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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbus in Muscogee County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Circus Train Wreck Memorial

Con. T. Kennedy Shows

 
 
Circus Train Wreck Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 4, 2017
1. Circus Train Wreck Memorial
Inscription.
In memory of their comrades
who lost their lives
in a railroad wreck near Columbus, GA.
Nov. 22, 1915.


Reverse
We’ll not forget thee, we who stay
To work a little longer here.
Thy name, thy faith, thy love shall lie
On memory’s tablet, bright and clear;
And when o’er wearied by the toil of life
Our heavy limbs shall be,
We’ll come and, one by one, lie down
Upon dear mother earth with thee.

 
Erected 1916 by Employees of the Con T. Kennedy Shows.
 
Location. 32° 27.058′ N, 84° 58.701′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Georgia, in Muscogee County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Victory Drive and 4th Street. Touch for map. Located at the north middle end of the Riverdale cemetery, close to 4th Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Victory Drive, Columbus GA 31901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hero's Memorial (was about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing. ); Jewish Section of Riverdale Cemetery (about 700 feet away); Historic Riverdale Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Moses Dallas: Confederate Naval Pilot/American Slave (approx. ¼ mile away); Confederate Siege Gun (approx. ¼ mile away); Oglethorpe Meets the Indians at Coweta (approx. 0.7 miles away); Fourth Street Baptist Church (approx. 0.7 miles away); Mildred L. Terry Branch Library (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
 
More about this marker.
Circus Train Wreck Memorial (reverse) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 4, 2017
2. Circus Train Wreck Memorial (reverse)
A separate stone notes the memorial was created in 1916 by Elledge & Norman Monument Co. (Edward Wise Allen, Foreman).
 
Regarding Circus Train Wreck Memorial. Memorial is shaped like a large circus tent (Big Top). It memorializes the circus employees killed in a horrible circus train wreck 6.5 miles east of Columbus on November 22, 1915.

The show was headed to Phenix City and the crash occurred near Bull Creek. About mid-afternoon, on a straight stretch of track, the Con. T. Kennedy Carnival train ran head-on into a passenger train that shouldn't have been there. The metal cars of the passenger train withstood the impact, injuring only a few, but the wooden cars of the circus train telescoped into the engine, caught fire, and incinerated most of the animals and one or two dozen circus people.

The tombstone doesn't say exactly how many circus workers died (news reports claimed 24 died, although later accounts put the number at 6 or 15), or even if they're buried at the memorial or not.
 
Also see . . .
1. An Atlas Obscura article about the train wreck. (Submitted on March 1, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Ledger-Enquirer article on the Circus Train wreck. (Submitted on March 1, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. DisastersRailroads & Streetcars
 
Circus Train Wreck Memorial in the Riverdale Cemetery. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 4, 2017
3. Circus Train Wreck Memorial in the Riverdale Cemetery.
Circus Train Wreck Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 4, 2017
4. Circus Train Wreck Memorial
Manufacturer of the memorial that is made of Georgia marble. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 4, 2017
5. Manufacturer of the memorial that is made of Georgia marble.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 1, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 113 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 1, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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