This week in Summit County history: Snowslide crashes into C&S Train |

This week in Summit County history: Snowslide crashes into C&S Train

Compiled by Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
Special to the Daily
A group of men sit in front of a stone front building, the Finding Hardware store. Reflections of the buildings across the street can be seen in the two large store front windows.
Summit Historical Society Photograph Collection / Courtesy of the Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Archive |

This week in history as reported by the Summit County Journal 100 years ago, the week of Feb. 8-12, 1915.


A snowslide between Leadville and Birdseye struck Colorado and Southern passenger No. 70 Tuesday night and crashed into the two rear cars, turning over the passenger coach and derailing the baggage car.

O.A. King, manager of the Pingrey Mines and Reduction company, which operates the Leadville district mill, whose hand was cut, was the only one of the several passengers who was injured. Conductor Oscar Comes was in charge of the train. William Gallagher and W.S. Palmer, the engineers, saw the slide start down the mountain, headed directly for the train. They opened the throttles and jerked the train forward in a concerted effort to beat the slide and escape to the clear track ahead. Ripping down the steep mountain, the slide won the race by a narrow margin, striking two coaches at the rear. Passengers were hurled to the lower side of the car, with barely a warning as the mass of snow and bits of trees dashed against the last car and pitched it over on its side. Window glass flew in every direction and the car was buried in snow. Mr. King was tossed to the lower side of the car, his knees being projected through a window, and as he threw out his hands for support, one was badly cut by broken glass.

The baggage car was derailed, but not so badly that the train crew could not re-rail it. It required three hours to complete the task.


Sixteen men are on the payroll at the Union mine. Work has started on the new shaft, which is now nearly 40 feet deep. It will be sent down as rapidly as possible and from the 100-foot point, drifting will be commenced toward the vein, the results of which are expected to prove eminently gratifying. Three shifts are being maintained in the shaft sinking and two shifts have been engaged in cleaning out and retimbering the tunnel, which is in a distance of 1,800 feet. The new work has advanced within the tunnel 500 feet and the breast will soon be reached.


A $4,000 shipment of gold was sent to the mint Monday from the Dunkin mine, the rich portion being additional yield from the pocket recently giving up many thousands in gold.


In the presence of several hundred persons, Sheriff J. H. Gill destroyed 159 pints of whisky and two quarts of sherry wine, which was found concealed in a hen-house on the premises of Mrs. Hettie Banning when her place was raided by officers three weeks ago. Mrs. Banning was convicted of bootlegging and fined $250 and costs in the County Court. The sheriff broke the necks off the bottles and turned the contents loose in an irrigating ditch.


A comely, well-dressed young woman with blonde hair and big blue eyes, said to be the daughter of a wealthy Colorado stockgrower; another pretty young woman, also described as blonde, and a young man described as a Denver high school student and athlete, are being sought by police here in the hope that they may shed light on the mystery in the death of Dr. Benjamin Morris, Denver dentist, at Colorado Springs.

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