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Here are newspaper clippings and photographs showing the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific wreck located two miles east of Smith Center, Kansas.  The wreck occurred when the Rock Island passenger train No. 7, the Rocky Mountain Limited, was derailed, resulting in three cars being burned and passengers and employees being slightly injured.  It was reported the accident was due to excessive speed over a defective piece of track. The train was traveling about 35 miles an hour when the accident occurred.  The locomotive left the rails and landed in a field.  The cars were dragged with the locomotive, and the large tender was wrenched and twisted. One of the mail cars collided with the tender and the wrecked cars immediately caught on fire and quickly burned.  A mail clerk was quite badly wounded and four others were slightly injured.  Ray Wiggins, engineer, and Will Doleman, fireman, were in charge of the engine and retained their places on the locomotive during the accident.  Wiggins sustained slight injuries by being thrown from his seat.  The fireman Will Doleman is credited with rendering assistance to the injured and extinguishing the fire.

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Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union memory book Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union memory book

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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Welcome to Kansas Memory

Primary sources online from the Kansas Historical Society

To get started, use the category browser to the left, the search button above, or check out some of our featured items below.

Item of the Week

Ida M. Walker

In 1920, just after the 19th Amendment was ratified, Ida M. Walker was one of only 33 women nationwide elected to a state legislature. That year Kansas boasted four woman legislators, the second highest in the country. The three other legislators were Minnie L. Grinstead, Nellie Cline, and Minnie J. Minnich. Walker represented Norton County, District 101, as a Republican in the Kansas House of Representatives. Born in a sod house in Jewell County, Walker attended public schools before becoming a teacher herself. Walker took advantage of the few leadership roles available to women, serving as State President of both the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and the Federation of Women's Clubs, the State Chairman of the Belgian Relief Fund women's section, and as Sunday School Superintendent in the Methodist Church. Watch Kansas Memory for Walker's papers, which are archived at the Kansas Historical Society--they will be digitized in the coming weeks.

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Historical Society / Ancestry Partnership

Selected Kansas newspaper titles digitized and available on Chronicling America.
Read more about the project at Kansas Digital Newspaper Program.

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