enter name and hit return
B.R.T. WRECK - BROOKLYN
2 November 1918
Brooklyn Standard Union
--This is part of a series of articles regarding the derailment of a BRT train
in Flatbush on November 1, 1918. The accident, "the most horrible which
has ever occurred on a railroad in this city" killed and injured hundreds.
99 KNOWN DEAD IN B.R.T. WRECK - BROOKLYN DAILY STANDARD UNION - NOVEMBER 2, 1918
Casualty List of Flatbush Horror Grows Hourly -- HYLAN Calls on
District Attorney LEWIS to Bring Criminal Proceedings At Once.
COURT HOLDS DISPATCHER WHO OPERATED THE TRAIN
Practice of Using Green Motormen Bitterly Denounced --
Prosecutor Takes Charge of Wreckage -- Mayor Sits in Flatbush Court.
Indications this afternoon that the wreck of the Brighton Beach train
near the Prospect Park station last night is second in frightfulness and
horror to the Brooklyn Theatre fire, long regarded as the worst disaster
At 1 P.M., the known number of dead had reach ninety-nine. Of these,
little more than two-thirds have been identified, so completely had the
bodies been torn and mangled....
The scene, which was the entrance of the tunnel leading under Malbone
street about 100 feet from Flatbush avenue...The motorman is Anthony
LEWIS, 25 years old, 160 34th street.....he assumed charge of the train,
in order to allay the rush caused by the strike of motormen which was
then on. He declared in the Snyder avenue station, before Mayor
HYLAN and District Attorney LEWIS, that while he had had acted as
a motorman some years ago he had never run a train over the Brighton line.
Immediately after the smash, LEWIS disappeared...
Brought to the stationhouse, where he was confronted by the Mayor
and District Attorney, LEWIS said that as soon as he could extricate
himself from his badly damaged motorman's box, he assisted several
women to the street. The, terror-stricken, at the sight of lifeless bodies
piled in heaps and the groans and cries of the injured, he ran away. He
went to the Culver station at Coney Island, changed his clothes and
sought his home.
Samuel RUSSOF, one of the guards of the train, who resides at 3926 West
Fifth street, Coney Island, was arrested at the scene.
LEWIS AND RUSSOF HELD WITHOUT BAIL.
LEWIS, the train dispatcher, who was operating the train, and RUSSOF,
the guard, arrested last night, were taken before Magistrate MAGUIRE
in the Flatbush court to-day on charges of homicide....
The train was a five-car one. The first was a motor car, the second and
third coaches and the fourth and fifth motor cars. The side of the first
(?) on which the motorman stood was hardly touched, not a window
having been broken....
The train left the rails apparently after entering the tunnel about
forty-three or forty-four feet and travelled afterwards about 100 feet,
some saying that the total distance the train travelled after leaving the
track was about 350 feet. This resulted in putting all the cars inside
HARROWING SCENES AS RESCUE WORK GOES ON IN TUNNEL
At 8:30 P.., there was not a man or woman left alive in the tunnel. Those
who had not been killed outright crawled painfully from the wreckage
or were taken out by the firemen and police.....
Scene of Horror Revealed
At about 9 o'clock it was said there were thirty dead bodies just inside
the south end of the tunnel, but the rescuers devoted all their efforts
to the north end, where the scene below the street was one of
The firemen had lowered two sets of huge ladders to the tracks. At
2 o'clock this morning seventy-nine dead bodies had been pulled over
the rungs, wrapped in heavy canvas sacks and burlap bags.
The bottom of the pit and for two hundred feet north into the tunnel
was an awful mass of crumpled wooden cars and twisted steel. Lying
in among the wreckage and along the tracks were scores of silent figures.
The dead lay as if they had been litterly hurled through the windows or
from the platforms. Some of them had been carried from the cars by
passengers more or less badly wounded, but had been dropped by them
after having actually died in their arms.
The tracks plainly showed where the train had been derailed. Thirty
feet out the north opening deep grooves bore silent witness to this.
For three hundred feet inside the train had plowed up the earth until
stopped by sideswiping the side of the tunnel.
