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Out of the Depot

Early Single Track Railroading Dangerous

By J. K. Gurner


The photograph (which can be seen in the online edition) shows the lodge brothers of the local Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division 99, at the funeral of Bill Hadaway on May 11, 1904. They are from left to right, Arthur Mills, Archie Smith, B. A. “Tobe” Boydston, Henry Blackston, Jack Kirby, “Red” Myers, Ed King, Pete Ohlson, Charley Dunn, and Mr. Hadaway’s brother.
This tragic scene was enacted all too often in this period of heavy traffic on the dangerous single track railroads of the time. This accident occurred when engine 936 struck a cow and overturned in the “Graveyard Dip” a mile or so north of Middleburg, Tennessee.
Ironically, Mr. Hadaway had been appointed night roundhouse foreman in the Water Valley shops and was making one last trip to Jackson to get his clothes and turn in the key to his locker. His fireman, Henry Johnson, was also killed in this wreck. Johnson had been with Bob Everett in a wreck just south of Water Valley three weeks before. Johnson jumped, but Everett was scalded and died. The district Road Master had come along to ride the engine and “feel the track” to Grand Junction and he too was killed. Hadaway, a widower with two little girls, had married only two weeks before to a lady from Winona.
The 110-year-old grave-site is located on the main road leading into Oak Hill Cemetery on the left (west) a hundred feet or so from the main gate.

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