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"Struck on the head by a Locomotive"
Early Waco Obituaries 1874-1908

Do you yearn for happier times? Those elusive "good old days" that everyone speaks of? Well, then, you're in luck.
Friends, are you tired of watching your local news? Do you dread hearing the daily count of car-jackings and drive-by shootings? Does the yellow ribbon tied around your oak tree say "Police Line, Do Not Cross?" Does your grocer give out paper bags with neighborhood maps so you can mark the recent home invasions like other people mark hurricane charts?

Do you yearn for happier times? Those elusive "good old days" that everyone speaks of? Well, then, you're in luck. Thanks to this list; we're able to share with you some of the obituaries of McLennan County that occurred in or around 1900.

Judging by these entries, the good old days didn't quite live up to the reputation. First of all, being treated "like family" wasn't necessarily a good thing. Secondly, railroad travel was so risky that careful passengers only bought one-way fares. People didn't commit suicide - they simply "suicided" with a little help from the corner drug store that freely dispensed carbolic acid, cyanide, strychnine, laudanum, and opium.

Wells collapsed, teams ran away and you could hardy leave the city limits without a body or two turning up. Preachers died in pulpits and people were shot in the courthouse.

These aren't tabloid tales; they're just items from Waco newspaper obituaries. The following were selected for unusual circumstances or the phraseology of the obituary. - Editor
©John Troesser

Excerpted from

Early Waco Obituaries and Various Related Items 1874-1908

Compiled and edited by John M. Usry
Published by the Central Texas Genealogical Society Inc.

