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The Story of the Hatfield Train Wreck of 1900

Two Poems Written about the Hatfield Train Wreck

A poetical photograph of the scene by Will Halpine, poet rambler
A Sabbath morn in autumn, sunshine and balmy air;
But little we knew its dawning would bring death and despair.
An ill-fated train was speeding, carrying a merry throng,
Laughing and jesting exultant, with buoyant spirits and song.
How pleasant, as steaming swiftly, mid meadows of waving corn,
Little dreaming this pleasure was author of many to mourn.
Excursionists bound to Atlantic, with happy hearts and gay,
But oh! If they had known what was to happen that day.
Full fifty miles an hour, dashing, rumbling on,
Not even heeding the signal put out at Souderton.
The red flag waved a warning of danger on ahead
Twas boldly disregarded, and on the death train sped.
A crash of trains, then debris; the dying and the dead;
Mangled forms and bleeding an awful scene, blood red.
Gay laughs had in a twinkling been turned to maniac cries,
While dust and smoke from debris whirled upward to the skies.
Rails twisted into spirals; two trains a rubbish heap.
Result A Hatfield Horror while widows and orphans weep.

Source: The Lansdale Reporter, 13 September 1900

This next poem was written by Mary Waldspurger, the daughter of one of the victims, Florian Waldspurger


A party of both young and old were on their pleasant trip,
To enjoy a Happy Holiday by the sea was their intent.
From Allentown and Bethlehem bound for the Atlantic shore,
They have left loved ones at their homes who will never
See them anymore.

For without a moment's warning on that train, a grim of death appeared
And almost a score of lives were lost.
From that fatal train endeared a scream, a crash, an awful cry,
Then a rushing to the spot The Reading Road has again
Received another awful plot.

As I gazed upon heart-bleeding scenes on that fatal morning,
We rushed to help the living ones out in most souls were torn.
A wife embraced her husband dear from underneath the train
And back to help to save the remained,
She went once more again.

My father present underneath the wreck, a daughter cried.
The debris could not be removed; she stood by till he died.
Great praise is due to Hatfield town, for their great and noble deed.
With the help of good physicians, they saved many from the grave.

The scene is one I'll never forget as long as I may live.
To return those loved ones to their friends all early power to give.
The mothers gazing on their sons, the husbands on their wives;
Can Monopoly with all its power pay those who lost their lives?

Mary Waldspurger
Bean Post Office
Bucks County, Pa.

Source: Family members of Mary Waldspurger Guretse

Go back to the story of the Hatfield Train Wreck of 1900

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Go back to Genealogical History of the Extended Wood, Waldspurger and Kolek Families

Posted 16 January 2004  - last updated 28 March 2011 by Kelley Wood - Davis