“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hallettsville in Lavaca County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

The Wreck of the Don Milo

Wreck of the Don Milo Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gregory Walker
1. Wreck of the Don Milo Marker
Inscription.  The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company (S. A. & A. P.) was chartered by the State of Texas in 1884 to connect the city of San Antonio with Aransas Bay, and the rail line officially came to Hallettsville on April 23, 1887. A large celebration on that date brought 5,000 to town to witness the completion of the track over the Lavaca River around noon, and the evening arrival of the first train.

The S. A. & A. P. railway met financial ruin when a disastrous train wreck occurred on the wooden bridge over the Lavaca River on January 2, 1890. The river had risen to within fifteen feet of the bridge's rails because of heavy rains. The engineer crossed the river in order to reach the water tank at the other side, because the water was necessary to power the trains steam-driven engine. The engineer then crossed back over the bridge to reattach the remaining cars. Upon preparing to cross the bridge with the entire train, the engineer realized that the trestle had been washed away by the surging water. Although the engineer was able to stop the train at the edge of the river, the weight of the train's cargo caused it to plunge into
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the raging floodwaters below. The train carried liquor as part of its cargo, and the consumption of the liquor by spectators added to the confusion caused by the crowd of onlookers that soon appeared at the site.

The wreck of the Don Milo, engine no. 54, caused additional problems for the S. A. & A. P., which had already been experiencing financial difficulties. The resulting lawsuits forced the company to reorganize, and the S. A. & A. P. was acquired by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1892.
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15769.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is January 2, 1890.
Location. 29° 26.236′ N, 96° 56.508′ W. Marker is in Hallettsville, Texas, in Lavaca County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and South Russell Street, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hallettsville TX 77964, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. East Side Church of God (approx. 0.3 miles away); Sacred Heart Catholic Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hallettsville Memorial Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); John Wilkins Whitfield (approx. 0.4
Location of Wreck of the Don Milo Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gregory Walker
2. Location of Wreck of the Don Milo Marker
miles away); Pioneer Settlers Killed by the Indians Comanches and Tonkahues (approx. 0.4 miles away); General John W. Whitfield (approx. 0.4 miles away); Arthur Pendleton Bagby (approx. 0.4 miles away); Stephen Tucker Foley (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hallettsville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2016, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,152 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 22, 2016, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 19, 2024