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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Six days after one of the worst freight-train wrecks in Great Northern Railway history, one more tragic story came to light.

A Hillyard boy, 18, had been visiting two friends in Whitefish, Mont. They all left for Spokane, but when the boys failed to turn up, their parents became alarmed. It turned out that all three had hopped the ill-fated No. 451 freight train. The Hillyard boy was the son of a Great Northern foreman.

On Nov. 6, 1910, the “Apple Extra” freight train collided head-on with the No. 451 near Chattaroy, grinding both trains into “kindling wood” and twisted steel. A fire immediately engulfed the wreckage.

Eight people were killed instantly – five train men and three who were identified at first as “unknown hoboes.” Only five train men survived the wreck.

Both trains were apparently going at a high rate of speed on a curve about two miles north of Chattaroy. One train had apparently failed to pull off at a siding to let the other train pass.

Days later, it was confirmed. The three boys were among the dead. All of the other victims were also from Hillyard, the site of the Great Northern yards.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1942: The World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. The Allies won a major victory over the Japanese.

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