WELLSBURG BETHANY TROLLEY WRECK May 7, 1917 by John Bowman

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer May 8, 1917 “Car No. 5 of the Wellsburg, Bethany and Washington Street Railway company wreck.  ONE KILLED, MANY HURT WHEN TROLLEY CAR LEAVES TRACK”

“Mr. John Bowman was just getting ready to leave his home when the coach was wrecked on the southern side of the track, just below his gate.  He was the first to look into the tangled mass of crushed humanity.”

The John Bowman family members identified.  John Bowman’s sons, Harry, Roy, Russell, and Walter, and John Bowman’s brother Joe Bowman. John Ray Bowman, Harry T. Bowman, and Roy Cruth Bowman were motormen on the line.  Harry, and Roy are in the photo.

May 1917 Car No. 5 Wellsburg-Bethany-Washington Street Railway company wreck. Bowman family members identified
The John T. Bowman house on Buchanans Hill, Bethany Pike, Wellsburg, West Virginia. Site of the May 1917 wreck of the No. 5 Wellsburg-Bethany Trolley. Photo from the John Bowman collection

The Wellsburg, Bethany and Washington Street Railway company 1908-1926. 

The Streetcars traveling up-river from Wheeling would transfer passengers at Bowman’s Switch for the trip to Bethany. The Trolley went from Bowman’s Switch on State Route 2 just north of Beech Bottom West Virginia to the south end of Wellsburg going out Bethany Pike (State Route 67) to Bethany, West Virginia.  There was a car barn for the trolleys at Bowman’s Switch (Identified on old Brooke County Maps).  A Church now sits on the old slab where the trolley barn stood.

The following (2) photos are from The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer May 8, 1917

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer Wellsburg, Bethany and Washington Street Railway company wreck. May 8, 1917 page 1
The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer Wellsburg, Bethany and Washington Street Railway company wreck. May 8, 1917 page 2

See this on YouTube, “The Uphill Climb, The Wellsburg, Bethany & Washington Trolley” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC9W9KDMrt8 i

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