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MKT Railroad History Along the Katy Trail


My great grandmother's brother T.Z.(Thomas) Williams lived in Denison, TX and was a Katy engineer. T.Z. died in a Katy train wreck in 1911 and I'm trying to find out any info on him. His wife's name was Laura (maiden name Bray). They are both buried in Denison. Any help you might be able to give me would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
posted Jul 7 2008 5:08PM - Peri McMillan, Agana, Guam

There is a newspaper article found at genealogybank.com which describes the train wreck that killed Tom Williams. I cannot post it here because it is too long. Let me know if you would like me to email it to you. Here is a partial:
April 24, 1911
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Engineer Tom Williams and Fireman Ed Pierson, both of
Denison were killed under their engine at Alvarado
Sunday night at 9:45 o'clock when the Katy Flyer side-
swiped a freight train.
Passengers on the Flyer and the crew of the freight
escaped without injury.
The accident occurred shortly after 9:30 o'clock, the
Flyer, running on time, being due at Alvarado at 9:38
o'clock. Freight cars were piled all about the overturned
engine and up to a late hour Monday morning the fireman's
body had not been recovered.
Railroad men here attribute the wreck to a mistaken signal.
The freight train, which started south ahead of the Flyer,
which left Fort Worth a 8:45, had orders to take the siding
at Alvarado, where the Flyer was due to catch and pass it.
The freight was too long for the siding and when the cars
had been backed in, the engine and several cars remained
out on the main line. The Flyer was signaled to slow down
so that the freight would be backed clear after the Flyer
had passed the end of the switch it would first reach.
posted Feb 7 2009 6:23PM - Tina, Denison, Texas

There is a newspaper article found at genealogybank.com which describes the train wreck that killed Tom Williams. I cannot post it here because it is too long. Let me know if you would like me to email it to you. Here is a partial:
April 24, 1911
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Engineer Tom Williams and Fireman Ed Pierson, both of
Denison were killed under their engine at Alvarado
Sunday night at 9:45 o'clock when the Katy Flyer side-
swiped a freight train.
Passengers on the Flyer and the crew of the freight
escaped without injury.
The accident occurred shortly after 9:30 o'clock, the
Flyer, running on time, being due at Alvarado at 9:38
o'clock. Freight cars were piled all about the overturned
engine and up to a late hour Monday morning the fireman's
body had not been recovered.
Railroad men here attribute the wreck to a mistaken signal.
The freight train, which started south ahead of the Flyer,
which left Fort Worth a 8:45, had orders to take the siding
at Alvarado, where the Flyer was due to catch and pass it.
The freight was too long for the siding and when the cars
had been backed in, the engine and several cars remained
out on the main line. The Flyer was signaled to slow down
so that the freight would be backed clear after the Flyer
had passed the end of the switch it would first reach.
posted Feb 7 2009 6:27PM - Tina, Denison, Texas

Hi Peri - T.Z. Williams was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (B.of L.E.), Division 177 (Denison, TX). His passing is recorded in the B.of L.E. Journal obituaries for June, 1911 on top of page 535. It reads, "Denison, Tex., April 23, wreck, Bro. T.Z. Williams, member of Div. 177." I hope that helps your research. Josh
posted Jul 12 2011 10:40AM - Joshua Gray, Denison

Another update ... Thomas had an insurance policy through the B.of L.E. with the Locomotive Engineers' Mutual Life and Accident Insurance Association (L.E.M.L. and A.I.A.) His death is reported in the same June issue of B.of L.E. It states that Thomas died at age 48, was a member of Division 177, became a B.of L.E. member on Oct. 21, 1897, died on April 23, 1911, that he was killed, and his insurance policy was for $3000 to be paid to his wife Laura A. Williams. Looking at the other insurance claims,his seems to have been a good insurance policy as most were for $1500 and the highest payout being $4500. That's all I have for now. Josh
posted Jul 12 2011 12:34PM - Joshua Gray, Denison

Peri McMillan, Agana, Guam,
I'm sorry that I cannot help you with information on your great grandfather T.Z. Williams. But your request caugh my eye as I searched for information on MKT railroad. My grandfather also worked for MKT railroad in
Denison, TX until he retired. William (Bill or Will) A. Neef and would have been working during that date. He was first a switchman and later yardmaster. He is buried in Denison also. I bet they knew each other.
posted Jan 29 2012 5:38PM - Anonymous

Google the Missouri Kansas & Texas Railroad for various information sites.. There is the Red River Railroad Museum in Denison, TX. Some of the records did not survive the Union Pacific RR purchase of the Katy.
posted Feb 2 2012 1:13AM - gene, Indiana

Hi Peri,
My Great-grandfather Stephen B. Hitchcock was T.Z. Williams brother in law, his wife was Elizabeth Nellie Williams, S. B. worked for the railroad at the time of the accident.
posted Nov 7 2013 9:04PM - Stephen Hitchcock, Sacramento

What a coincidence! My great great grandfather, Robert W Pierson was the fireman who was also killed in this trainwreck. He left behind a wife and 5 kids. His son Layman Pearson, married my grandmother, Hazel Cox from Galveston.
posted Apr 26 2014 8:45PM - Nancy Reed, La Marque, TX

This is a message to Stephen Hitchcock of Sacramento. This is rather late as I just saw your message as well as the others here. Anyway, I was wondering whether you were related to Charlie Hitchcock who lived in So. Cal. (don't remember the name of the city) in I believe the '40s or '50's. I was hoping to find some info about you so I could Email you. Please let me know whether you get this. Thanks!
posted Jun 23 2018 9:37AM - Peri McMillan, Duarte CA (listed as Agana, Guam)

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