The motor car was torn from its tracks, the roof was dragged off the
second one as if it had been made of paper, the third one had tipped
over until it rested on the side of the tunnel, and the other two, of the
five-car train, were all but demolished. How so many escaped with
their lives is providential.
LEWIS Finally Located.
The man proved to be Edward Anthony LEWIS, 25 years old, of 160
Thirty-fourth street. He was located and placed under arrest by
Detectives McCARTHY and REULING and taken to the Flatbush
At first the motorman refused to make any statement, but when pressed
in the magistrate's room he told a startling story.
When LEWIS was arrested his young wife collapsed. When she came to
she said there was a Friday hoodoo hanging over her husband. Three weeks
ago yesterday, she said, her husband was stricken with influenza. The next
Friday her baby died and yesterday this terrible accident occurred.
According to LEWIS' statement, which was given out by the police, he
went to work yesterday morning at 5 o'clock as a train dispatcher on the
Culver line and worked until late in the afternoon. He was told to take
out a train at 5:15 and run it to Manhattan. He did so, but according to
the police, LEWIS told his superiors before he went out with the train
that he had never been out alone before.
Didn't Understand Car.
On four previous days, according to his statement, he had made trips,
always accompanied by an experienced motorman. He told the District
Attorney he did not understand the mechanical construction of his car
and had no technical knowledge about running a train.
He left Manhattan with his train about 6 o'clock last night, he said, and
when he reached Franklin avenue and Fulton street, he missed a switch.
He was forced to back his train onto the right track, and in doing so lost
After he had straightened himself out he made a stop at the Park Place
station. When he passed Consumer's Park station he acknowledged
he was running his train at 30 miles an hour. He tried to check the
speed of his train, but could not, he said.
He applied the air brakes, but they would not work. After the crash
came, he said, he assisted several injured passengers to leave the
train, but when he was confronted with the mangled bodies of the dead
the horror of it sickened him. He could not stand the sight and
went to the Culver depot, where he changed clothes.
REVISED POLICE LIST OF KILLED AND INJURED
ALEXANDER, James, 647 Fenimore Street
AMREIN, Ada, Address unkown
ARENA, Mabel, 186 Lefferts Avenue
BARCINO, Eugene Edward, 42 Henry Street, Flatbush
BARGIN, Etta, 1145 East 14th Street
BECHTOLD, Emily, 362 East 9th Street
BERKOWITZ, Herman, Address unknown
BORGEN, D., 97 Kenmore Place
BORDEN, Helen, 1011 Ocean Avenue
BRUNSWICK, David, 847 East 10th Street
BURTON, Mary, 1458 East 17th Street
COOPER, Margaret, Detroit, Mich.
COADY, Emily, 682 Argyle Beach
CLEARY, Margaret, 318 Parkville Avenue
CLIFFORD, Ethel, 485 Argyle Road
(No listings for "D")
ENGGRAN, John W., 37 East 10th Street
FLEMING, Catherine, 7 East 10th Street
FITZPATRICK, Ed., Avenue H and East 17th Street
FLAHAVE, James F., 277 East 38th Street
GILFEATHER, Thomas F. 388 East 49th Street
GARDINER, Mary, 347 Lincoln Road
GILBERT, Michael, 1510 East 18th Street
GILLEN, Harry, 1634 East 13th Street
GUIDE, Nicholas, 1505 Neck Road
HOPKINS, Lewis, 2130 Bedford Avenue
HOLTORY, Theodore, 984 East 18th Street
