Thursday, February 13, 2014

"and asked those who had firearms to come to the assistance of the trainmen...."


Between Train Robbers and the t
Employee of the Railroad.


The Heroic Stand of the Engineer
and Fireman,


The Miscreants Attack the Express
Car, Where They Are Met With a
Warm Reception of Bullets--A
Hand to Hand Fight Ensues, in
Which a Hunter's Shotgun Proves
Effective--The Robbers Got Noth-
ing but Lead--A Daring Attempt
Bravely Foiled.

   Centralia, ILL., Sept. 21.--The train robbery epidemic reached this place shortly before 12 o'clock last night, with far different results, however, than the recent robberies on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern at Kessler, Ind., and the Mineral Range road, at Hancock, Mich.

   The attempted robbery here--for the bandits went away empty handed--occurred on the Illinois Central at the coal shute just south of the city. The train which was attacked by the out-laws was the Chicago-New Orleans limited, which left Chicago at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The train was a heavy one and could not keep up to schedule time, arriving here about two and a half hours late.

   Yesterday afternoon three strangers were noticed lounging around the Illinois Central depot, but nothing was thought of it at the time, the belief being that they were waiting for a passenger train to go out of the city. It is supposed that these were the robbers. It is believed that when the train pulled up here the robbers got on the front end of the express car, and when the coal shnte was reached, where coal was taken on, they climbed over the tender, ready to carry out their plan of deviltry.

   As the train was about to start, after coaling, two of the outlaws confronted Engineer Young and Fireman McDonough and commanded them to stop

"Don't move, for your life," hissed one of the robbers, but the engineer and fireman paid no heed to the command and made a spring for the robbers. The were met with shots from the revolvers in the hands of the robbers, which laid them low for the time being. Engineer Young was seriously wounded. He was shot twice, one of the bullets entering the shoulder and plowing through the arm down to the elbow, where it made its exit, and the other penetrated the back and lodged in the left hip. The fireman received a shot in the head and one in the leg.

   The two robbers then proceeded to the express car, where they demanded admittance, but were met with a volley from the express messenger and conductor of the train, Odum, who had gone to the express car to see the messenger. Volley after volley was fired by both the besieged and besiegers until the door was shot full of holes. Finally the bandits secured a sledge hammer and broke in the door, and then began another battle between the trainmen and the robbers. The former had erected a barricade of boxes and express packages, and a regular fusillade commenced.

   In the meantime one of the brakemen had gone to the rear and aroused the passengers and asked those who had firearms to come to the assistance of the trainmen. Among tbe passengers was an old-time brakemen named Jack Sanders. He had been hunting and had a shot gun with him. He immediately proceeded to the express car, gun in hand and on arriving there commenced firing on the two robbers. One of  Sanders' shots took effect in one of the robbers and he sank to the floor of the car bleeding profusely.

   While Sanders was doing yeoman service the third robber, who had kept in the shade up to this time, came out and commenced firing at Sanders from the shadows of the coal chute. His aim was bad, however, and Sanders escaped unhurt. When the wounded robber fell to the floor the two others, seeing that the game was up, started on a run and disappeared in the darkness....

[The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Wheeling, W. VA., Friday, September 22, 1893. Volume XLII--Number 26. Pg. 6]

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