Barber County Kansas

Hutchinson Daily News, Tuesday, February 9, 1904.

Mrs. Pauline Martin, an Old Lady, Meets Instant Death

Struck by Santa Fe Train No. Six at 1:30 While Walking on the Tracks.
Wheels Crushed Her Head And Life Was Gone When Trainmen Reached the Body
Could Not Hear the Train, Her Head being Wrapped to Protect from Cold.
Killed By The Cars

Mrs. Pauline Martin, an old lady living in the east part of the city, was run over and instantly killed by Santa Fe train No. 6 at about 11:30 o'clock today. She walking on the track in the vicinity of the Standard Oil tanks, in the east part of the city, and probably did not hear the approach of the train in time to get out of the way.

Train No. 6 had left the station but a few moments late and was making ____?___ usual time in the east end of the ____________?__________ woman walking along the tracks and is believed that she was on the outside of the rail a good share of the time before the train reached her. The Engineer pulled the whistle a number of times and the bell was rung to call the woman's attention to the train but she did not seem to hear the noise until the engine was almost to her, when she made some sort of an attempt to cross over the track instead of stepping away from it. The cow catcher struck her legs and she was thrown partly under the wheels her head being mashed all out of shape and making it impossible to recognize her. She was dead when the train stopped which was as soon as it could be done. The trainmen put the remains on a stretcher and backed up to the station, where the body was taken into the baggage room and Coroner Taylor and Undertaker Johnson were notified. The train stayed but a moment and it was impossible to get very much information out of the train crew as No. 6 was behind time and pulled out at once.

The remains were taken to Johnson's undertaking parlors under the orders of Coroner Taylor, who had just arrived. There the pockets were examined and some papers identifying her were in the pockets, and a small bag which she was carrying at the time of her death.

The trainmen are in no way to blame for the accident as they had no reason to suspect that the lady would not leave the track before they reached her. There are hundreds of cases every day where people walking on the track refuse to leave it until the train is almost to them. If a train were to stop every time that a person was seen walking on the rails there would be few trains which would make more than ten miles an hour, as the stops would have to be almost continual in the vicinity of the larger towns. It was thought by the trainmen that the lady was hard of hearing but Officer Cross who knew her says this is not the case and that she could hear all right. Mrs. Martin had her head wrapped up on account of the cold weather and this would interfere some what with the hearing, while the wind was making a noise in the telegraph wires overhead.

Mrs. Martin was a widow who lived alone in a little house near the home of Mr. Sthrowl in Fourth avenue east. Mrs. Martin's house was built on lots at the rear of the Sthrowl home and she lived alone there. She had S. F. Hutton to look after a small piece of property which she owned and Mr. Hutton was collecting the rent for her and depositing it in the First National bank. She had a deposit certificate in her pocket, shich was found by the coroner, showing that she had $380 on deposit there. She took care of herself a good share of the time although some of the neighbors looked after her a good bit.

Mrs. Martin and her husband came to ___________ __ __________ and lived here for several years, going later to Barber county, where they lived on a ranch. Five years ago they moved back here and about three years ago Mr. Martin committed suicide by taking poison. He was mentally irresponsible at the time. Mrs. Martin had lived alone a good share of the _______ since then and was often seen by the neighbors walking to town and back along the tracks of the Santa Fe road. Many people in the eastern part of the city knew her well and she had a good many acquaintances over the city. She was of French parentage and talked that language some times.

The little house where she lived was just south of the Stevens lake and may of the visitors at that place had often seen the old lady in the evenings as they had gone out there to bathe.

It is thought that Mr. Martin had no relatives in this county excepting a step-daughter, a Mrs. Morgan, who lives in the southeast part of the city. She and the step-daughter had not visited with each other for a long time and did not seem to get along very well together.

Coroner Taylor and County Attorney Brown decided that an inquest should be held and the Santa Fe railroad agent, C. A. Walker, thought that it should be done to prove that the company were in no way to blame. It was decided to have the inquest on Thursday afternoon aetasbrdlauinuu (sic) Thursday morning at 10 o'clock. The railroad men, who had charge of the train, will have to be brought here at this time and as some of them live in Kansas City, this is the soonest that they can all be gotten together.

Pauline Martin & her husband, A.D. Martin, were living in Turkey Creek Township, Barber County, during the 1895 Kansas State Census.

Thanks to Melody Morgan for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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