Barber County Kansas

The Barber County Index, January 15, 1902.


Brakeman Charles F. Rudolph fell from a Car
and Both Legs were Cut off.

Charles F. Rudolph, brakeman on the Santa Fe between this place and Attica, fell from the moving train while switching at Sharon Monday afternoon and both legs were crushed. Conductor Geo. T. Knight was the only witness to the accident.

He saw Mr. Rudolph miss his hold with one hand and he shouted to him to grasp with the other before he could get hold he fell. He managed to throw himself out far enough so that his body did not fall under the car but both legs went under, the wheels struck one leg near the knee and the other near the ankle. Several cars ran over him before the train was stopped.

Mr. Rudolph was put on the train immediately and brought to this city. The passengers on the train did what they could to control the blood and quiet the pain and as soon as he got here the physicians took him in charge at his home on Kansas Ave. The shock and loss of blood were so great, however, that reaction was impossible and at 11 o'clock p.m. he passed quietly away. His brother, K. F. Rudolph, of Kiowa, arrived a few hours before he died.

This is a most distressing accident and casts a gloom over the city and county. He is an old railroader and has many friends all of whom are shocked to hear of the awful accident.

Mr. Rudolph is survived by a wife, a son and a daughter to whom the hearts of our citizens go out in deepest sympathy.

Funeral services will be held at 10 o'clock today.

The Barber County Index, January 22, 1902.

Obituary of Charles F. Rudolph

Charles Rudolph, the Santa Fe brakeman on the train, which runs from Medicine Lodge to Attica, a branch of the Santa Fe, met with quite an accident Monday, January 13, 1902, which resulted in his death a few hours after. Mr. Rudolph was riding some cars in on the switch when he lost his hold and fell under the cars which ran over him cutting off both legs. He was picked up and brought to his home in Medicine Lodge where every assistance was given him for his recovery but all to no purpose.

Mr. Rudolph was conscious of the fact that death now had claimed him as His own. He said to his friends who watched so eagerly by his side for the better, "I fear they have got me this time; yes, I must go." During the hours of his most intense pain, he was as kind and gentle as a child. He would ask his friends "won't you please do this" or "please can't you do that."

Everyone was impressed with the sweetness with which he endured his pain. Just about an hour before his death he talked to his wife and told her he must go and when the conversation ended, he died without a struggle.

His funeral was conducted from the Baptist church, Rev. J. J. Griffin preaching the sermon, after which the Masonic order took charge of the remains and conducted their services at the grave. His many friends followed his body to its last resting place, there to weep with the family and loved ones and to pay the last tribute of respect to the departed.

He leaves a wife, son and daughter, a mother and five brothers to mourn his loss. He has been in the employee of the Santa Fe 22 years.

The family, with Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph and daughter, Jessie, of Kiowa, extend to their many friends their heartfelt thanks for their kindness and sympathy shown in this deepest affliction.

The Barber County Index, August 27, 1902.

Mrs. Rudolph Sues the Santa Fe.

On Monday Mrs. Elizabeth A. Rudolph brought a damage suit of $10,000 against the Santa Fe railroad company on account of the death of her husband, Brakeman C. F. Rudolph, which occurred last winter by being run over by the train at Sharon. The ground alleged is negligence of the company in that there was a defective hand hold on the car from which Mr. Rudolph fell.

Ex-Attorney General L. C. Boyle, of Kansas City, and County Attorney Griffin are Mrs. Rudolph's attorneys.

Noble & Tincher represent the Santa Fe railroad.

The Barber County Index, October 21, 1903.


Elizabeth Rudolph vs. the A. T. S. F. R. R. Co.

The case of Elizabeth Rudolph vs. the A. T. S. F. R. R. Co. was taken up yesterday morning. Mrs. Rudolph is suing for 10,000 damages on account of the death of her husband, Chas. Rudolph, who was killed at Sharon, two years ago. He was brake man on the branch between Medicine Lodge and Attica. The plaintiff is represented by Samuel Griffin of this city and Mr. Gutherie of Kansas City, a partner of L. C. Boyles, who is probably the most able attorney general of the state of Kansas ever had. A. L. Noble of Winfield and J. D. Houston of Wichita represent the Santa Fe.

