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Norwalk Railroad Accident, Norwalk Harbor, CT

norwalk railroad accidentNames of passengers aboard the New York and Norwalk Railroad that plunged into Norwalk Harbor, May 6, 1853.

Of the 200 passengers aboard the train, 48 were killed when it plunged off a drawbridge into Norwalk Harbor. The Norwalk Railroad Accident went down in history as one of America's worst railroad disasters.

As the train approached the drawbridge, a steamship was passing through. A signalman on the bridge lowered a red ball warning the train to stop. The train's engineer claimed the red ball had not been lowered, even though other witnesses testified it had been. The train plunged off the drawbridge at 50 miles per hour. Most of the fatalies occurred in the front two cars.

Many of the passengers were physicians and their spouses, returning from the Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association in New York. It took several days to pull bodies out of the water. There were 8 passengers who never accounted for.


norwalk railroad accident deathsNames of passengers below were taken from Weekly National Intelligencer, published in Washington DC, on the front page, dated Saturday, May 14, 1853. The front page provides detailed first-person accounts from survivors about the accident and the rescue attempts afterwards. Those who have ancestors present at this accident is advised to get a copy of this newspaper for additional historical information. Copy of this newspaper can be accessed from: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/


Beach, Dr. Samuel, res: Bridgeport, Conn
Barr, Oliver, supposed to be an agent of Antioch College, O.
Bacon, Ellen S., res: Roxbury, Mass
Bartlett, Dr. Josiah, res: Massachusetts
Colbath, Isaac, C, res: Richmond, Me.
Carrigan, Mary, res: New York
Davies, B. S.
Desaugué, Mrs. A. L., res: Philadelphia
Dimmock, D. W., res: Marshfield, Conn.
Dwight, W. C., res: Brooklyn
French, Walter, res: Manchester, N. H.
Foss, (or Goss), Ellen, res: Poughkeepsie
Fluent, Mrs. J. M., res: Lancaster, Pa.
Gray, Dr. John, res: Springfield, Mass.
Greene, Mrs. and son, res: Baltimore
Hutchinson, J. M., res: Boston
Hanson, (or Hanna,) Mrs., res: New York
Hotchkiss, J. B., res: New Haven
King, Nathaniel, Jr., res: Anthens, Ohio
Luhers, Rev. John Henry, res: Williamsburg
Lang, Anna B.
Landers, Mrs., res: (supposed) Baltimore
Losierr, B. F.
Morse, (or Moss), John, res: Gardiner, Me.
Mitchell, Miss, res: Hartford
Newell, David B., res: Newport, R. I.
Oppendeck, (or Opedyke), D. N., res: Worcester, Mass.
Parker, Mrs., res: Woodbury, Conn.
Parkes, Beverly, res: Yorkville
Pomeroy, Mrs. Susan
Pierson, Dr. Abel L., res: Salem, Mass.
Pearson, Mrs.
Robbins, Mary E., res: Lennox, Mass.
Robbins, Miss M. E., (daughter)
Sales, Francis W., res: Boston
Smith, Dr. J. M., res: Springfield, Mass.
Smith, Sampson, res: Bellows Falls, Vt.
Shankey, (or Sparks), Mrs. G. R., res: Pittsfield, Mass.
Van Deventer, W. L., res: Newark
Welch, Dr., res: Hartford


Adderly, Peter, Gardiner, Me., Contused, but able to walk
Burke, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
Bushley, Eli, Much hurt
Bemis, Dr., Charlestown, Mass, Injuries not serious
Brown, Dr. and Mrs. C. H., Ipswich, Mass., Slightly
Colbath, John., Shoulder dislocated. His brother killed
Comstock, Charles, conductor of the train. Wrist dislocated
Carrigan, Margaret, New York, Sister killed
Day, Mrs. S., Broughton, Mass., Injured seriously
Fluent, John M., Not severely, Wife killed
Griswold, Miss, New York, daughter of Dr. Rufus Griswold, nearly drowned, but recovered, her status very critical.
Griswold, Mrs., Slightly injured
Grant, Levy, Richmond, Va., Face injured
Harvey, Mr. and Mrs. L. W., New York
Hicks, Thomas, New York
Hopper, Dr. John A., Dickerstown, N. J., Injured in face
King, Miss, New York
Mayer, Catharine, New Brunswick, N. J.
Newell, Warren S., Georgia, Ankle broken
Bucken, Rev. Mr., Injured in head and leg
Parkes, Charlotte, Yorkville, Slightly hurt. Father killed
Ten Brook, Rev. Andrew, New York, Slightly injured
Trotter, John, New York
White, Thomas, Jr., Marlborough, N. H.

Saved and Uninjured

Adams, Miss
Adley, P.
Bacon, W.
Bartlett, Dr. G.
Barton, F. A.
Benson, Dr.
Bissell, Dr.
Bowen, Dr.
Bowen, Mrs.
Bowles, F.
Bramore, G.
Brown, E. J.
Buok, Dr.
Castle, A.
Chadbourne, J. R.
Chadbourne, Miss
Clarke, Mary E.
Cooper, F.
Curtis, D.
Curtis, D.
Curtis, Mrs.
Cushing, J. O.
Dickerman, Dr.
Dillingham, F.
Dresser, J.
Elmer, Geo.
Eugno, J.
Ferguson, J. D.
Fisher, T. D.
Francis, Chas.
Fuller, G. A.
Gilbert, J.
Gilbert, Master
Glan, Dr.
Goodnenow, W. B.
Grinnell, W. T.
Hart, G. A.
Hayard, Miss
Heath, E.
Hodges, B.
Hodges, C.
Hodgkiss, W. B.
Holbrook, H.
Hungerford, D. S.
Hunt, M.
Huntress, J. L.
Ingalls, J. P.
Ives, Dr.
Kingsley, E. D.
Kingsley, Miss
Lamb, Dr.
Macy, P.
Macy, Mrs.
Maeder, J.
Marcy, A.
McAndee, Mr.
McAndee, Mrs.
McCarty, J.
Meach, Geo.
Merriam, M.
Miles, J.
Mles, Mrs.
Moore, H. H.
Moore, Wm.
Moore, Mrs.
Morton, K.
Murray, A.
Murray, M.
Nevins, D., and family
Newton, J.
Newton, Mrs.
Nutting, James
Nutting, S.
Paine, B.
Palmer, R.
Peabody, B.
Peacock, P.
Peck. J. P.
Pierce, O.
Ransom, W. G.
Ring, J. Jr.
Ring, Mrs.
Robbins, S. S.
Roby, Dr.
Rundridge, G. F.
Rundridge, Mrs.
Russell, Dr.
Savage, E.
Schmidt, E.
Scott, M. D.
Sherman, A.
Southington, G.
Spear, C. F., and his son
Spooner, S. A.
Stackpole, E.
Stackpole, J.
Starbuck, George
Stetson, A.
Steward, J. D.
Stewart, Master
Stodart, Mr.
Strong, J. H.
Tallcot, Dr.
Taylor, E.
Taylor, Master
Taylor, S.
Thompson, Dr.
Thompson, Mrs. Dr.
Timmerson, Mrs.
Walpole, R. C.
Warren, Dr., and family
White, Dr.
Whitmore, N. J.
Whitney, Wm.
Wilcox, H. S.
Willard, C.
Woodward, Dr.
Young, P.

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