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Ottumwa Daily Courier / July 24, 1903



Is Supposed to Have Fallen Beneath the Cars of the Rock Island Southbound Train.—Mother Resides at Bolton.— Mr. Jones Highly Respected.

Oskaloosa, July 24. — (Special) — Scattered along the Rock Island railroad tracks for nearly 500 feet, the head, arms, legs and pieces of the trunk of the body of John T. Jones, better known as John Jenkins Jones of Beacon, with scarcely a thread of clothing left on them, were picked up shortly after 1 o’clock this morning by Coroner Foehlinger and members of the city police force. It is supposed that Mr. Jones was struck by or fell under the wheels of the south bound Rock Island passenger train from Des Moines, which left this city last night about 10 o’clock. No definite information can be secured as to how the accident occurred as no one saw the accident and it was not until about 1 o’clock that portions of the dismembered body were found along the track by Tom McGee, who was crossing the tracks on his way home.

Had Attended the Races.

John T. Jones, a Welsh miner of Beacon, had come to Oskaloosa yesterday morning to attend the races. He had been seen several times throughout the day with various companions and the last seen of him alive was when he started to the depot last night to catch the train to return to his home.

Train Was Late.

The Rock Island train from Des Moines last night was late, leaving this city about 10 o’clock. Whether Mr. Jones decided not to wait for the train and started to walk home is not known.

Thought He Boarded the Train.

It is the more general belief here that he boarded the train here and that shortly after leaving the station he fell between the cars and was ground to pieces by the heavy wheels.

Found by Footman.

Last night about 1 o’clock T. McGee started for his home in the southwest of this city, taking a short cut across the Rock Island right-of-way. It was quite dark, though not so black that he could not see. As he started to cross the track he came upon an object that attracted his attention and caused him to stop and strike a match that he might the better see.

Piece of Flesh.

By the dim light of the flickering match he could discern that it was a piece of flesh. There was not a thread of clothing on it, but it gave the appearance of being a portion of a human body.

Notifies Police.

Mr. McGee did not stop longer to investigate but went at once to the police station and notified the officers, who after getting Coroner Foehlinger, returned to the scene.

A Grewsome Sight.

With the lantern the party went to the spot designated by Mr. McGee. A hurried examination confirmed the belief that the piece of flesh found by Mr. McGee was from a human body. The sight that met the eyes of the party was most grewsome. Arms, legs and pieces of trunk horribly crushed and mangled were found along the track and severed completely from the body, the head of the unfortunate man was found several feet from the remainder of the corpse.

Dragged by the Train.

Parts of the dismembered body were found along the track for a distance of nearly two blocks with all traces of clothing gone indicating the man had become entangled with the wheels of the train and had been torn and cut to pieces little by little.

Body Picked Up.

The members of the party gathered together the pieces of the body and they were taken to an undertaking establishment. This morning the body was identified by an employe of the Raven Coal Co., as that of John T. Jones.

Was Well-to-Do Man.

Mr. Jones was a miner at Beacon, about forty years of age and was quite well to do. He was unmarried and has an aged mother living at Bolton, a little mining town near Oskaloosa. He had many friends in this vicinity and he was highly esteemed by all his acquaintances.



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