01 November 2015

On This Day: Engineer Ault killed in railroad wreck

A freight train left Safe Harbor on the evening on 31 October 1881, traveling along the Columbia & Port Deposit Road. It had been raining and the heavy rains had caused a landslide onto the track. A news article, On This Day in 1881, reports the fatal incident. 

Engineer Ellis Ault did not see the landslide until he was right up on it. The engine struck a huge boulder and was thrown from the tracks, landing into the Susquehanna River. Engineer Ault and his fireman, named Zohne, went down with the wreck. Ault was killed. Zohne was in serious condition.  

Ault held on to the train as long as he could but finally slipped away. His remain were found On This Day, a mangled almost unrecognizable mess. He is survived by three children and a sister. He had resided in Columbia. His wife had passed almost six years prior. 

Zohme, a young man, lived in Columbia now as well. He formerly lived Lebanon. He was being attended to by Dr. Craig, the Pennsylvania Rail Road (PRR) physician. 

Lancaster Daily Intelligencer. (Lancaster, PA), 1 November 1881. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.  


On This Day is a prompt to further explore historical events.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.