The Mud Run Train Wreck: A Disaster in the Irish-American Community

 
9780692348086: The Mud Run Train Wreck: A Disaster in the Irish-American Community
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On October 10, 1888, the worst train disaster in the history of Pennsylvania took place at the Mud Run station in Carbon County. The victims were excursionists, the vast number of whom were Irish or Irish-Americans, who had traveled from Scranton to Hazleton to celebrate the birth of Father Mathew Theobold, the Irish Apostle of Temperance, with a parade and picnic arranged by the Total Catholic Abstinence Union. In anticipation of moving as many as 10,000 passengers between Hazleton and Scranton on eight trains, consisting of eighty-seven cars, the Lehigh Valley Railroad had issued special orders to its crew, the most important of which was "to protect your rear." After the Father Mathew Men had marched and the Father Mathew Cadets had displayed their skill in precision drills, the disciples of temperance headed for the Hazleton train station and home. It was on their return that sixty-four people would meet their deaths on the Lehigh Valley road. The primary source of information for this book was the newspapers. In addition to newspaper interviews with eyewitnesses to the disaster, additional information was gleaned from census schedules, city directories, ancestry message boards, death notices, obituaries, and correspondence with descendants of those killed at Mud Run. Together, they tell the story of what went wrong on that beautiful autumn day at a remote signal station in Carbon County.

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