Front Page History: One killed, one maimed in train accidents 107 years ago

Published 5:43 pm Monday, February 3, 2020

Two separate train accidents left one man dead and another without any legs in February 1913. The front page of The Danville Messenger on this day 107 years ago told both men’s stories.

One man, George Glascow, was killed “instantly” in the local Danville train yards the morning of Feb. 4, 1913.

“In attempting to get out of the way of a moving train, he stepped directly in front of an early passenger train,” according to the story. “… He resided out on the Lebanon road and was a good citizen. He is survived by a wife and an afflicted boy.”

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The other man had been working near a passenger depot on South Broadway in Lexington.

“With both legs cut off and the stumps badly frozen almost to the hips, Harry Temple, of Danville, a trainman on the Queen & Crescent railroad, was found on the Q&C tracks … Saturday morning in an unconscious condition and taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital,” according to the story. “… He must have made an attempt to mount the fast freight which had passed there some time before, and fell under the train. He was found lying against the rails, with the mangled remains of his feet just inside the track, and was thought dead.

“A closer examination showed that he was still alive, however, and the ambulance was called.”

Doctors operated on Temple and by the next day, “he was reported to be resting easier but still in a critical condition. The mother and sister of the unfortunate man arrived in the city Saturday afternoon and visited him at the hospital.”


Paper endorsed anti-alcohol bill


Front and center on A1 was a story that was part news, part opinion about a bill being considered by the U.S. Congress that would “prohibit the shipment of liquor from ‘wet’ states into ‘dry’ states.”

The paper reported a “large congregation of people” had gathered the prior Sunday at the Second Presbyterian Church to hear a sermon from Rev. W.O. Sadler of the Methodist church and organize in support of the legislation.

“At the conclusion of the sermon, strong resolutions were read and adopted by a rising vote. It was agreed that a copy of same be sent to Congressman Harvey Helm by night telegraph,” the story reads. “Our people are deeply interested in the passage of this bill, as its making into law means the stopping of shipments of liquor to Danville from Cincinnati, New Albany and other cities near the Kentucky line. … The Messenger adds its request to Mr. Helm to put his shoulder to the wheel, which, we are satisfied, he is already doing.”


Groundhog got it right


The paper also reported on a groundhog seeing its shadow two days earlier on Groundhog Day 1913.

“That we will have six weeks more of bad weather, there is absolutely no doubt, as the groundhog is a prophet whose signs are never questioned,” a short article on A1 states. “Sunday was the allotted time for the gentleman to appear, and he could not have had a more suitable day. The sun shone bright all day, though a keen wind was exceedingly disagreeable.”

Another article offered snow on Feb. 3 as proof the groundhog’s weather-predicting sense was on-target.

“Snow began falling yesterday afternoon about four o’clock and is quite deep all over central Kentucky,” the article states. “Mr. G. Hog begins to prove his wisdom early.”


Piano concerts all the rage


The front page also recounted two different piano concerts that had happened in recent days at the Kentucky College for Women, which had only just changed its name from Caldwell College (it would consolidate with Centre College 13 years later in 1926).

One concert was performed by influential Swiss pianist Rudolph Ganz, and the paper gave it a rave review.

“His audience sat spell-bound under the magic of his music. Even in these days of digital wonders, Ganz’ technical skill is amazing, dazzling,” the paper’s story reads. “But his appeal is not by jugglery, pose or affectation. He unites with a quiet, unassuming dignity such powers as an interpreter of musical masterpieces as make him a giant among modern pianists.”

The other concert, also held at the Kentucky College for Women, featured two pianists, “Misses Gladys Shailer and Hilda Froehlich,” performing together.

“An entire program for two pianos was something new here, and the innovation proved exceedingly enjoyable, especially so when in the hands of so capable artists as these young ladies,” the paper’s article reads.


Commercial Club called for unity


The paper shared a news release from the Danville and Boyle County Commercial Club, which reported that after the club had handled its regular business during its most recent meeting, the members turned the discussion to “the best way to arouse our citizens of both town and county to the all-importance of getting closer together and having a better understanding as to the best way for one and all to both pull and push together for greater Danville and Boyle County.”

The article states, “in order that we may put in practice what we preach, we decided to give a smoker and invite the business men of town and county and our friends, the railroad officials, and representatives of the different railroad organizations to take part in discussing” the call for unity. “… Danville is now due for great things that will make greater Danville in the near future. If all her citizens are willing to show their patriotism, by not only wishing well and stay(ing) at home, but com(ing) out, tak(ing) part with both head and hands to help in any way.”