Various News Articles

[These are random articles found in the online newspaper archives of the Library of Virginia, the Virginia Chronicle project, while searching for other topics. They are presented in no particular order.]

Roanoke Evening News, Volume 8, Number 127, 7 March 1904, pg 1


The belt line stretch of road upon which the Norfolk and Western have been busy for some days past, was completed Saturday night, and not all of the job was done in daylight. To the supervision of Mr. E. D. Foley, one of the eldest and most practical construction men in the Norfolk and Western employ, much is due for the speed with which the work was accomplished.

Three or four hundred men were engaged when the final rush was made and the track is now complete for the three miles between the furnace and the Roanoke and Southern, with the exception of the surfacing up, which will be done more leisurely.

J. H. Gragg, the master carpenter of the Norfolk and Western, had a big task as well, from the fact that there is considerable bridge work along the stretch of track now completed. The Tidewater railroad people, who have looked quietly on at the remarkable exhibition of hustle displayed by the Norfolk and Western, are evidently reserving their energies for the legal battle to take place on the 14th of this month, when the injunction served by them on the Norfolk and Western will be heard relative to this very piece of road.

The first preliminary sparring of the two rivals is meanwhile being eagerly watched by the general public.

Roanoke Evening News, Volume 8, Number 127, 7 March 1904, pg 1


The Norfolk and Western is having four locomotives built at the Baldwin locomotive works. They are of classes "J," "W," "B" and A," respectively. The equipment is to consist of Carnegie fire-box steel, Latrobe tires, Franklin boiler covering, piston valve, monitor injectors, journal bearings. Pyle-National electric headlight, Westinghouse brakes, Ashton safety valves, Nathan lubricators, United States metallic packing, Crosby steam gauges, Leach sanders and cast steel driving wheel centers.

Roanoke Evening News, Volume 8, Number 127, 7 March 1904, pg 1


A committee from the chamber of commerce, in conjunction with a joint committee from the city council, met this morning and framed a resolution inviting the Tidewater Railway Company to enter the city. The sense of the resolution is that the Tidewater people are invited to enter the city on precisely the same terms given to other roads. It is understood that the Tidewater people will ask for nothing but a square deal in the matter, that is, they will not ask for concessions that have not been granted to other roads. The chamber of commerce appointed the following committee at a meeting held last Thursday: Dupuy Ferguson, R. R. Fairfax, R. H. Angell, C. I. Lunsford and J. R. Terry. This committee, in connectlon with the secretary, held a conference with the railroad people and extended an invitation for them to come into the city. This was done on behalf of the business people of Roanoke, and the resolution that will be adopted by council tomorrow night, which was framed by City Solicitor Moomaw, will show them that the city of Roanoke will welcome them within the corporate limits.

Roanoke Evening News, Volume 14, Number 59, 11 September 1906, pg 4


A lengthy article in the industrial department of the Times-Dispatch of Sunday, describes the wonderful growth of the cabbage growing industry of Rural Retreat. While to those who are acquainted with the real facts In the case, there is perhaps a little more romance in the article than is really the case, still the rapid growth of the business and the amount produced annually and shipped from that one point alone seems almost incredible.

Rural Retreat cabbage has a reputation throughout the South equal to the Smlthfield hams. The cabbage belt is confined to a radius of ten miles either way from that little town and although frequent efforts have been made to grow cabbage at Marions and Wytheville, distances of only about fifteen miles east and west, the experiments have all been failures and Rural Retreat still holds the palm.

The soil there seems to he particularly adapted to the growth of the vegetable and it possesses a richness of flavor unequalled by any grown in any section of the country. The land is very productive and large crops can be raised. Last season was very good and the farmers made many thousands of dollars off their cabbage crops, but this year there has been an almost unprecedented crop and the prices have been very low. Cabbage can be bought as low as 25 cents per hundred weight this season.

