Collins, Andy (Unknown - August 4, 1919)


TRACK Andy Collins and James Wilson Meet Death by Train ACCIDENT NEAR ORIN Tired Out, Young Men Stop to Rest and Fall Asleep on Northwestern Track

Douglas Budget - August 7, 1919

Worn out by their long walk and loss of rest, Andy Collins and James Wilson sat down on the Northwestern railroad track near Orin to rest. They fell asleep on the track, Wilson with his head across and Collins with his head against the rail. A freight train came along shortly after and struck the sleepers, killing Wilson instantly and injuring Collins so that he later died.

There were four young me in the party, the others being James Vestal and Leo Marquette of Yale, Mich. Collins was 21, Wilson 18, Vestal 17 and Marquette 27 years of age. They had shipped at Des Moines to work for the Northwestern railroad at Lusk. They arrived at Lusk Friday afternoon, after two nights on the road with little sleep, and reported to the man in charge of the work at Lusk. The timekeeper wanted the men to go to work immediately, but they protested that they were unfit for work until they had some rest, declaring that they would report the next morning. Their action displeased the timekeeper, and he told them they didn't want to work at all and ordered them away from the yards.

The men left and got a gravel train out of Lusk. At Lost Spring they were put off the train and started to walk west. They had walked about fifteen miles to a point just west of Orin and had stopped to rest awhile before proceeding. Collins and Wilson sat down on the rail, the other two going away from the track and warning the two who remained against the probability that they would fall asleep because of their condition and advising that they get off the track. Collins and Wilson, however, said they had no intention of going to sleep and would proceed after they had a short rest.

All four, however, went to sleep soon after they sat down, their exhausted condition causing them to dos. About 1 o'clock the freight train came along and crushed the two sleepers.

Wilson was killed instantly while Collins, though horribly mangled, survived until Monday afternoon when death came to his relief. Both of the young men are from Des Moines, where their relatives reside. Coroner Hofmann wired their people and upon instructions from then Collins was buried in the Douglas cemetery Tuesday afternoon. The body of Wilson was shipped to his family in Des Moines.


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