Spartanburg Train Crash Hearing Today

Spartanburg, March 20 – (AP)- Southern railroad officials tomorrow will conduct a formal hearing in an effort to fix responsibility for the head-on collision of two through freight trains at the foot of Glendalyn avenue here Wednesday night in which six crewmen were killed.

Tracks were cleared of wreckage by 12:30 p.m. today and the first passenger train to operate over the route since the crash, which occurred about 7:30 p.m., went through at 2:40 p.m. today.

George W. Adams, general manager of the eastern lines of the Southern Railway system said tonight that the cause of the accident had not been determined in investigations conducted last night and today.

Surviving members of the crews of the trains, along with other railroad men will be assembled for the hearing to be conducted here tomorrow at an hour to be set later.

Adams said he doubted if a definite decision in connection until after testimony taken at the hearing has been studied.

He explained that the trains were operating in a manual-operated block on the belt line connecting Spartanburg with the Columbia tracks at the time of the crash. He added that he did not know which one or if both trains had green block signals as they entered the short stretch of single tracked road.

The manual operated block has been in use on the belt line for 15 years without an accident. Adams said.

Bodies of five of the dead men were transferred today from Spartanburg mortuaries to Columbia. They were C. R. Holcombe, 56, engineer, of Columbia; L. B. McCord, 58, engineer of Columbia; L. C. Grant, conductor, of Columbia; Harry C. Schiffley, 26, brakeman of Columbia; J. C. Summers, 25, fireman of Columbia.

James D. White, fireman of the southbound train, was of Columbia and Union. His body, the last to be brought from the wreckage was removed by workman about 7:30 this morning and later was taken to a funeral home at Union.


Mr. White’s body was brought from Spartanburg to Union yesterday and will remain at the Edgar Funeral home there until time for the funeral today.

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Wilma Eubanks White of Union; a daughter, Miss Jo Ann White of Union; his mother, Mrs. D. C. White of Jonesville; four sister, Mrs. Emmett Broome of Spartanburg, and Miss Lena White, Miss Irene White, and Miss Vera White, all of Jonesville; and two brothers, A. C. White of Union, and R. A. White, of Jonesville.

Funeral services for will be conducted at 2:30 this afternoon from New Hope Methodist church near Jonesville, Union county, by the Rev. M. A. Medlock and the Rev. R. C. Pettus. Interment was to be in the churchyard.

Active pallbearers will be: Ray Fowler, J. P. Willard, Buster Gault, Jesse Calvert, Mason Doggett and Russell Burgess.


Mr. Grant was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, and of the Wesley Memorial Methodist church.

He is survived by his widow, the former, Miss Lucille Timmie of Chester; one daughter, Miss Lucille Timmie Grant of Columbia; a son, L. C. Grant, Jr., of Chicago, Ill; two brothers, Paul Grant and Walker Grant, both of Chester; a sister, Mrs. H. G. Faust of Chester; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning from Wesley Memorial Methodist church, by the Rev. T. F. Reid, pastor. Interment will be in Evergreen cemetery at Chester.

Pallbearers will be: Active, J. H. Gaillard, O. C. Crouch, W. C. Howell, P. O. Boyd, C. O. Williams, and A. R. Poteat; honorary, members of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and deacons of the Wesley Memorial Methodist church.

The body will remain at McCormick’s mortuary until time for the services.


Mr. Summers, had been connected with the Southern Railway system since February and was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran church.

He is survived by his mother, Mrs. J. O. Summers of Blaney; five brothers, A. Fulmer Summers of Blaney, Lacy Summers of Lancaster; Oscar S. Summers of Dentsville; Harry B Summers and Salem L. Summers, both of Columbia, and three sisters, Mrs. J. H. Rabon of Blaney, Mrs. Mary B. Riveria of New York, and Mrs. Frances Jackel, of New York.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 o’clock this afternoon from Rehoboth Methodist church, Dentsville, by the Rev. Raymond C. Moore. Interment was to follow in the churchyard.

Active pallbearers, who have been requested to meet at McCormick’s mortuary at 1:15 this afteroon are; J. M. Eargle, W. P. Quattlebaum, Felix Hendrix, C. H. Duke, Floyd Shull, and Herman Taylor.