It is estimated, with an average crop, a farmer can clear $100 on an acre at forty cents per hundred weight and this is more returns than he can realize should he cultivate anything else. The industry has made many farmers of that section independent and is still a source of income, and while there is not as much money made growing cabbage now as formerly, yet it still pays better than anything they can raise in that section.

World News, Volume 32, Number 120, 16 November 1918, pg. 2


An incident occurred a few nights ago at the Red Cross Canteen that which afforded an unusual pleasure and an opportunity to hear some rare music to all who happened to be present.

A troop train on its way to Norfolk had stopped for a short while at the Roanoke station and the canteen workers were on hand ready to serve the men. A sailor who was a passenger on the train leaned from his window and beckoned to one of the canteen workers, who chanced to be one of Roanoke's leading singers, saying: "Come, let's sing a duet." The response was promptly answered and the singer took her place beneath his window. The sailor suggested a song and as the clear tenor and the beautiful soprano notes blended every listener became silent. This song completed, the tenor suggested that they sing "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginy," which brought even more applause than the first number.

It was almost time for the train to start when the sailor insisted upon knowing the name of the owner of the lovely soprano voice which had accompanied his. He made a note of it and said, "You will hear more of this. I am going to tell Oscar Hammerstein about you." Just as the train was pulling out, in response to inquiry, the musical sailor told his name which proved to be that of a well known 1 Italian opera singer and a member of the Metropolitan Opera.

World News, Volume 32, Number 120, 16 November 1918, pg. 10


William P. and Charles M. Bohn Struck Near Shawsville By Train No. 4

Two brothers, William P. Bohn, civil engineer in the employ of the Norfolk and Western, and Charles M. Bohn crew dispatcher at the West End round house, were instantly killed at 12:40 yesterday afternoon two miles west of Shawsville by the second section of passenger train No. 4, east bound, and Frank Bohn, a third brother, and G. L. Painter, narrowly escaped being ground under the wheels of the train.

The four men were walking east on the westbound track and met a freight train. They stepped to the east bound track, and in a moment the passenger train bore down on them from behind a curve, and was right on them before the two brothers named above could possibly get out of the way. Frank Bohn, who is a boiler maker at the West End shops, owes his life to young Painter, who is a boiler maker helper and works with him. The noise of the passing freight prevented the men from hearing the passenger train which was pulled by Engineer Derflinger, who reported on his arrival in Roanoke, that he did not know he had struck any one at all.

Clears the Track.

Painter seems to have been the only man in the party who realized that the passenger train was coming, and with out warning, was enabled to clear the track and take Frank Bohn with him. The other brothers probably never knew what struck them. Frank saw his brother William lifted into the air and fall beside the track outside the rail. He jumped to his assistance and dragged the body out from the side of the moving train before more than three cars had passed. Holding this brother in his arms, he called to Charlie Bohn, thinking he was unhurt, to come to his assistance. William Bohn died in his younger brother's arms a moment later. Frank then for the first time realized that his brother Charlie had been killed. The body was literally ground to pieces, and far nearly three hundred yards, bits of torn clothes and flesh were picked up.

Body Not Mangled.

Willam Bohn had both arms and legs broken, but the body was not mangled to any appreciable extent. The bodies of the brothers were later placed in the caboose of a freight train and brought to Roanoke where they were prepared for burial. The remains arrived here shortly after 4 o'clock, accompanied by the surviving brother.

Yesterday morning Frank and Charlie Bohn, accompanied by Mr. Painter, went out west of Salem in an automobile to get some apples. When they arrived at Glenvar, one of the party proposed that they drive on to Shawsville to visit their brother, Will, who was engaged in placing a third track for the Norfolk and Western between Big Tunnel and Arthur. He had recently been ill in a hospital and had only returned to his work on Monday.

The party reached the construction camp about noon, and found that dinner was being served. The visitors ate with the construction force, and cigars were indulged in, after which the three brothers and their friend started down the track where the laying of the third track was in progress. The trip from the camp to the works was never made.

