Part 2 of 1882 Scioto Accident at Mingo
THE STRIKER’S STORY
Charles Page, of Marietta, Ohio, the “striker,” or assistant engineer of the Scioto, said that they started from East Liverpool at half-past 6 o’clock in the morning with a large excursion party, who were off for a 4th of July frolic, and that they went as far down the river as Moundsville, arriving there about 1:30 in the afternoon. After lying there about two hour we started up river for hoe, stopping at Wheeling and Martin’s Ferry. The people hailed us all along the river, but the Captain said we had enough on board and refused to take any more, except at, Steubenville, where we took on several. When we collided with the Lomas, as near as I can judge from what I heard people saying, we had on board 400 at least, and probably 500. I was on watch at the time of the accident, and when the boats whistled for passing, I noticed there was something wrong, but thought nothing of it, and stepped out on the deck for a second, when I saw the Lomas right on us. I rushed back to my engine, obeyed the bell to go back, which was immediately followed by a bell to stop, and then seeing that the boat was fast sinking the engineer and I threw a skiff into the river, and then I ran after my coat. When I got back the skiff was so full of terror stricken people that I knew it would sink, so I jumped into the river and struck out for the West Virginia shore. In looking around me as I swam I saw a sight that fairly took the life out of me. The water was black with struggling humanity, and the expression of the faces was the most terrible that you can imagine. Men, women and children were crying piteously for help, and some of the screams so unnerved me that I could scarely swim but the current was very strong, and as I struck out of the crowd in the water, there being but two boys near me who managed to reach the shore in safety with a little help from me. We swam about a mile altogether, and when we reached the shore it was almost impossible for any of us to stand up.
As to how many were lost I can form no idea, nor do I know what caused the accident, or whom is to blame. I heard that one of Capt. Thomas’ little boys was lost, Ned was his name, I believe.
Large Crowds at the Wreck-Looking for Missing Friends.
While the news of the calamity will put the little towns of Wellsville and East Liverpool in mourning it also excited the very greatest interest in this city, especially as there were quite a number of Steubenville people on board. It was not generally known last night, but the news spread rapidly this morning, and crowds went down by boat and rail to view the scene of the disaster. The Scioto is lying a little less than a half mile below Mingo station her bow pointed slightly towards the Ohio shore, and careening slightly. The fall of the river has brought the forward part of the boiler deck above water, but the after part is still under the depth of water in the river there being twelve to fifteen feet. Every movable object outside had been carried overboard, but in the cabin were chairs, tables, life-preservers, &c. We did not hear of a single person attempting to put on a life-preserver last night., which action might have save the loves of some. Musical instruments, ladies clothing, and all sorts of debris were scattered around, where they had been beyond the reach of the waters, and sadly told of the mournful ending of a joyous excursion.
Many persons came down from East Liverpool and Wellsville to-day to look for missing friends, and the crowds of people on shore and the skiffs hovering around the silent steamer, all show the deep interest taken in the sac event.
So far as can be observed the boat does not appear to have been very badly wrecked. She was not a very old boat, but had powerful machinery, making it very fast. She was owned by the Wheeling & Parkersburg Transportation Company, and as stated above, ran regularly between Wheeling and Matamoras. An effort will be made to raise her as soon as the water falls.
Edward Duffy was found alive at a farm house on the West Virginia side of the river this afternoon. He was badly injured on the head by something thrown from the boat, but managed to swim ashore.
were brought up to the Lindsey & Shannon’s undertaking establishment an neatly coffined. Three of them, David Fogo, Sarah Kiddey and Hammond Connor, of Wellsville, were shipped home at 3 o’clock, and two remain. One of them is Mr. Smith, of Wellsville, and the other fine looking young man of 25 or 26 years, supposed to be John Hart, of Cleveland. He has a smooth face.
Incidents Gathered Up Not Elsewhere Reported.
A son of Joseph Elliott, of Steubenville, swam ashore from the boat. He was the first up to the city with the news.
Mrs. Beech, of Liverpool, had her hands badly cut by trying to break through a window. She was so prostrated by the shock and excitement that she could not be taken home this morning, but remained at a dwelling at Mingo.
A special train from Wheeling came up last night with Wheeling reporters. The statements of the boats’ officers published elsewhere were made to them.
Superintendent Bruner of the C. & P., deserves much credit for his energy and generosity in sending a special train for the survivors free of charge. He would have supplemented it nicely by similar orders to some of his conductors this morning.
To the discredit of human nature, during the excitement a thief succeeded in getting possession of the money box, and made ashore with it. The fishermen’s blankets were also stolen.
An officer of the Lomas was tendered a drink of Liquor last night by a person in sympathy with his drenched and chilled condition, but the officer was declined with the remark: ”No sir, that was the cause of this night’s trouble.”
Dr. A. R. Ong, of Martin’s Ferry, pulled six men out of the water, and valuable assistance was rendered by Wm. Mann, of the same place.
It was reported that a boy named Sample, from Steubenville, was drowned, but it cannot be traced to any reliable source, and Edward Duffey is the only person from here that can certainly be said to be missing.
Five bodies are at Shannon’s undertaking rooms.
Coroner Fogg has held 9 inquests this afternoon. Friends take the bodies away as fast as they are attended to.
The bodies of Chase Moore, Miss Bell Brannon and Harry Donelly were taken to Wellsville at 3 P.M.
Two brothers living at Wellsville lost two sons apiece.
It is reported that Pilot Keller was allowing two women to steer the Scioto, which we hope is not true.
Search is being made for bodies with grappling irons at the stern of the boat.
Not less than 400 or 500 people are at the wreck this afternoon.
Men and women tool of everything but a single garment and swam ashore.
Contributed by Bonnie