Submitted by:  Carole Tremaglio




Two persons were killed at 1:53 p.m. Wednesday when a southbound Alton railroad passenger train struck a Ford truck at the Lincoln Avenue crossing. Ben Smith, 16, 1112 North Monroe street, was instantly killed, and John Whitesell, 610 Short Eleventh street was rushed to Deaconess hospital in a critical condition, where he died a half hour later. The two men were driving west in a Ford Model T truck which was struck squarely in the side by the locomotive. Frank LaMaster, former manager of the Central Illinois Public Service Company, was at the Lincoln Avenue and Chicago street intersection and was an eye-witness to the tragedy. LaMaster said the light truck was hurled through the air for considerable distance. It was shattered into bits and strewn along the roadbed for a distance of a half block. The Smith youth was instantly killed and his body deposited between the north and southbound mains, 150 feet south of the crossing. Whitesell was still alive when reached by LaMasters and others and was rushed to Deaconess hospital in the Goff ambulance and attended by Dr. Boyd Perry. The passenger train, in charge of Engineer C. Pancake and Conductor W. C. Shuman, is due here at 1:02 p.m. and was traveling 50 minutes late. It was preparing to slow down to observe Lincoln as a regular stop. Identification of the Smith youth was not established positively until papers in his pocket revealed the information. The Lincoln Avenue crossing is unprotected and is one of several which the Alton railroad, city concil and Illinois Commerce Commission have agreed should be closed when others are given 24-hour protection. By coincidence, hearing on the crossing closing was in progress in Springfield Wednesday. The Smith lad, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Smith, was a victim of an accident at the Logan county fairgrounds last August. He was dragged a considerable distance by a horse he was exercising and suffered a broken leg. --Lincoln Courier (I believe)

Services for the late Benjamin Smith were held at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon from First Baptist church Rev. G. W. Terjung officiated and burial was in Union cemetery. Active pallbearers were Raymond Shaub, Pete Elliott, Frank Altman, Wm. Thompson, Gillard and Wilbur Voyles. The following were honorary pallbearers: William Altman, George Perce, Forrest Downey, Elmer Danley, Deone Voyles and Clifford Mileham. Benny died on December 21, 1938