HOLMES, George W., 611 Westminster Road
JACKOWITZ, Sophie, 4301 Church Avenue
JOHNSON, Mary, Address unknown
KERR, David B. 132 Nassau Street, Manhattan
KINSIE, Benjamin A., 79 Haven Avenue, Manhattan
KIRCHOFF, Clara, 877 East Fifteenth Street
LARSEN, H.W., 713 Avenue N
LAWREY, Nellie, 1782 Shore Road
LAWSON, T. C., 1716 Caton Avenue
LEE, Fred W. 212 South Oxford Street
LOMBACK, Harry 22721 77th Street
LOMBARD, Henry, 1919 East 18th Street
LOURING, Frank J., 1025 East 15th Street
LOVE, Bessie, 90 St. Marks Place
LOVELL, Aubrey, 1522 East 10th Street
MAIER, Joseph A. 204 Midwood Street
MALAMAUD, Abraham, 602 East 16th
MALONEY, Lillian, 178 Lefferts Avenue
MATTOOK, Ethel, 335 East 21st Street
MEEHAN, Helen, 22, 348 Eastern Parkway
METZGER, Ira H. 816 East 14th Street
McMILLEN, Carnette, Address unknown
McCORMACK, Mrs. Grace, 1404 Cortelyou Road
MURPHY, Grace, a school teacher, 1297 Homecrest Avenue
NAGLE, Richard, 2124 East 24th Avenue
PILKINGTON, Mrs. 214 Webster Avenue
PIERCE, W. F., 244 Lefferts Avenue
PALMEDO, Alexander M., 439 East 19th Street
PORTER, William D., Argyle Road
PORTER, E.E., 309 Caton Avenue
PROUT, Grover T., 275 Ocean Avenue
(No listings for "Q")
ROTH, Charles, 311 East 19th Street
RUBIN, M. H., 675 Flatbush Avenue
RUSSO, Mamie, 485 Grand Avenue
RYAN, Michael, 2163 Nostrand Avenue
SCUDDER, Ethel, 1221 Avenue Q.
SHIEDEN, John, 420 Cortelyou Road
STEVENS, W. E., 150 Nassau Street, Manhattan
SCHAEFER, Harold, 2804 Farragut Road
STERN, Adolph, 141 Central Avenue
SULLIVAN, Margaret, 19, 2745 Bedford Avenue
SHEVIT, Syd, 224 East 26th Street
TEN BROUCK, Floyd, 1419 Avenue G
THORN, C.C. 2023 Caton Avenue
TIETJEN, Johann W., 420 Cortelyou Road
TOLZE, Genaro, 2439 East 14th Street
TOWNSON, T.G., 1716 Caton Avenue.
(No listings for "U")
VINCENZO, Louis A. 493 Gravesend Avenue
VINEBERG, Morris, 1706 Bath Avenue
WALKER, Marion, 1670 East 10th Street
WEED, H.E., Address unknown
WATTS, Hazel, 48 East 22nd Street
WALSH, Genevieve, 4301 Church Avenue
WOELFER, Charlotte, 738 East 21st Street
(No listings for "X", "Y", "Z")
AYER, Oscar, 600 East 16th Street
AMREIN, Kurt, 634 West 135th Street, Manhattan
ANTONELLO, Rosario, 1419 Lincoln Road
BAIRD, Loraine, 2542 East 5th Street
BANELSON, Vera, 170 Coleridge Street
BARRETT, Susan, 1550 East 12th Street
BOOM, Martin P., 635 Flatbush Avenue
BRAULT Zephrin, 107 Martense Street
BROSER, Mrs. Wm., 2641 East 21st Street
CALABRIA, Rose, 1935 East 9th Street
CLEARY, Mary, 318 Parkville Avenue
CLINCHY, Susan, 1704 Kings Highway
CORCOCILLO, Joseph, 1089 East 39th Street
COSTELAN, Marie, 24 Harrett Street
DRENNAN, Margaret, 1911 Homecrest Avenue
(No. listings for "E")
FULLER, Elizabeth, 364 East 18th Street
FELICIA, Samuel, 38 Darby Street
FUCHS, Pauline, 2902 West 17th Street
FENNON, Edith, 826 Avenue P
GOWARD, Harold, 234 Lefferts Avenue
GIILERDI, Sylvia, 2617 Jerome Avenue
GUTHRIE, James, 800 East 15th Street
HARLEY, Helen, Crown Street
HARRIS, Leonore, 62 Marlboro Road
HARRIS, Gertrude, 810 Avenue U
HARM, George, 2801 East 7th Street
HAYES, Nora, 287 East 17th Street
HALL, Martha, 2715 East 23d Street
(No listings for "I")
JUDD, Francis, Manhattan Beach
(No listings for "K")
LARSON, Lillian, 713 Avenue M
LEE, Henry A. 971 Utica Avenue
LERNER, Nathan, 15 President Street
LEES, Loretta, 619 East 4th Street
LEES, Mary, 619 East 4th Street
MITCHELL, Matilda, 3456 East 15th Street
MURPHY, Veronica, 1922 Homecrest Avenue
