Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tipton Ford Train Wreck

A mural painted by Anthony Benton Gude (grandson of Thomas Hart Benton) was recently installed at the First United Methodist Church in Neosho commemorating the tragic head-on collision between a gasoline powered passenger train of the Missouri and North Arkansas line and a Kansas City Southern freight train that occurred at Tipton Ford in Newton County, Missouri, on the late afternoon of August 5, 1914, and claimed the lives of approximately 50 people. The passenger car burst into flames, and many of the victims were burned beyond recognition. Many of the dead were black residents of Neosho who were on their way home from an Emancipation Day celebration in nearby Joplin., and a few days later the whole Neosho community came together for a public funeral on the courthouse square for both the black and white victims. Some of the victims were buried in a mass grave at the IOOF Cemetery in Neosho, and large memorial stone was later placed there by the community. It is this spirit of unity that the new mural celebrates more than the actual train wreck. The mural will be dedicated and officially unveiled this Saturday, December 6.

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