Wednesday

A Very Stubborn, Hot-Headed Bull

Seventy-five years ago over 100 folks from Wilbur took the passenger train to Davenport to spend the day at the County Fair. It was held in October in those days. I suppose the whole bunch took the train back to Wilbur that evening. 

This was possible because ever since the branch-line was built, and until about 1923, the passenger train would just set around in Spokane waiting until evening before starting its run through Reardan, Davenport, Wilbur and on to Coulee City. Then the choo-choo train would bed down for the night, and wait for the sun to come up before heading back to Spokane. 

All this reminds me of the great train wreck in 1919 just west of Davenport. On that eventful morning, this familiar and seasoned locomotive was busy pulling its load of things, and lots of happy people from down the line who were eagerly waiting to spend the day in the big city of Spokane. 

No one gave a thought that farther down the track was a very stubborn, hot-headed bull owned by Mike Tanner. This near-sighted bull figured the train was invading his territory. He gave his life for his cause. Tanner’s bull did succeed in knocking the locomotive and coal tender off the track. It landed on it’s side in some rocks and sagebrush. Except for a few sore throats from screaming, no one was hurt. 

All the passengers, including the engineer and fireman, had to walk about two miles into Davenport. The mail clerk had to stay with the baggage car to protect the mail from crooks. All the section-hands could do was wipe off the tracks what was left of the bull, and wait for the wrecker to come out of Spokane. 

"A Bit Of History On The Central Washington Railroad" Kik-Backs, p. 23

Walt Kik
1910 Railroad Map

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