McGARRY, John, 120 Avenue C
MANDER, Walter, 840 Flatbush Avenue
MARTENSE, Gary, 1501 Avenue U
MULE, Ernest, 2421 East 18th Street
MUSSON, Silas, 402 Ocean Avenue
MELLOW, William, 568 East 18th Street
MESSIER, Josephine, 2163 Coney Island Avenue
(No listings for "N" and "O")
PIERCE, Mrs. Kate, 1011 Ocean Avenue
PITTS, Frank G. 632 East 16th Street
POCHICHIE, Louis, 354 Prospect Place
(No listings for "Q")
ROCHES, Mary, 2647 East 18th Street
REILLY, Alfred, 153 Martense Street
SCHMITT, Geo. W., 856 Est 5th Street
SEYMANN, Harry, 104 Woodruff Avenue
SCHUBERT, Arthur, 100 Webster Avenue
STOBEI, Rev. Joseph, 225 Emmons Avenue
SULLIVAN, Loretta, 437 East 15th Street
(No listings for "T" and "U")
VAN ARSDALE, Betty, 3122 Mermaid Avenue
(End of "Dead and Injured" list)
WILLIS PORTER NOT KILLED; SOME OF THOSE WHO WERE
BROOKLYN DAILY STANDARD UNION, NOVEMBER 2, 1918
The mortality list of the B.R.T. disaster bears the name of William PORTER,
Argyle road. The only PORTER listed on Argyle road is Willis D.
PORTER, o 721 Argyle road. Willis D. PORTER is alive and well
and returned home Friday night on the train immediately preceding the
one that was wrecked. Mrs. PORTER when seen, says a claim agent
from the B.R.T. has already been at her home trying to make an adjustment.
Edward Erskine PORTER, of 307 Caton avenue, one of those killed,
was born in White Plains 25 years ago and had lived in Brooklyn all
his life. He attended Poly Prep, where he was prominent in
dramatics and debating. He was a graduate of Williams College,
Class of 1915. He was connected with Harris Forbes and Company,
of Manhattan. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. David
PORTER; a widow, Cloise, a baby daughter and his sister, Mrs.
William A. DELAHAY. Funeral services will be conducted at the
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. His father is a well known
real estate man, who built the Chamber of Commerce Building.
Margaret CLEARY, of 381 Parkville avenue was seventeen years
old, and attended St. Rose of Lima's School, in Flatbush. She is
survived by her mother, Mary, a brother, Edward and two sisters,
Josephine and Mary, who also was on the wrecked train, and is now
lying in the King's County Hospital in a critical condition. Miss
CLEARY was assistant treasurer at the Orpheum Theatre.
F. G. TEN BROECK, of 1421 Glenwood road, was among those killed.
He was born in Elmira forty-six years ago and was a graduate of
Cornell, class of '95. For seventeen years he had been chief
engineer of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, Astor
Building, Manhattan. He is survived by a widow, Anne; his
father, William R.; two daughters, Delphine and Adria, and two
sons, David and William, who sailed for France last Thursday.
Funeral services will be held to-morrow at 3 P.M. at his late home.
Interment will be at Elmira.
Alexander M. PALMEDO lived with his wife and son, Bernard, at
439 East Nineteenth street. He was born in Brooklyn fifty-two years
ago. He was the son of the well-known Dr. PALMEDO, who died
many years ago. He was connected with the American Glue
Company of Manhattan. In 1898, Mr. PALMEDO went out with
Troop C, New York Cavalry, and served throughout the Spanish-
American war. He was a Mason and a member of the Spanish-
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at this late home, with
interment at Greenwood Cemetery.
