1875: Frank Tessmer leaped through flames to save the train
December 16, 2014
The brave crew of train No. 9 prevented what might have been a tremendous conflaguration
in August 1875, between Ely and Monroe Stations in Northeast Missouri, when they managed to extinguish small fire on the roof of a car in the middle of the train.
Frank Tessmer, the hind brakeman, literally ran through the flames in order to reach the engine, where he convinced the engineer to stop the train. The crew then carried water to the fire, managing to extinguish it.
The Hannibal Clipper of Aug. 22, 1875, reported:
"All went to work with a will carrying water and soon succeeded in extinguishing the flames. Upon arriving at Monroe the car was opened and examined. It was loaded with general merchandise, along which were four barrels of coal oil, one of the barrels being still on fire, and three kegs of gun powder."
Other members of this heroic crew included Conductor Black, Engineer Salisbury.