Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part V

Part V of the articles concerning the 1877 case of The Train Wreckers in Pulaski County, Missouri. Most of the records of this case were lost in the fire that destroyed the courthouse in Waynesville in 1903. Thankfully newspaper coverage of the events have survived, and I am posting them here so that others can read this colorful tale. The beginning of the story can be found in "The Train Wreckers Part I." and continues in “The Train Wreckers Part II”, followed by “The Train Wreckers Part III“ and “The Train Wreckers Part IV“. This is the last of the newspaper articles covered by the Phelps County New Era, based in Rolla, Missouri. A newspaper in Lebanon, in Laclede County, Missouri, covered the story in depth. The New Era editor noted that “The Lebanon Rustic should change it’s name to The Trainwreckers Gazette.” This story is mentioned in Goodspeeds 1899 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties.

Who Were the Murderers?

The Pulaski County jury have declared that the men charged with wrecking a train on the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad and with murder in doing it are not guilty. If this is a true verdict, then some other parties did the deed. Who are they? We hear of no effort being made to answer this question-no attempt to discover who was guilty of the crime of which Gibson is declared innocent. The crime was peculiarly coldblooded and devilish, and yet the acquittal of Gibson ends all endeavors to detect and punish the authors of it. Why is this? There can be but one explanation offered: the people and authorities of the Southwest, including the court that tried and acquitted Gibson, have not a shadow of doubt that he was one of the authors of the crime-and that it is not necessary to look beyond him. It is estimated that the trial at Waynesville will cost the state $3000. If there is another state in the Union that can expend as much money not punishing murderers we would like to have it pointed out. [Republican

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