Ira HARRISON METZGER was born in Brooklyn 29 years ago and
lived with his family at 876 East Fourteenth street. He is survived by
his wife, Elise T.; a three-year-old daughter, Iris Elaine; his father,
David; three sisters, Carrie and Stella and Mrs. Henry PEAVY; and
two brothers, Gabriel and Milton. He was a member of Company A,
Twenty-third Regiment, N.Y. Guard. Upon graduating from Boys' High
School, he took a course in electrical engineering at Cooper Union,
and at the time of his death he was engaged with Rickard and Sloan
at 20 Vesey street, Manhattan, as technical advertising manager. The
funeral will be held on Monday at 2 P.M., Rev. Dr. Nathan S. KRASE
officiating. Interment will be at Union Field.
Raymond PAYNE, of 1213 Avenue H, was born in Brooklyn eighteen
years ago. He attended P.S. 9 and Commercial High School. He is
survived by his father, Louis; his mother Marceline, and a sister,
Marcella. Funeral services will be held Tuesday night at his late home.
Wilbur F. PIERCE, of 244 Lefferts place, was 23 years old. He had
lived in Brooklyn for about twenty years. He is survived by a widow,
Ethel, and a son, Wilbur F., Jr.
Christine KEMPF had been a resident of Brooklyn for the past thirty-
nine years. She is survived by her husband, Herman KEMPF, who is
connected with the Sperry Gyroscope Company, and two sisters.
Funeral services will be held at her late home, 203 Parkside avenue on
Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment at Lutheran Cemetery.
W. A. STEPHENS, of 83 Rugby road, is survived by a widow, five sons
and a daughter. He was active in religious work in connection with the
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church.
ABOLISH THE B.R.T., PASTOR'S DEMAND
Dr. Reed Says Brooklyn Shouldn't Tolerate Conditions.
More Bodies Identified.
French Girl Had Fled Here to Escape Germans.
In his sermon yesterday, the Rev. Dr. Lewis T. REED, pastor of the
Flatbush Congregational Church, referred feelingly to the loss of
several members in the B.R.T. wreck and spoke forcibly about the
necessity of punishment for the guilty authors....
Identification of the remaining bodies was finished yesterday after-
noon and six bodies of persons who were missing added to the list.
Those identified yesterday were:
ALFARO, Peschal, 160 Robinson street
GIVNAN, Thomas, 1601 Voorhies avenue
KEMPF, Christina, 203 Parkside avenue
LYONS, Caroline, 1616 Avenue H
MUNN, Sadie, 25 Rugby road
SCHWAAN, Aline, 95 Lenox road.
Miss Aline SCHWAAN, the last of the missing to be identified, was
a beautiful French girl who fled to America nearly a year ago, when
the Germans overran her home. She made her home with Miss Emelia
HENNISON, who was also killed in the wreck. Miss SCHWAAN was
employed in the office of the Belgian Consul General in Manhattan.
Letters found on the girl's body established her identity.
Was Navy Yard Engineer.
Thomas J. GIVNAN was the son of the late James and Mary GIVNAN,
1601 Voorhies avenue, Sheepshead Bay, and was born in Brooklyn
twenty-eight years ago. He was employed in the engineering depart-
ment of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Funeral services will be held at his
late home to-morrow at 9:30 A.M. At St. Mark's R.C. Church, solemn
requiem mass will be celebrated.
He is survived by his wife, Jennie, and a daughter, Florence. Interment
will be made in Holy Cross Cemetery by Henry J. FLOOD, 297 Van Brunt street.
Theodore HOLTORF, another of those lost in Friday night's disaster, was
60 years old. Funeral services were held at his late home, 984 East
Eighteenth street, Flatbush, this morning at 8 o'clock.
Marion NORCROSS GARDNER was in her fifty-second year. She was
the wife of Robert FOLGER GARDNER, of 347 Lincoln road, and the
daughter of the late John and Sarah NORCROSS. Funeral services
were held this morning at 8 o'clock at Lefferts Place Chapel, 86 Lefferts place.
John Charles Ferdinand RATHE was the husband of Sarah Elizabeth
RATHE. Funeral services were held at his late home, 311 East
Nineteenth street, Flatbush.