N/D denotes No Date
* * * * *
April 14 - Skeleton of an infant about 4 months old found in ditch along MKT tracks near the driving park
July 27 - Walter Harper, Katy brakeman, run over by train
Aug 22 - Unknown man found dead Aransas Pass railroad. Possibly Jack Gill, a railroad employee
Oct 3 - J. F. Long of Crawford died at wagon yard
Oct 3 - Frank Ulander, died in construction accident at city hall
N/D - Issac Tice fell dead of alcoholism and heat. A blacksmith by trade
N/D - M. Morte, an Italian died
N/D - Miss Laura Calvert fatally burned in a sleeping car five miles from Waco
* * * * *
Mar 16 - Sidney J. Evans run over by railroad cars and dies
Oct 1 - Walter Wester dies of injuries from a railroad accident
Oct 12 - J. H. Hart, ex-confederate, ex-policeman, ex-deputy died yesterday
N/D - J. C. Carroll died in city jail charged with the murder of George Moore of Crawford. He swallowed four brass pins
* * * * *
Feb 21 - George Wiley died. Shots fired by Jim Chapman, brother-in-law
Apr 6 - Will Woods died when team of horses ran away. Neck broken
June 6 - "Buffalo Bill" died in county jail
Oct 11 - The body of Miss Mary Wheat was exhumed at Holland, Texas. Worked at dress making department of I. S. Levy's dry goods. Abortion suspected
Dec 19 - Dr. S. M. Jenkins shot (in court) by Hugh Wheat, brother of Mary Wheat
N/D - W. E. Long died from bullet wounds inflicted by his stepson
* * * * *
January 29 - H. C. Rosenthal of Waco died in Memphis, when he jumped or fell from a three-story window
Feb 27 - John Baker buried under 30 feet of dirt while excavating well on the Bergin place. A stranger
Mar 13 - Suicide of W. H. Mims, ex- Confederate soldier and father of Miss Lula Mims, Girl Lecturer
March 27 - Walter Cox who was shot in the Reservation died
May 3 - Tom Capps who went down with the North 2nd Street bridge. Burial at Potter's Field
May 8 - 10-month old infant of Phillip Cimo run over by a hack driven by Ed Ferguson
May 15 - W. P. Montgomery hit by freight train
June 18 - Bob Slaughter, age 17, was killed by a railway train yesterday. Knocked off 1st Street bridge
July 13 - W. A. Yarber who was hit on the head with a bottle a month ago died
July 30 - Byron Kingsbury and "Dunk" McLennan found dead with their throats cut Aug 4 Mrs. Shumate, wife of proprietor of Mills Wagon Yard, suicided. Had been despondent. Used strychnine
Aug 7 - Robert Larkin died at the race track. Drank horse liniment.
Oct 13 - J.G. Duffed died on a train between San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Age 75 Born Hamilton Ohio, ex-Confederate soldier
Oct 14 - George Dewberry, a negro conjurer was yesterday judged insane
Oct 14 - John or Julius McDonald died at the residence of John Toland of wounds he rec'd by E. Gates at the Bank saloon
Oct 16 - Major Hugh L. Taylor of Waco died at Brackettville Nov. 16th. Surgeon of 3rd Texas Volunteers in the Spanish-American War
Oct 19 - Henry Thomas was killed yesterday under the wheels of the Buffalo Bill train near Hewitt. He slipped and fell from a car. No family
Oct 28 - Mounted Police Officer Will D. Mitchell was shot to death yesterday by Will King. Age 36, wife and three children
Nov 7 - Miss Annie Starr died in her home 1114 Clay yesterday of typhoid. Age 26. Worked in millinery of Sanger Bros
N/ D - Elder Reverend Emanuel House, colored, 35, died in the pulpit of the Toliver Baptist Church on Elm Street
N/ D - Tom Tinadall shot and killed at farm of Duncan McLennan near Speegleville. Shot by Joe Alford who was ax-cut by Tindall
N/ D - Sylvester Allstott drown in the Bosque, age 24. Postal clerk on the Cotton Belt
N/ D - The 13 year old daughter of _____ died. She caught on fire.
N/ D - William Layton died at Axtell. Head cook for county road force. Had an argument with John Sparks. Was buried at Axtell. Sparks surrendered
N/ D - Jack Standley Killed by train 5 miles west of Waco. Sitting on tracks. 45 years. Was asleep?
N/ D - Emmet Peyton died. "He was struck on the head by a locomotive." Remains taken to Mount Calm for burial beside his mother
* * * * *
March 4 - Fred Roberts died suddenly yesterday at the Presbyterian church. March 20 Virgin Flores was killed on Bridge Street yesterday by policeman Robert Buchanan in self defense. Was from San Antonio, not well known here.
April 1 - T. Jay Womack was mortally shot by A. B. Meek yesterday at the Meek residence near 18th and Morrow. Family Feud. Meek married Womack's sister.
April 9 - Remains of W. D. Powell Sr. arrived from Mangum Oklahoma. Died of old age etc., age 89.
April 11 - Little Mary Ellen Yates died at the home of her parents of scarlet fever.
April 17 - Prof. Gustaf A. Schaus, musician of Waco sucided yesterday at his apartment 919 Speight.
April 21 - Albert Davis accidently killed on Hewitt Road Had been hunting. Gun discharged in buggy.
May 14 - B.E. Dotson, 23 died at his boarding place, 1603 South 4th Street, Baylor Student. Remains shipped to Brenham.
May 25 - Son of Mamie Dixon, aged 8 was found dead in the river several miles below Waco.
May 31 - E. L. Culver died at the Exchange Hotel., came here from Mt. Clements, Michigan to find work. Had tried suicide. Unknown cause of death June 5 William Hamilton, was found dead at his residence, 1713 Jackson. Bullet in his body. Wife Ella says he suicided. Age 35. Wife arrested
June 16 - C. M. Lewis, Pullman sleeping car conductor, found dead by railroad track, two miles west of Waco. Bullet hole in left temple.
July 7 - Sam Smith age 18, shot and killed by Fayette Stewart
July 8 - Alf Duty, who was shot at Golinda died July 8 Mr. Wright of Limestone County suicided yesterday by shotgun July 16 West Tennyson, of two miles south of Crawford was killled by a freight train July 13 or 14th - Buried at Crawford July 24 Ella Howard, white, found ill in a negro's home on North 2ns street. She died yesterday. Told conflicting stories before she died
July 25 - W. H. Lawson, colored, age 23, died at the undertakers, Tears and White yesterday. Was from Buda. Natural causes
July 29 - James D. Renegar, who ran a market at 11th and Webster, died of a self-inflicted pistol shot. Age 30. Was despondent
July 30 - Leon Daniels, cousin of Prof. E.E. Cammack, accidently killed himself on the Rodgers farm two miles from Waco. Was hunting birds with a shotgun
Aug 1 - The wife of Mexican Joe died yesterday. Ran a chili parlor
Aug 5 - Chas. Collins and Chas. Williams died in Waco yesterday. Collins died at Barrell House, apparently of poisoning, age 45. Perhaps from Iowa. Wilson was a stonecutter
N/ D - D.A. Harris died suddenly near the Katy depot Saturday. Age 55. No known relatives

Turn on the television - it's time for the news.

"They shoe horses, don't they?"
December 27 , 2003 Column
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