Honorary pallbearers, who will meet at the church at 2 o’clock, are: John Dent, H. R. Burg, Simon Faust, Ware Carnes, Arthur Taylor, Herman Geiger, E. R. Dixon, W. P. Derrick, and O. B. Dickey.


Mr. Holcombe, of 2025 Hampton street, who had been connected with the Southern Railway company for 35 years, and had lived in Columbia the same length of time, was a native of Union county. He was the son of the late John Holcomb and Frances Bevins Holcomb.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Pearl Douglas Holcombe; two sons, Cornelius Rowell Holcombe, Jr., and John William Holcombe; three sisters, Mrs. C. J. Thomas of Kelton, Mrs. Annie McCracken of Kelton and Mrs. J. M. Whitehead of West Springs; two brothers, Y. E. Holcombe of West Springs, and J. B. Holcombe of Kelton.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1 o’clock this afternoon from Dunbar funeral home by the Rev. W. C. Allen, assisted by the Rev. John M. Rast.

Active pallbearers were to be J. L. Vickory, L. J. Campbell, J. L. Burgess, C. H. Kester, M. P. Pennell, William A. Clark, L. B. Johnson, and F. L. Caudle.

Honorary pallbearers were to be J. l. Neal, C. H. Barron, J. C. Culbreath, Dr. Gray Macaulay, W. E. Goode, Dr. S. E. Wheeler, A. P. Whitworth, J. Wallace Coleman, G. P. Ladd, E. M. Williams, C. O. Williams, and members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.


Mr. McCord, who lived at 309 Fulton street, had lived in Columbia for 15 years and had been with the railroad compnay for 28 years. Born in Leslie, he was the son of Charles A. McCord and Mary Ann Tucker McCord. He was a member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Harriet Rebecca Mikell McCord; a daughter, Miss Virginia McCord; a brother T. B. McCord of Rock Hill.

Funeral Services will be conducted at 3 o’clock this afternoon from the A. R. P. church by Dr. C. O. Williams of Greenville, assisted by Dr. R. C. Betts and the Rev. T. F. Reid. nterment will be in Greenlawn Memorial park.

Active pallbearers were to be M. B. Price, D. A. Cannon, F. W. Brown, H. E. Moore, S. W. Clowney, W. C. Howell.

Honorary pallbearers were to be M. P. Fennell, Dr. P. E. Payne. B. P. Hughes, H. L. Cogburn, E. W. Bellinger, M. E. Cogburn, E. W. Bellinger, M. E. Tatum, J. P. Cargill, Dr. C. B. Draffin, Dr. E. C. Draffin, A. Giles Fleming, C. O. Willliams, F. L. Caudle, D. K. Jones, L. B. Johnson, W. W. Farris, W. K. Howze, Tom Thain, W. M. Trotter, J. E. Stewart, Robert McDougal, J. E. Stewart, Robert McDougal, P. L. Helms, J. A. Watson, J. M. Gardner, L. B. Brady, P. C. Williamson, W. A. Edmonds, M. P. Herndon, J. R. Smith, T. M. Nelson, L. E. Dicks, G. B. Eillison and Thoroughgood Thornton.

Active pallbearers will meet at 2:30 at the residence. The honorary pallbears will meet at the church at 3 o’clock.


Mr. Schiffley, whose residence was at 1609 Pickens street, was making his fourth trip as a member of the train crew. He was a member of Main Street Methodist church.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Nancy Turner Schiffley; a son, Harry Roderick Schiffley; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Schiffley; a sister, Mrs. Douglas Fleming of Columbia; a brother, George S. Schiffley of Columbia; two nieces, Beverly Fleming and Sandra Schiffley.

Funeral services will be conducted at 5 o’clock this afternoon from the First Baptist church by the Rev. W. M. Whiteside, assisted by the Rev. W. A. Allen and the Rev. E. R. Mason. Interment will be in Elmwood cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Archie O’Daniel, Tom Craig, C. C. Patrick, Carl Long, W. Glenn Sigmon, Dr. F. H. Turner, Claude Davis, Jr., and Carroll Gasque, Jr. These are asked to meet at the residence at 4:30.

March 21, 1941  State (published as The State)  Columbia, South Carolina
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March 21, 1941  State (published as The State)  Columbia, South Carolina
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