S. E. Crance to W. F. Merrill, strike violence

In the wake of the 1888 strike, railroad officials worked to compile lists of violent protesters and their victims; in this report, S. E. Crance lists violence at strategic points along the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad line.

W.F. Merrill, Esq. Gen. Mgr. St. Joseph
Strike Information

Dear sir:

Your letter March 24th. I have been delayed in furnishing the information asked for in that letter owing to interruptions caused by the strike, but give herein answers to your questions in order as below:-

No. 1 The number of men of each kind on the line that struck.

There were 85 engineers and 85 firemen who struck Feb. 27, 1888. These figures differ somewhat from those given you by telegraph some time ago, as since that time it has been found that some of the men who were off & supposed to be strikers, were off on other accounts.

No. 2 Number & names of men employed as engineers & firemnen, who refused to strike & remained in the service.

W.C. Hannum, a fireman at the time of the strike, formerly as engineer, refused to strike; as did also H.W. Johnson, who was running as an engineer; and Geo. Edgeman, who was running as firemen.

No. 3 Number of trains run the first day of the strike.

Eight passenger trains were run on first day of strike

No. 4 By whom were taken out?

As follows:- train No. 15, Brookfield to Kansas City, W.C. Hannum, engineer: No. 3, Quincy to Kansas City, engineer H. Johnson from Quincy to Bucklin, I.N. Wilber engineer from Bucklin to Lathrop, Geo. Thompson, Foreman, engineer from Lathrop to Kansas City: No. 1, Quincy to Macon, J.H. Rood, engineer: No. 63 Cameron Junction to Atchison, W.M. Shutley, engineer: No. 4, Kansas City to Quincy, Geo Thompson, engineer, Kansas City to Lathrop; I.N. Wilber, Div. M.M., engineer from Lathrop to Bucklin; H. Johnson, engineer from Bucklin to Quincy; No. 64, Atchison to Cameron Junct., W.M. Shutley, engineer: No. 2, Kansas City to Quincy, engineers W.C. Hannum & J.H. Rood.

No. 5 Names of engineers & firemen engaged the first day of the strike and where from.

Engineers -
W.M. GruberQuincy, ILL.
C.J. GraingerKansas City, MO.
C.V. LintonKansas City, MO
JAS. Murray?
J.H. Rood?
C.W. SibertQuincy, ILL.
F. ShaberHannibal, MO
W.M. ShutleyAtchison, KAS
Firemen -
J. Bartman Kansas City, MO.
H. EllisChicago, ILL.
JNO. M. KellerKansas City, MO.
CHAS. TrogdonShelbina, MO
J.R. WheelerKansas City, MO.

Keller came as far as Brookfield, joined the strikers and created a good deal of trouble.

No. 6 Names of engineers & firemen engaged second day of strike, and where from:-

Engineers -
L.H. GreenUnknown
W.F. WoodAtchison, KAS.
Firemen -
J.N. AndersonKansas City, MO.
JAS. Gamble?
S.L. Cliff?
W.W. MurphyChicago, ILL.
Frank McCullom Kansas City, MO.
W.A. Thomas Unknown
Henry Woodard Atchison, KAS.

Names of engineers & firemen engaged third day of strike & where from:-

Engineers -
W.M. Miller Philadelphia, PA
Firemen -
J.B. AblesParsons, KAS.
W.M. BechmanChicago
Hugh CoxKansas City, MO.
W.M. DouglasCent. Pac. RY, California
Chas. HortonChicago, ILL.
Luke StacyChariton
4th day820
5th ?22
6th ?15 28
7th ?1917
8th ?9 2
9th ?67
10th ?00
11th ?2 2
12th ?24
13th ?32
14th ? 01
15th ?3 5
16th ?23
17th ?21
18th ?50
19th day65
20th ?71
21st ?93
22nd ?12
23rd ?01
24th ?00

No. 7 What day of strike did first freight train run?

March 1st - Fourth day of the strike, first freight train was run from Brookfield to Cameron Junction, Stewart, engineer; had seven cars of coal & one car of stock.

No. 8 What day of strike was first stock train run?

March 20th, the twenty-third day of strike, first stock train was run St. Joseph to Quincy; Kimmell, engineer.

No. 9 Number of trains moved over the road each day Febry 27th to March 24th:-
As follows:

Date Passenger Freight Total Remarks
FEB. 278[blank] 8[blank]
2810[blank]102 light engines
MCH 112113[blank]
3181192 work trains
4122141 light engine
101835531 work train
MCH 11125062[blank]
121839571 work train
131838562 ?
141842601 ?
151849682 ?
191838562 ?
201843612 ?
211842602 ?
221845632 ?
231847652 ?
241837554 ?

No. 10 What particular employees are entitled to special credit for courage or other good behavior during the strike.

See separate letter, of date June 7th.

No. 11 State list of casualties during the strike:-

Feb. 29th engine 79, engineer Rood, got off turn-table at Palmyra Junct.

MCH 2, train No. 1, engineer Sibert, conductor J.H. Crance, struck an obstruction on track 2 1/2 miles west of Brookfield; tie got fastened in truck of engine & had to be sawn out.

MCH 4, engine 62 engineer Woodlief, off track at Cameron Junct. Account misplaced switch.

MCH 5, engine 79, engineer Collier, knocked pilot off: engine 74, engineer Rood, at Palmyra Junct., backed off turn-table thro' door of round house.

MCH 6, engine 40, engineer McGrath, had one car off track at Grand River by breaking in two, hind end running into head end of train.

Engine 55, Woodlief engineer, extra west, conductor Brady, backed into train on New Cambria Hill, breaking several drawbars & tank timber: was doubling & had gone after hind end of train; engineer failed to stop in time.

MCH 10, engine 86, train No. 8, off track at Clarence, switch wrong. Engine 26, train No. 9, one pair wheels off track at Holt.

MCH 19, engine 40, engineer McGrath, 1st sec. train No. 10, died at Chillicothe acc't flues[typo] leaking: had no trouble until after taking water at Grand River.

MCH 21, engine 48, engineer Pound, train No. 13, Brady conductor backed into rear part of train while doubling hill at Chariton

There were other minor accidents, such as getting car off track at switch, throttle disconnecting,, breaking of side-rods, etc., which might happen at any time, which are not included in this report. They were no more frequent than formerly.

In reference to towns along the road showing any radical spirit during the strike, I would say that there was no unusual display of this kind. During the commencement of the strike, most of the main towns, as at Brookfield, seemed to be at a loss what to do or think about the matter.

For acts of violence & injury inflicted upon new men, I would refer you to my letter of May 2nd.

Yours truly,
(signed) S.E. Crance Sup't

About this Document

  • Source: S. E. Crance
  • Source: W. F. Merrill
  • Collector:
  • Citation: Newberry Library, CBQ Archives 33 1880 9.5-9.51 1888 Strike Lists,
  • Date: June 11, 1888