February 21, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story is titled “Stranded On A Train That Got Stuck In A Snow Drift”.
Fifteen passengers on a snow bound MK&T railroad train had to be rescued late on the afternoon of February 27th, 1912 and were brought to Junction City on a work train. Of the fifteen, eight were local residents and they had interesting stories to share about their experience. Mr. and Mrs. Will Waters and Mr. And Mrs. L.A. Wennerstein had spent the day on Sunday in White City then boarded the train to come back to Junction City that evening. The train plowed through the snow drifts until the train engine shoved into a five foot snow drift two miles north of Skiddy and got stuck there.
When the train stopped earlier at Skiddy, it had been agreed with the personnel there that if the train got stuck, the engineer would blow the train whistle as a distress sign and a group of men would be sent out to assist. A nearby farmer heard the calls and went to investigate. Upon seeing the stuck train, he returned to his home and was soon returned with a big batch of biscuits, eggs and coffee. The mail clerk turned his car over to the ladies and Mrs. Waters and Mrs. Wennerstein were placed in charge of serving the food to the other passengers.
The engine on the train died after the hard coal for the coach heaters was exhausted and the train became quite chilly. The men passengers rose to the occasion and gave their overcoats to the women. The men retired to the smoker coach where they spent the night playing cards and smoking. The following morning the conductor managed to get into Skiddy and returned with a large quantity of provisions purchased from the Maloney Store. That evening a work train from Junction City got within two miles of the train and the passengers transferred to it. Two of the ladies fainted upon reaching the rescue train. Eventually all of the passengers were safely returned to Junction City and they were thankful!!!