EE Webb - Boiler Explosions

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EE Webb - Boiler Explosions

Post by twebb »

[Taken from rubric notes made by the author in the autobiography of EE Webb]

About 1926 or 1927 we had two night local runs on between Texarkana and Shreveport La: no. 44 and 45. The crew on one of these runs was Eng’r. Chas. Millis and fireman Deacon Hughes. I caught this job for about three weeks as Hughes was off sick. When he reported for work before I placed myself, wife and I decided to go to Wichita Falls, Texas to see Aunt Mattie Newman.

Next morning I was reading the Wichita Falls paper and I see a piece where a Texas and Pacific locomotive had exploded near Cash Point La. Entering Shreveport yard killing Engineer Millis and Fireman Deacon Hughes and the head brakeman Coy Burns.

During my time, we had two engines to blow up: 311 and 324. Each one killed all the crew that was on them. Of course the men who examined the boiler that had bursted [sic] always say low water in the boiler was cause of explosion. Naturally there being no one left to contradict their statement, thus putting the blame on the dead men.

These little 300 class engines were about fifty years old and were saturated engines (not superheated) and had seen their best days.

The crew on the 324 was Claude Gremm and John Wade. The head brakeman was not on the engine at time of explosion; he was riding on a car back about four cars behind the engine—thus saving his life. His name was Houston Turner. The boiler landed two hundred yards out in a pasture. The drive wheels were buried in the hard ground beneath the track.

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