Big News in 1905

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Wed Jan 22 10:06:46 EST 2020

While cruising through the Library of Virginia newspaper archive ( I ran across two stories about the Norfolk
& Western. The one about John Pack was centered on the front page above the
fold, which is interesting placement for a ticket agent. It does give some
employee names, for those who like to keep track of the Who's Who of the
N&W. The second story is typical of many of that time, relating a wreck
that occurred somewhere on the railroad, in this case in Bedford. Enjoy.

Bruce in Blacksburg

[Roanoke] *Evening News*, Volume 11, Number 40, 16 February 1905, pg. 1


John A. Pack, for many years ticket agent for the Norfolk and Western
railroad in this city, and for the past two years excursion agent for the
same road, died at the hospital this morning at 8 o'clock--the result of
uraemic poisoning.

 Mr. Pack was taken to the hospital on Monday, and Tuesday afternoon was
operated on. Yesterday morning he was reported as improving and doing as
well as could be expected. Late yesterday afternoon there was a change for
the worse, but still it was not thought that his condition was at all
critical and his wife was not sent for until about 3 o'clock this morning.
When she arrived he was unconscious and never regained consciousness, dying
about 8 o'clock.

John A. Pack was a native of Giles county, Virginia, and his first
connection with the Norfolk and Western railroad was in the capacity of
locomotive fireman. In an accident at Bluefield he lost a leg, and after
his recovery was made ticket agent in this city, a position he held for
about sixteen years and until promoted to the position of excursion agent,
which he filled up to the time of his death.

He was married to Miss Sallie Gilmer, of this city, and is survived by his
wife and three children, who live at 319 Church street, s.w. Mr. Pack was
one of the most prominent men in the city and was a general favorite with
all who knew him. He numbered his friends by the score and was one of the
most trusted employees of the Norfolk and Western. He was under W. B.
Bevill, general passenger agent, and W. C. Saunders, chief clerk for Mr.
Bevill, who was with him at the hospital at the time of his death.

But very few persons in the city were aware of Mr. Pack being sick, and his
death came as a distinct shock to every one.

The funeral services over the remains of Mr. Pack will be conducted from
the First Presbyterian church tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock by Rev. Dr.
W. C. Campbell. The Elks, of whom the deceased was a very enthusiastic and
prominent member, will meet at their hall at 2 o'clock and attend the
services in a body.

Pg. 8


A wreck on the Norfolk and Western yesterday morning about 9 o'clock
blocked travel on that road for three or four hours, and Postal Clerk D. T.
Deane, of Blackstone, was lightly injured by being thrown into the mail
racks in his car. He was hurt sufficiently for him to be relieved when the
train reached Lynchburg, and F. B. Glenn, of that city, completed his run
to Petersburg

Train No. 1, westbound, was taking the siding at Elk Siding, a short
distance north of Bedford City, when No. 6, which is due in Lynchburg at 9
o'clock, dashed by, sidewiping the Pullman car which was attached to the
rear of the westbound train. The engine of No. 6 was badly damaged, and the
Pullman on the other train was considerably the worse for the accident.

No. 6 was approaching the siding at a speed of something less than twenty
miles an hour, it being the intension of the engineer to bring his train to
a standstill until No. 1 was safely on the side-track. When he applied his
air the brakes refused to work and the engine dashed into the rear of the
other train.

It is regarded as wonderful that the result of the accident was not more
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