Henry L. LOMBARD, 40 years old, was the husband of Louise E.
LOMBARD, 1016 East Eighteenth street. Funeral services were held
this morning at his late home. He was a member of Kedron Lodge, 803,F. & A.M.
Caroline LYONS was the daughter of Hyman and Emma LYONS, 415 East
Seventh street. Funeral services will be held to-morrow at 2 P.M. at
her late home. Interment private.
Helen B. BORDEN, a pianist living at 445 Riverside Drive, Manhattan,
was so seriously injured in the wreck that she died late Saturday night
in Kings County Hospital.
David BRUNSWICK, 70 years old, living at 847 East Tenth street, was
formerly a merchant in business in Louisville, Kentucky.
Girl Chums Die Together.
Another case of two girl chums meeting their death in the wreck, came
to light with the identification of Miss Ethel CLIFFORD, of 485 Argyle
road, and Ms. Emily COADY, of 682 Argyle road. The girls were
sitting side by side in the second car of the train when the crash came.
Both were killed instantly. The two had been chums for years, went to
school together and worked in the same office.
Harry P. GILLEN, a victim of the accident on Friday evening, was born
in Yorkville, N.Y., twenty-nine years ago and was a resident of St.
Brendan's parish for nine years. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and
Mrs. John J. GILLEN; a brother, Joseph, in France, and two sisters, Mrs.
MAHONEY and May GILLEN. The funeral will be held to-morrow at
9 A.M. from his late home, 1539 East Thirteenth street, thence to St.
Brendan's R.C. Church where requiem mass will be celebrated. Interment
will be at Calvary Cemetery under direction of William FENTON of Coney
Island avenue and Avenue O.
A double funeral will be held on Wednesday at 9 A.M. with a requiem
mass at St. Brendan's R.C. Church. It will be the funeral of two chums,
Michael J. GILBERT, a horse trainer for F.C.B. Page, and his chum,
Michael RYAN, also a horse trainer, both having been killed in the
accident of Friday. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery under
direction of William FENTON, of Coney Island avenue and Avenue O.
Michael J. GILBERT was born in Tipperary, Ireland, on Sept. 26, 1892,
and had been a resident of Brooklyn for six years. He made his home
at 1819 East Thirteenth street with his two sisters, Mrs. COOKE, and
Mrs. NUGENT, and in addition to them, is survived by his parents; a
sister, Sarah, a brother, Patrick, in Ireland; and his sister, Mrs.
Josephine WALL, two half-brothers, Tom and Edward BUTLER, and
a brother, John GILBERT in Chicago.
Michael RYAN, was born in Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland, thirty-six
years ago and ad been a resident of Brooklyn for twelve years. He
at lived 2162 Norstrand avenue, and is survived by his mother,
Katherine; a brother, John, in Ireland, and his sister, Mrs. BUTLER.
Funeral services for Mrs. Elsie M. BECHTOLD, one of the wreck
victims, will be conducted to-morrow night at the home of her
brother-in-law, John STELLWAGEN, at 362 East Nineteenth street,
by the Rev. Frederick GORDON (difficult to read) of the Flatbush
Congregational Church (the remainder of the column is illegible).
(Name and part of paragraph illegible)...from his late home, 297
East Thirty-eighth street, thence to the Church of St. Catherine of
Genoa, Fortieth street. He is survived by his widow, Laura; his
parents, Mary and William; three brothers, John, William and
Mathew; and one sister, Margaret. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.
David BOGEN, twenty-seven years old, son of Rebecca and the late
Louis BOGEN, a victim of the wreck, is survived by his mother; and
a brother, Robert. The funeral was held to-day from his late home,
94 Kenmore place.
Louisa G. CONDRA, also killed, was born in Newark twenty-three
years ago and had been a resident of Brooklyn for three years. She
was secretary to the vice-president of the National City Bank in
Manhattan and is survived by her mother, Marguerite, and two sisters
The funeral will be held to-morrow morning with a requiem mass at
the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Interment will be at Newark.
Transcriber: Carole Granville
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