Hallettsville in Lavaca County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Wreck of the Don Milo
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 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
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.)
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.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hallettsville Memorial Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hallettsville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Hanging Tree (approx. 1.1 miles away); William Smothers (approx. 1½ miles away).
Categories. • Disasters • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2016, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 267 times since then and 13 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.