Look Back for Train.

Frank Bohn in speaking of the accident declared that when the party stepped on the east bound track, his brother William was the first to look back and then all four men in the party glanced backward to see if the track was clear. They could only see a short distance on account of a sharp curve. The fact that the engineer of the passenger train failed to see any one, and did not know he had killed any one until he arrived in Roanoke, indicates that the train bore down on the party without the least warning. No blame is attached to the engine crew of the passenger train, for it is said the engineer could not have avoided the accident had he seen the men on the track.

The Bohn brothers are well known in Roanoke, being sons of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bohn, of 431 Center Avenue, n. w. They were born and reared here and had been in the service of the Norfolk and Western for a number of years. Charlie Bohn was 34 years old and is survived by his widow and one child. His wife was Miss Mary Linkous, of Montgomery county, and the family resided on Melrose avenue.

William P. Bohn was 31 years old and leaves a widow and three small children. Mrs. Bohn, prior to her mariage, was Miss Opie Williamson, and at the time of her marriage was assistant principal of the Park Street School. Other surviving relatives are their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bohn, and three sisters, Mrs. S. F. Hudson, Misses Mary and Lena Bohn, all residing at 421 Center Avenue. William Hohn at the time of his death had his home at Narrows, but was arranging to move his family to Shawsville so as to be near his work. Mrs. Bohn and her children arrived in Roanoke from their home in Narrows on train No. 2 last evening.

The arrangements for the funeral had not been completed last night, and will be announced later.

William Bohn death certificateCharles Bohn death certificate

World News, Volume 32, Number 120, 16 November 1918, pg. 2

Funeral of W. P. and C. M. Bohn.

The funeral of William Penn Bohn and Charle Michael Bohn, who were killed Friday afternoon by a railroad train near Shawsville, will be held Sunday afternoon at four o'clock from the residence of the father of the deceased brothers, Henry Bohn, 421 Center Avenue. N. W. The remains of the brothers will be buried together at Fairview cemetary, following the funeral.

World News, Volume 32, Number 109, 4 November 1918, pg. 2


East Radford Boy Is Hit By Pusher Engine
-- Companion's Leg Crushed.

The Casualty Department of the Norfolk and Western has been apprised of a fatal accident which occurred at East Radford Sunday night, about nine o'clock, resulting in the death of Marcus Gibson, a school boy aged fourteen, and the serious injury of his companion, Harry Patterson, also fourteen years of age.

The boys were walking on the tracks near the coal station at East Radford, when they were struck by a light pusher engine. According to a statement made by one of the boys, they had lost some money on the tracks about where they were walking and were making a search for it. Marcus Gibson was so badly injured that he died three hours after the accident occurred. Young Patterson's leg was crushed, necessitating amputation just below the knee. He is now in Dr. King's Hospital at East Radford, and it is thought that he may recover.

World News, Volume 32, Number 110, 5 November 1918, pg. 2

Harry Patterson.

Harry Patterson, of East Radford, who was struck by a pusher engine last Sunday evening while he was walking near the coal wharf station, died last night at 9:30 at Dr. King's hospital in that city, where he was taken immediately after his injury. The boy's companion, Marcus Gibson, was also fatally injured, dying three hours after the accident. Young Patterson had undergone an operation and hopes had been entertained for his recovery. He was a school boy about fourteen years of age.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 24 October 1918, pg. 3

Killed by Train No. 13.

WYTHEVILLE, VA., October 23. -- Sunday evening on the arrival of train No. 13, which met No. 30 in two sections here, Jake Dutton, a brakeman for twenty-five years in the employment of the Norfolk and Western Railroad, was run over by his own train No. 13 and his foot and leg crushed, from which he died before reaching Pulaski, where they attempted to carry him for surgical treatment.

World News, Volume 33, Number 119, 19 May 1919, pg. 1


Loses His Life at Lithia in Attempt to Climb Around Cab.