The jury was completed at noon. The following persons composed it:

G. F. Evans
Olaf Olson
F. C. Stone
J. H. Lewis
A. D. Baldwin
Henry Earnstaff
W. R. Lepper
A. C. Collins
W. H. Benefiel
N. A. Chenowith
J. G. Clayton
L. L. Tedrow

-- The Barber County Index, October 21, 1903.

Meandering by Bev McCollom, March 17, 2008.

Alice Rudolph was born in 1886 in a sod house on a claim in Meade County, Kansas. She was the daughter of Charles T. and Elizabeth Kennedy Rudolph. A few years later, the family moved to Wellington when her father went back to work for the Santa Fe Railroad.

A few years later the Rudolph family moved to Medicine Lodge. Her Dad’s brother was Kansas Rudolph, who was Sam Ishmael’s partner down in Kiowa. They were known as Sam and Kan.

Alice finished grade school in Medicine Lodge, then went to Mount Carmel Academy in Wichita. After her graduation, she came back home and went to work at Fair’s store (later Trice’s). She then worked in the courthouse in several offices, finally becoming Clerk of the District Court.

In 1902 a traumatic event occurred in Alice’s life. The headline in the Cresset read: "Charley Rudolph Killed; Popular Railroad Man Loses Life by a Horrible Accident." This story followed:

"Charles F. Rudolph, brakeman on the Medicine Lodge branch of the Santa Fe road, met with an accident at Sharon on Monday, which caused his death at 11 o’clock Monday night, January 13, 1902. When the west bound train reached Sharon, it was found necessary to do some switching. While making a ‘clip’ switch, Mr. Rudolph, after signaling to go ahead, attempted to climb on top of a freight car just behind the engine. His hold on the car ladder broke loose. He made a desperate effort to catch the ladder with his left hand, but finding he could not sustain his weight, attempted to throw his body from between the moving cars, but the wheels caught his legs, one above and the other below the knee. Four cars passed over them, crushing the limbs to a pulp.

Conductor Knight and a traveling man were the only witnesses of the saddest accident that ever occurred on this branch of the Santa Fe. The railroad crew and passengers did all they could for his immediate relief. He was brought to this city as soon as possible and was met at the depot by Drs. Moore and Kociell. These physicians did all that could be done at the time. The Santa Fe company sent its surgeon from Wellington, but Mr. Rudolph died before his arrival. Charley Rudolph had been employed as a brakeman by the Santa Fe for nearly 22 years. He had been offered promotion, but preferred duty as brakeman on this branch for it permitted him to be at home every night with his family.

He was the oldest brakeman on the Santa Fe . . . .The Rev. J.J. Griffith of the Baptist church preached the funeral on Wednesday morning and interment was made in the cemetery in this city.. . .He was 51 years old and leaves a wife, son, and daughter, an aged mother and 5 brothers. One brother, K.F. Rudolph, lives in Kiowa. Every citizen of Medicine Lodge will weep with his surviving relatives. Always cheerful and genial, he became popular with everyone. . . . . "

In 1919 Alice married Henry (Sox) Rankin, who had been the coach at Medicine Lodge High School. He was the son of Hugh and Emma Weber Rankin, who lived near Nashville, where his father and grandfather had homesteaded in 1884 and where he and Alice later ranched.

Sox’s grandfather, Henry Rankin, was born in Antrim County, Ireland, in 1826.

In 1852 he married Mary Anne Archibald, who had been born in Scotland in 1838. The Rankins came to the U.S. in 1869, living for a while in Pennsylvania, where Henry worked in the coal mines. Later, they moved to Indiana, and finally in 1883 they moved to Sharon, Kansas. He homesteaded his claim in Ridge Road a year later. Henry and Mary Anne had 11 children.

Alice had learned to love the piano when she was at Mount Carmel, and Sox shared her love for music. They had a dance band for many years. Sox also conducted a band made up of local area young people, and was director of the band for the first Peace Treaty Pageant in 1927.

Sox and Alice had two children - Alicia and Charles - who grew up on the ranch.

Sox died in 1942, and in 1947 Alice moved back to Medicine Lodge, where she lived in the imposing house at 113 East Kansas Avenue. This was also close to her work, as she was appointed to fill an unexpired term as Register of Deeds, an office she continued in for 28 years, until her retirement in 1975. Alice died in 1984. More next week....

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site and to Bev McCollum for permission to reprint her column!

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