <l Fl • J I r I • » i 4! Mi- Mm III L lMj +11 •ill] liii; E -i> ti' II" pji-J IK i H I 1 'In * I jM! %w i > - 1 1 'I ii, In, if l I 1 I •1 I". IM ' " I I A Ii Jill' i i^t:Ulli I^I Itlri'iMHi'!' id! ill •i J ' U mm t mm r '\ 1 h • I I i i i < i • i 1 lit'" U 1 J I ! t or 1^1 U\ ill I Iff* * 4 i ri I h HI 'r r * • lit' to • 11 - . k i •(iff < y I * i -I I Ml mi- PI ('T F I"' i t 1 ;i 'i \i\tin IF Irrl , ^^^ I^ T , '' i M -'r'! • 1 - v t • H I II I. h J \ - h v l 1 s - 1 1 1 hi i" F * H '. fi P i i ii f hi 11 ' H I: t'l i • », • i- i I'- r i II I'' I r' * h • 'It' fit ^1 II : |*l|Hl j- 1 i t A. { 1 .; n - V 1 x r. • t p I - '.ihrlrilj 'i hi! •Nil' p !Ml • it TP •Ml IIM.- .,i ;ui I L Wirt . i- h i' I Mi ft V f * f 1} it ! drib Hit* I". • (iniif tlil'.ilHl ii! III!: iii':i( i i 'llil^Vi''^"!'" ,Ji !! " il i ';!•';: ILLINOIS: Tonight showers and thunderstorms likely with locally heavy rainfall south and east and chance of thunderstorms northwest early tonight. Tuesday partly cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms south and extreme east; turning cooler. Low tonight 60s and low 70s. High Tuesday mostly 80s. WESTERN ILLINOIS: Few periods of thunderstorms likely early tonight, ending late tonight. Considerable sunshine and cooler Tuesday, Low tonight around 60, High Tuesday. 80-85. IOWA: Tonight partly cloudy, windy and cooler tonight with chance of showers mosUy north. Variable cloudiness and continued cool Tuesday. Low tonight upper 40s northwest, low 60s southeast. High Tuesday 60s north, 70s south. LOCAL WEATHEH Noon temperature, 82, morning's low, 63. Sky clear, (Sunday's maximum, 84; minimum, 65; Saturday's maximum, 94; minimum, 66.) Sun rose today at 5:31 a.m., sets at 8:31 p.m. EXTENDEDFORECAST ILLINOIS: Wednesday partly cloudy and cooler; lows in low-60s to low 70s, highs low 70s to low 80s. Thursday and Friday fair and cool; lows mid 50s to mid 60s, highs low 70s to low 80s. RIVER STAGES Davenport—11.6 no change Burlington—13.1 rise 0.2 Keokuk—11.1 rise O.l Quincy—13.8 fall 0.1 Grafton—17.6 fall 0.4 Alton—18.2 fall 0.6 St. Louis— 23.5 fall 0.7 Cape Girardeau—30.7 fall LaSalle—20,9 rise 3.2 Peoria—15.7 rise 0.1 Havana—15.2 no change Beardstown—16.2 fall 0.2 St. Charles—19.3 fall 0.3 ' 0.2 unty id Min ing ckage SPRINGFIELD age road shown on private land may be a stumbling block for Midland Coal Co, in its attempt to get a state permit to mine in Knox County in 1973-74. Members of the Knox County Board Reclamation Committee, Burrel Barash, council for the county and Rep. A. T. McMaster, R-Oneida, met this morning with E. E. Filer, director of the state Department of Mines and Minerals, to lodge the county's objections to the mining firm's application. Barash argued that the state ought to*withhold the permit to mine on the grounds that Midland has not applied for a conditional use permit, and that the application does not meet reclamation standards set down by the Knox County Zoning Board of Appeals and confirmed by the Knox County Board. FILER informed the group he will have to seek a legal opinion to see whether the state can grant a permit where there has been no application for a conditional use permit. Later in the meeting, Filer asked Barash, "What legal reason does the department have for turning down the Midland application?** "Midland has never taken the position that state law takes precedence over county rules. Don't put us in a position where the firm can wave a state permit and challenge us to stop them from mini Barash said. Roger Seiboidt, R-4th < mi/Wee member, pointed A haul- that the county had filed ob- F jections to the application. He produced a map showing a haulage road over private land in section 14 of Copley Township, indicated on the f i rm's applic ation. Seiboidt said he pointed this out to the owner of the land who later went to John J. Sense, Midland president about it. Sense said the firm was not yet sure where the haulage road would be placed, Seiboidt reported. "BUT THE coal company signed a statement that it has a legal right to do everything stated in the .application," Filer said. "Doesn't that constitute a falsified statement? 1 ' asked Harry Thompson, R-2nd. Filer replied that it did. "I have to confess that we don't check every facet of every application," he said. "Wouldn't that be grounds for the state to refuse the application?" Thompson asked. Filer said, "That is certainly qualifiing information," Conservation of land, economic effect on the county, and underground water also were discussed at this morning's meeting. Seiboidt claimed that failure to reclaim land is "sacrificing something of worth for short-term gain." "That's very philosophical. I can't disagree," Filer said. ARASH also pointed out that the adverse effect on the county's tax base was one of the points attached to the objection. "We feel the should consider that too," Barash said. state aspect family THANK YOU pr^ctiatdv ment. ayaaifibwy those giving towans, .memjoriate Ghairles kindinieas shown tteikts (Twner) WHkins extended toe of our bereave Hospital StoBf friendship who helped way, ertamaUy gnatofui Rev, Kisfer Nurses, pallbearers pcntonial calls comfort oar odmg hearts such express'lons Charles Wilki Mis* Margaret WilMns George Bednercik Family Wilki I 9

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