S. J. Rouse, a Watchman, Crushed to Death
S. J. Rouse, night watchman for the T. & P. and Iron Mountain Railway
companies, was killed last night at 7:15 o'clock, while riding on a locomotive.
The locomotive was wrecked by running into a box car and the body of Mr. Rouse
was found covered with coal and horribly mangled.
The story of the terrible affair is as follows: Engine No. 6, in charge of foreman Smyser, was working on track No. 3 in the yards between the Monroe street crossing and Bayou Rapides. No. 6 had shoved a string of loaded cars down the track until the corner of the last car was projecting over on the main line where the two tracks join. The car was loaded with cotton seed meal.
Engine No. 65, pulling about seven cars and a caboose, in charge of Conductor Roe, Engineer Chas. Elliott and Fireman C. A. Lawler, left the depot bound for Boyce. As the passed the Monroe street crossing watchman Rouse boarded the engine on the West End side, and stood in the gang way between the engine cab and tender, intending to ride up to the tank and make an inspection of the yards. He stood in the gang way on the side where he had boarded, while Conductor Roe stood on the opposite side.
As the locomotive, running at a good speed reached the track where the box cars were sidetracked, the corner of the box car raked the projecting pieces along the side of the engine and crashed into the cab, driving it back into the tender. Mr. Rouse was caught between the wrecked cab of the locomotive and the tank on the tender, and his body, from the waist down, was mangled terribly, and his left arm broken, killing him instantly. He was pushed back in to the tender, and when found was completely covered with coal.
Conductor Roe was knocked out of the cab and fell into the grass by the side of the track. He received a few minor injuries and was taken to the Sanitarium.
The engineer and fireman had a narrow escape with their lives. Several connecting pipes were broken and steam was escaping at such a fearful rate that they came near being scalded to death.
The engine did not leave the track. It will be sent to Marshall for repairs.
It was some minutes after the accident before it was known that Rouse had been killed. The crew had forgotten that they saw him step on board, and did not know what his fate was, until his body was found by a brakeman.
S. J. Rouse leaves a devoted wife and four children, two boys and two girls. They reside on the Watts place near this city.
The body of the deceased was taken to the home of his brotherinlaw, Mr. Robt. Jeffrey in West End and the funeral was held from there today. Interment was made at the graveyard at Essex Brasher's place on Bayou Rapides about five miles from this city. The deceased was about 37 years of age and was a splendid watchman pronounced by the railroad men as one of the best that had ever held the position. He served on the police force of the city at one time.