Amund Severson






Amund Severson, a Tin Maker, Run Into While Lying on the Track at the Big Curve - The Jury’s Findings.


Word was received about 11 o’clock Tuesday morning from Stearns’ camp, this side of Tioga, that a man had been run over by the train and asking that a coroner’s jury be taken out to take charge of the body.


C. H. Clute, justice of the peace, and ten others were soon on board a hand car and arrived in due time at the scene of the accident, which was about six miles west of Greenwood on what is known as the curve before coming to Lawyer’s hill.  Harry Stearns and another man from his camp were already at the scene keeping watch over the remains, which were scattered for several rods down the track.  The head was torn to small pieces, the body dismembered, limbs smashed and bones broken.


On empanelling a jury it was found that there were not enough disinterest parties present to fill the list of six, many of the men being employed by the Foster Lumber Co., on whose premises the man was killed.  After getting dinner at camp, Wm. and Frank Abel, who live near the scene were brought over and the jury completed as follows: P.M. Stevens, Ernest Howe, J. E. Noyes, Frank Abel, Otto Glatz and P.J. Tscharner, with Justice Clute in charge.


Henry Billerbeck was the first witness called.  He testified that the remains were those of Amund Severson, he identifing [sic] them by means of his shoes, coat, pipe, etc.  The two men worked together hewing ties on the Foster land.  Severson had gone away the morning before, while he himself was out, telling Mrs. Billerbeck that he was going over to Truman to look up tie timber.


Wm. Abel, who was next sworn, testified that he identified the remains as those of a man who had come to his place about four o’clock the night before, carrying a jug of whiskey, which he poured in some beer bottles he found in Abel’s house.  He had been drinking considerably and Abel would not let him have any more.  Severson left the next morning, saying he was going down to Stearns’ camp, near where his partner was.  Before going he made arrangements with Abel to board with him and have him haul out the ties he and his partners would make.  The last Abel saw of him was to see him talking with Theo. Meinholdt at the crossing, he being there when the train went by about 7 a.m. on its way to Greenwood.


Adolph Kubbera, engineer on the train which ran over the man was next called and testified that as he came around the curve he noticed what appeared like a gunny sack laying on the track or between the rails.  He was then some 400 feet away.  Coming closer he concluded there was something more and blew whistles for down brakes at the same setting the air brakes of the engine.  Before the train came to a stand still it had passed over the man and gone some thirty rods from the point where the object was first sighted.  His train consisted of about half load, having some nine cars of logs besides the coach.  He was in the habit of running about twenty miles an hour in order to get motion to pull up the Lawyer grade ahead.


Pete Wesetrgoord, the fireman on the engine was next summoned and testified to about the same facts as did Mr. Kuberra.


Chas. Santo, who had charge of the train on Tuesday was sworn and corrobated [sic] the testimony of the engine crew.  He and his brakeman heard the signal and at once went to setting the brakes.


It was about 10:35 a.m. when the man was struck.


The jury then after a short conference brought in a verdict to the effect that the man, Amund Severson, was killed by the train while laying on the track.  The body was picked up in a blanket and latter placed in a coffin and taken to Fairchild for burial by relatives if possible.


Severson was about 45 years old, had been married but was divorced a few years ago, his wife marrying again.  He leaves two children, some brothers and we understand a father and mother, all living-over-near Osseo.  Greenwood Gleaner, September 1, 1904.



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