The Chatsworth Train Disaster- August 10, 1887
Because the summer of 1887 was hot and dry, the company owning the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad, fearing sparks from the wheels could ignite a fire, conducted a controlled burn along the tracks in grassy eastern Illinois. Late at night on August 10, a train en route to Niagara Falls from Peoria crashed near the town of Chatsworth when the bridge it was crossing collapsed. An investigation determined that the bridge had been weakened by fire from the controlled burn. Between 81 and 85 died in the wreck.
From city, town and hamlet there came a happy throng
With hand upon the lever and eye upon the track
For oh, how much of sorrow, and oh, how much of pain
For see! the smoldering embers That lie along the ridge,
A mighty crash of timbers, a sound of hissing steam;
And oh, how much of sorrow, and oh, how much of pain
All honor to the heroes who flame and fury fought
For a lot more on the Chatsworth Railroad Disaster visit the page about the wreck on Mary Runyon-Hanshew's website Chatsworth Illinois Memories. The site also has a lot of interesting information on the town of Chatsworth, poetry and photos.