Byron C. Summers, extra freight conductor and brakeman, of the Shenandoah division of the Norfolk & Western, was instantly killed at 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon at Lithia, when his head struck a rock ledge as he was attempting to climb around the cab of one of the engines pulling the freight train on which he was working. The head was badly mangled and the body crushed from the waist upward. The remains were brought to Roanoke on No. 13, about 4:30 o'clock, and turned over to Oakey's undertaking establishment.

According to information given out by railroad men, Summers was trying to reach the front engine of a double-header and was climbing around the cab of the second engine as the train was coming into Lithia. At that point a bluff juts in rather close to the track and the unfortunate man failed to notice his danger. Summers had been with the Norfolk & Western for a number of years and bore an excellent reputation among his associates. He and Mrs. Summers and their small daughter made their home at the Ponce de Leon hotel.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

World News, Volume 33, Number 122, 22 May 1919, pg. 10


Shipments For N. & W. And Virginian To Be Received At Respective Depots Beginning Monday June 5, and from then on, the consolidation of freight traffic of the Norfolk & Western and Virginian Railways, adopted as a war measure, all the freight of both roads being handled at the Norfolk & Western freight station, will be abandoned, and shipments to or from Roanoke over the Virginian will be received, delivered and forwarded from the Virginian freight station, and all shipments transported or to be transported over the Norfolk & Western will be handled at the freight station of that road.

To meet war emergencies some months ago it was arranged to consolidate at one freight station the handling of all merchandise shipments for the two roads, the Norfolk & Western station being selected for the purpose. In some respects the plan worked the switching caused frequent delays in the switching caused frequent delay in making prompt deliveries here as well as shipments to various points on both railroads.

Great improvement in the dispatch of Roanoke merchandise traffic is effected on both railroads as a result of the adoption of these and other proposed changes, some of which have already been made. Through trains working schedules comparable with those suspended during the war have been revived. While these are not high speed trains, the service, nevertheless, will be reasonably dependable which it is believed will be more satisfactory to the shipping public than the irregularity of service said to have been experienced formerly when a railroad attempted fast freight train schedules which it failed to perform.

Evening News, Volume 11, Number 40, 16 February 1905, pg. 1


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.

Evening News, Volume 11, Number 40, 16 February 1905, pg. 8


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.

Evening News, Volume 21, Number 78, 2 April 1910, pg. 1


The Council Committee on Streets Votes to Recommend That Railroad Be Allowed to Extend Its Line Into Heart of the City--Improvement is Designed to Develop That Section of Roanoke--Plan Adopted By the Virginian in Response to a Request of Citizens.

If council adopts the recommendation of the street committee, the Virginian will place a spur track in Wheat street, extending to Eighth avenue. The matter was considered by the committee, at a meeting held in the clerk's office last evening and it was decided to make a favorable report.

The proposition came up in the form of a petition from property owners, whose places lie along the route. Believing that the extension of the Virginian into the heart of Roanoke, through the section east of the Roanoke & Southern, would be most advantageous, these property owners asked the Virginian to make the improvement. The Virginian agreed and now the street committee has agreed and it remains but for the council to agree in order that the track may be constructed.

It is believed that council will take favorable action.

With the Virginian track reaching to Eighth avenue, many parcels of land would be brought into immediate contact with the railroad. It is said that some valuable industries are figuring on locating on the proposed route soon after it is completed.

Much credit is given the Virginian for its ready response to the petition of property owners. The primary purpose of the project is to afford greater opportunity for development, to give suitable sites for enterprises,offering them superior facilities for shipment. The Roanoke & Southern already penetrates that section and many business houses have established plants along this line. With the Virginian in the immediate neighborhood, all industries located there will have the advantage of two lines of road, giving them opportunity to ship their goods to any point of the compass without complication of transfers.

