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Saginaw Valley Railroad Accidents During 1889
for counties of Arenac, Bay, Midland and Saginaw.
(Added Nov., 2008)

Joint Documents of the State of Michigan, Vol II - 1889


(Page XXXII - Michigan data summary.)

The total number of accidents reported during the year 1889 was 572. For the previous year 532, an increase of 40. This was one accident for each 124,787 miles run as against one for each 119,041 miles runs as by the preceding report. So that the number of accidents through numerically greater were proportionately less.

The total number of fatal accidents occurring was 179 an increase of 18 over 1888. The accidents not resulting in death, but involving difference degrees of personal injury of a serious character were reported at 394, an increase of 29 from the previous year. The following classified statement shows the number and character of person killed and injured on Michigan railroad during the year under report.

General Casualty Statement, 1889:

Passengers ...... 8 killed, 26 injured
Empoyees ....... 60 killed, 282 injured
Others ............. 110 killed, 86 injured
Total ................ 178 killed, 394 injured

Of the above 117 are reported as having been clearly accidental the remaining 455 resulting from lack of caution and the persistent habit of trespassing upon track and trains. 97 trespassers or tramps were killed and injured. 28 intoxicated people and 3 suicides figure in the casualty reports for the year.


(Page 52 - Local data.)

(Listed only those found for Arenac, Bay, Midland or Saginaw counties.)


January 16, Burger Godfrey, West Bay City. Jacking up car; carelessness.

February 2, Charles Dease, Bay City. Run over; trespasser.

March 29, L. Wesendorf, West Bay City. Jumped from way Car; carelessness.

July 2, J. S. Rarepeski, West Bay City. Went to sleep on clinker pit; carelessness.

October 1, Mrs. Hill, Zilwaukee. Struck by train; trespasser.

November 6, John Johnson, Bay City. Run over; lack of caution.


January 31, E. A. Benner, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

February 16, D. C. Hoabler, switchman, Bay City. Coupling; accidental.

February 25, Frank Rivers, Bay City. Getting off engine; carelessness.

March 4, George Carl, Chesaning. Walking on track; trespasser.

March 30, Cyrus McGregor, Bay City. Riding across crossing on hose cart.

March 30, L. W. Tobias, Bay City. Riding across crossing on hose cart.

May 10, Alexander French, trespasser, Bay City. Asleep under car.

May 19, Edward Waterson, Pinconning. Run over; intoxicated.

May 23, Mrs. John Nicholes and Daughter, Bay City. Walking around train; carelessness.

June 11, Unknown man, Saginaw. Struck by engine; trespasser.

June 17, James Moklan, Zilwaukee. Fell from train, accidental.

June 19, Samuel McEwen, Bay City. Attempting to cross track in face of approaching train.

July 12, A. K. Bridge, Saginaw. Coupling cars; carelessness.

July 24, A. H. Flynn, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

July 25, J. Prindeville, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

August 20, James Harwood, W. Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

September 27, M. G. Beckley, Linwood. Jumping train; carelessness.

October 1, Matt McCallum, brakeman, Bay City. Coupling; carelessness.

November 4, Jacob Gould, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

November 11, Wm. Aplin, Bay City. Jumping off cars; carelessness.

November 15, Joseph Savage, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

December 14, John Prindeville, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

December 23, George Emmons, Bay City. Coupling cars; carelessness.

Viewers Contributions:

By Marek Stelting - Added Feb., 2012.

    The entry for "July 2, J.S. Rarepeski," my gg-grandfather, should be Wincenty Skorupski. My gg-grandfather came to America in 1888, with his wife and four children, and shortly after, a fifth child was born. After my gg-father's death, his wife and children returned to Poland, where I was born. -- The following is a newspaper article regarding this accident.

    Bay City Tribune - July 3, 1889.


    Horrible Accident to a Bay City Man
    at the Round House on the West Side.

    At 11:30 o'clock last night a Michigan Central locamotive shunting a platform car, on which stood a crowd of workmen about a stretcher, moved up Water street and came to the halt in front of Dr. Newkirk's office. On the stretcher lay a man who had met with a horrible accident. His name was Wiezynutz Skarupski, and he lived at 1004 Twenty third street in this city, where had a wife and five children. He was employed in the clinker pit at the round house of the Michigan Central railroad on the west side o the river. His business was to clean the ash pans of locomotives as they came ino the round house. Last night he was waiting for an engine and sat down upon the track at the clinker pit, where he fell asleep. While in this position a locomotive came along and ran over him, the wheels passing over both legs just below the knees. He was picked up and brought to the comjpany's physician's office. He was suffering from the loss of blood and from shock. Drs. Newkirk amputated the left leg and dressed the right. He died from his injuries this morning at 6 o'clock. He had an insurance of $1,000 in the Standard.

Related Pages & Notes

Michigan Central Depot 1915
{click to enlarge}

None at this time.
People Referenced
Aplin, William
Beckley, M.G.
Benner, E.A.
Bridge, A.K.
Carl, George
Dease, Charles
Emmons, George
Flynn, A.H.
French, Alexander
Godfrey, Burger
Gould, Jacob
Harwood, James
Hill, Mrs.
Hoabler, D.C.
Johnson, John
McEwen, Samuel
McCallum, Matt
McGregor, Cyrus
Moklan, James
Nicholes, John Mrs.
Prendeville, John
Rarespeski, J.S.
Rivers, Frank
Savage, Joseph
Tobias, L.W.
Waterson, Edward
Wesendorf, L.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Chesaning, MI
Linwood, MI
Pinconning, MI
Saginaw, MI
West Bay City, MI
Zilwaukee, MI
Book Referenced
Contents of this book include reports for:
  • Railroad Commissioner, report for 1890.
  • Commisioner of the Land Office, report ending Jun., 1889.
  • Inspector of Illuminating Oils, report for 1889.
  • Abstract of Statistics, for Insane, Deaf & Dumb, and Blind, for 1889.
  • Abstract of Reports of Superintendents of the Poor, ending Jun., 1889.
  • Abstract of Sheriffs reports, ending Jun., 1889.
    -- Book link {View}
  • WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.