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La Grande, Union County, Oregon
The Awful Death of John R. Carson the Well-Known Engineer
On Tuesday last all that was mortal of John R. Carson, the well-known engineer on this division of the O.R.&S. line was laid to rest at Riverview cemetery, Portland. Who, of all his legion of friends could have believed a few days ago that he would now be numbered in the ranks of those that have passed beoynd and only the memory of his cheerful face and pleasant greetings remain to remind us of the uncertainties of life.
On Sunday last the west bound passenger train drawn by engine 59 with No. rr as a “helper”, pulled out of Huntington, considerably behind time and was soon thundering down the road at the rate of 35 miles an hour. A few miles out of Huntington, Carson left the cab of his engine and started forward to join Engineer Leach who was in charge of No. 44, in the lead. As he passed through the narrow window of his cab he gave Fireman Warnock a sign to lookout for the engine and in his usual daring manner, unmindful of the dangers surrounding him successfully passed his own engine and was standing on the right side of the water talk of No. 44 when in one unguarded moment he lost his footing – the next he was seen plunging headlong to the ground and a life fell of hope, radiant with bright promises was forever hushed and John Carson lay dead upon the ground.
The accident was witnessed by A.H. kramer, fireman on No. 44 and sppedily as possible he gave the signal to “down brakes” and returned to the spot where the body of Carson lay. Engineer Leach was the first to leave the train and hastening to the body found Carson lying dead beyond the reach of human aid. His neck had been broken by the fall, a severe contusion appeared upon one side of the face, while a stream of blood was flowing from both ears. The horrified passengers and train men quickly gathered about the body and it was tenderly raised and carried to the train and brought to La Grande, where the wife of the unfortunate engineer resides. The news of his end was gradually broken to her and no one can picture the scene of grief and bitter woe of the poor wife as she slowly came to realize that her husband and protector who had left her but a few hours ago in the full vigor of life and perfect manood, now lay a cold and bleeding corpse.
Carson was one of the oldest engineers on the division, coming here from the O.& C. road and prior to his employment on that line was working on the Virginia and Truckee road in Nevada. He was a member of Blue Mountain division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive engineers and also of the Red Cross Lodge K., of P. On Monday the body was placed on the west bound train for Portland.
Mrs. Carson accompanied the body of her husband to Portland with Mrs. H.C. Higginson, an intimate friend and on their arrival at that city were joined by relatives and a number of friends of the deceased and widow. The funeral took place on Tuesday and poor unfortunate John Carson now sleeps beneath the ever green turf of beautiful Riverview cemetery while a wealth of floral tributes of affection lie fading on the newly rounded mound of earth that marks the resting place of a kind and affectionate husband, a friend true as steel and one well worthy of a better fate.
Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday
August 9, 1888