“Engine Cut Baby in Two,” originally published in the Greensboro News and reprinted in the Monroe Journal, October 31, 1916
Little One Turned Its Face and Looked Up as Engine Came Upon It
The story of a tragic death of a little child was filed away last night at headquarters of the division of the Southern Railway company here, in the report of the engineer who sat at the throttle of passenger train No. 139 from Goldsboro. The engineer was pulling into Morrisville, a small town 12 miles on the Greensboro side of Raleigh, yesterday afternoon, when he saw a little white bundle on the ties between the rails of the track upon which he was advancing, and he thought until almost upon it that it was a newspaper blown that way. As the locomotive advanced the little bundle twisted about and a tiny face was raised to stare into the eyes of the horrified trainman.
Then the knowledge that a baby lay there was too late. The airbrakes of course were applied and the train finally stopped with a jar which made the passengers know that something was wrong, but on one side of the rail lay the head and shoulders of the little body and on the other the remainder of it. The weight of the train had crushed the child virtually into two parts.
The baby was the 25-months-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Farmer, who live about 400 yards from the Southern right-of-way and about a half mile from the station at Morrisville. The child had wandered away in pursuit of some other children and tired of its rambles, had chosen the railroad track to rest. The baby was lying face downward on the crossties when the engineer first noticed it, but hearing the approaching train, and interested probably in the monster engine coming onward, the baby turned over, and, as was stated, raised its little head just in time to fall across the rail and receive the full force of the train.
The body of the child was carried to the home of its parents and the train came on to Greensboro shortly after 7 o’clock last night, bringing a saddened crew and passengers, who declared that the view of the child’s body lying mangled was the most horrible thing they had ever seen.