- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

TIPTON FORD, Mo. (AP) - A group of southwest Missouri residents has dedicated a stone marker commemorating the spot where a 1914 train crash killed 43 people.

The accident occurred when Missouri and North Arkansas Train No. 209, which was actually a gasoline-powered vehicle similar to a street car, collided with a freight train on a Kansas City Southern line near Tipton Ford, an incorporated area in Newton County.

The crash and fiery explosion injured 34 passengers and killed 43, including the five train-crew members. The crash and the fire made many of the bodies unidentifiable, The Joplin Globe reported (https://bit.ly/1kIwMDx).

“The gasoline exploded,” said Larry James, a historian who works with the Shoal Creek Historic Preservation organization. “The doors were hit so hard in the collision they couldn’t get them open. They hit head-on.”

A couple dozen residents gathered at the site Tuesday to dedicate a stone marker commemorating the accident. The tragedy, which killed several African-Americans leaving an Emancipation Day celebration in Joplin, stunned the community. Two days after the accident, more than 5,000 people attended a mass funeral in Neosho.

“It gives me closure,” said Carolyn Hutchinson-Payton, whose grandparents lost a son and a daughter in the accident. “I feel relief going to this stone, and I think the souls of my grandparents feel relief today now that there is some closure.”

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com

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