Train derailed and crashed in Morton in 1912, killing 1

Posted 13 December 2013 at 12:00 am

By Bill Lattin
Orleans County Historian

MORTON – The “Chicago Limited” crashed into a string of freight cars on a siding at Morton on Sept. 12, 1912. A switch had been left open on the main track, which caused the derailment.

The fireman was pinned under the engine and scalded to death. None of the passengers were seriously injured although some suffered minor cuts.

Our photo shows the coal car off its carriage and one of the derailed passenger cars. The train was going 50 miles an hour, traveling west when the accident occurred.

The wreckage hit the Murphy Cold Storage, shown here, causing some damage to the building.

It was estimated the accident cost the railroad more than $100,000. This line through Orleans County was known as the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad or “Hojack.”