|Wells J. Wescott
July 17, 1920
TWO FARMINGTON MEN MEET DEATH
Wells Wescott and Joseph Homola are Killed When Locomotive Explodes. LARGE TYPE LOCOMOTIVE IS BLOWN TO PIECES
Boiler is Carried 400 Feet, Wescatts(sic) Body Blown 600 Feet in Field.
A frightful explosion took place half a mile north of Kellogg on Friday morning of last week in which Wells J. Wescott and Joseph Homola of Farmington and a man by the name of Schrafer, of Minneapolis lost their lives.
It was the boiler of a K-1 engine, No. 5604, while pulling an extra, bound from La Cross to Farmington.
The cause of this accident will never be known, as the entire engine crew were killed. The only evidence as to what happened lies buried with the victims and the entire engine almost entirely blown to pieces. The boiler was lifted from the tracks and carried 400 feet up the track, blowing the cab to atoms.
According to a statement made by a hobo who was riding in a car next to the engine, Wescott rode with him for several stations and had only left the car and gone into the engine when the explosion occurred. He was found in a field 600 feet away from the wreck, but still alive. He died an hour later. The body of the engineer, stripped of all clothing, was found lodged in the telegraph wires. Joseph Homola was firing and he and the engineer were killed instantly.
The engine had recently been sent out from the shops and was supposed to be in good condition. Although no one knows the cause of the explosion trackmen believe it was caused from low water.
The engineer only a day or two before had relieved Val. Blockingar and Homola had relieved John Heinen.
Relatives here were notified at once and W. H. Wescott and wife and Mrs. W. J. Wescott were hurried to Kellogg by auto. C. I. Wells met a brother of Mr. Homola in St. Paul and they were taken to the scene by an early train.
The funeral of Mr. Wescott was held on Tuesday forenoon, interment taking place at Corinthian cemetery. The funeral was largely attended by railroad men, old neighbors and friends. Rev. Marker had charge of the services. Deceased (sic) leaves a wife and three children.
The body of Mr. Homola was taken to Hopkins for burial. He leaves a widow (Coral Wells, to whom he was married but two months ago) to mourn his death.
|Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad No. 5604 boiler explosion, "probably caused by low water".|
|I marked the pole under wich you boy was found. I found him on top of the bank (sic). Note: He was thrown 600 feet.|
|The spot on this picture indicates where the engineer was found right near the engine back of the tender, the X is where the fireman was found (sic).
Note: Fireman Joseph Homola of Farmington, Engineer Schrafer.
|Boiler was thrown 400 feet from engine, it struck the ground twice before it landed.|
The above pictures and notes from a bystander at the wreck they were sent to Wells Hale and Mary Ann Wescott, parents of of Wells J.
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