The Virginian's spur track will leave the main line of the road at the city quarry, passing through the quarry grounds, the Koontz and Huffman places, and into Wheat street, which it will follow to its terminus near the Eighth avenue bridge. A Virginian official said this morning that the company is not planning to erect a freight station at Eighth avenue and that published reports on this phase of the plan were incorrect.

It is said that McArthur Bros., the well-known contractors, contemplate placing a large yard on the spur track. They will use the yard for storage purposes, keeping their equipment there and shipping it as needed to the various points at which they may have contract work. This yard will not be a permanent establishment, but will be maintained here about two years.

McArthur Bros. had offices in Roanoke while the Virginian railway was being built. These were In the National Exchange Bank building, third floor, where a large force of clerks was employed. Roanokers will be glad to learn that the concern will return here in all probability.

Evening News, Volume 21, Number 78, 2 April 1910, pg. 3


Sudden and Hidden Death From the Ground Carries Death Instantly.

Stepping from the cobble stones under the porte-cochere of the Hotel Roanoke to the soft earth of the driveway around the hotel grounds, two valuable gray horses were killed instantly last night by electricity, supposed to have escaped from a grounded wire in front of the covered way. The horses were owned by J. G. Knepp & Co., livery men, at Luck avenue and Henry street, and were hitched to a carriage owned by the same concern. Harris Jones, of Gainsborough Road, was driving the carriage, which a few minutes before had left a party attending the german at the hotel, at the ball room entrance west of the porte-cochere. Jones was not injured by the fall of the horses, but when he went, unconscious of the cause of their death, to untie the bridles he was shock by their charged bodies and thrown down, but without any harm beyond a bad scare. The horses were not insured, and Mr Knepp last night said he could not place any value upon the team. But judges of horse flesh said it was worth at least $500. Later in the evening the Pitzer Transfer Company removed the bodies to the boneyard beyond the northeast limits of the city.

Harris Jones, who is a mere boy, had left his party for the german at the hotel. After they stepped from the carriage at the lower entrance he drove up under the porte-cochere to turn around for his return trip to the stable. Under the cover of the main entrance the drive is paved with Belgian block and as the horses' feet reached the west driveway the off horse fell as if he had been shot, but the nigh, or left horse, fell a second later and died in a fraction of a second. The first horse as he fell whinnied desperately, and Jones, thinking the fall of this animal had pulled the other upon him, jumped from the seat to untie the bridle and reins. As he caught the bridle he felt the current and was knocked away.

Other carriages and teams arriving from the german were stopped and their drivers went to the assistance of Jones. The carriage was unhitched from the bodies which were pulled from the cobble stones where they had fallen, out of sight of guests of the hotel. No fear was felt for pedestrians, and the lights in the hotel were not affected by the contact of the current with the horses.

The electricity for the hotel comes from the private plant of the Norfolk & Western, at the Roanoke Machine shops, and is carried to the hotel as alternating current, 110 volts. The wire for the sign lights, which is supposed to have caused the death of the horses, is carried from the switch board in the office through a conduit to the sign. Alternating current does not create electrolosis, and it is not thought the escaped electricity was from such a cause. It may have been caused by a soft spot in the pipe and the dampness carrying the current to the surface, charging the earth above the pipe line. Chief Electrician Quinn, of the Norfolk & Western, made a casual examination of the ground last night but will make expert tests this morning. Knepp's team was the first to arrive at the german, but transfer wagons and other vehicles had been over the spot earlier in the evening without any perceptible effect on the horses.

The steel shoes of horses are susceptible to the least attack of electricity, and it is said a small nerve extends from the fore feet of all quadrupeds to the neighborhood of the heart, and a voltage of current which would not be perceptible to a human being, will easily knock down, and as in the case last night, kill an animal when shod with iron or steel shoes.

The horses were a splendid carriage team, well matched and evenly gaited. One, a gelding, was about nine years old. The other, a mare, about five years old. They were of an even gray color and have attracted attention by their action in harness and stylish appearance.