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Babeuf's 1881-82 Springfield Directory




Cause the Death of a Boot Black and a Brakeman

            Saturday morning, about 5 o’clock, the remains of a boy were found scattered along the Wabash Railroad track, near Mason street.  The head was severed from the body, which was found lying between the rails, the right leg was cut off and the right arm was crushed.  The head and face were crushed beyond recognition and the brains were oozing from the skull.  The boy was probably a boot black, as his outfit – box, brushes and blacking – were found lying near by.  The only thing tending to identify him was the letters “F. G.” cut in the box.  The remains were inspected by nearly every boot black in the city, but none recognized him, and it is thought he did not belong here.  He was doubtless killed while attempting to board a moving train.  The coroner impaneled a jury of inquest Saturday, but they failed to ascertain any facts beyond those above stated, and adjourned until today.


            Saturday morning Mrs. Edward Burns received the sad intelligence of the death of her son William Burns.  He was employed as a brakeman on the Wabash road, and the train to which he belonged, becoming disabled near Jacksonville, he was sent back to flag a train following.  Having gone the required distance, he sat down on the rail and fell asleep.  The train came thundering along and the engineer did not see the unfortunate man until it was too late to stop.  His body was horribly mangled, and the head was entirely cut off.  It is said he awoke just before the train struck him, but was so dazed that he was unable to move.  Mr. John Burns, who is a foreman in one of the departments at the Watch Factory, went to Jacksonville and brought his brother’s remains to this city.  The funeral occurred Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and was largely attended.  The deceased was about 26 years of age and a very popular young man.
Illinois State Journal - October 6, 1884

            A horse attached to a sleigh in which a gentleman and a lady were seated, ran away, yesterday, in consequence of an accident to the harness.  The animal started on Capital avenue, and turned north on Second street.  The lady jumped from the sleigh in front of John Hopper’s house, and escaped injury.  The man was soon afterwards dumped, and the horse, at last accounts, was still running, dragging the sleigh after him.
Illinois State Register - December 27, 1884