Big News in 1905
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Wed Jan 22 10:40:06 EST 2020
At the time, the ticket agent was a very important person in town, known to many people, as the railroad was the primary way of travel, and many folks knew and frequently dealt with the ticket agent, particularly business people. That is likely the reason for the placement of the story above the fold. As was mentioned in the article, “Mr. Pack was one of the most prominent men in the city…"
It is also of note that the report was that he had lost a leg in an accident at Bluefield and they made him a ticket agent. This was really not unusual for the time, there was virtually no such thing as workman’s compensation for accident or injury and the company made every effort to find positions these folks could fill, usually as a crossing watchman or something similar.
Thanks for sharing both stories
> On Jan 22, 2020, at 10:06 AM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org> wrote:
> While cruising through the Library of Virginia newspaper archive (https://virginiachronicle.com/ <https://virginiachronicle.com/>) 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 DIED
> EARLY THIS MORNING
> 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
> SMALL WRECK NEAR BEDFORD
> 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 serious.
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