Wilbur Earl Shively was born 14-July-1884 and died 23-September-1910. He died from injuries suffered in the train wreck of a Rock Island train which happened two miles east of Clayton, Kansas. He was buried in the Esbon Cemetery in Jewell County, KS. Wilbur Earl Shively was the son of Samuel E Shively (born 2-Sep-1850 died 2-Jan-1917) and Annie (Anna) E. Piper (born 3-Apr-1851 died 6-Apr-1932). Samuel E. Shively was the son of Benjamin Shively (1813-1873) and Barbara Shively (1815-1893). Another son of Benjamin and Barbara Shively was John Shively (1846-1928). John Shively married Jane Rachel Diehl (1849-1936). Benjamin George Shively was a son of John and Jane Rachel Shively. Benjamin George Shively (1869-1931) married Mary E. Stockwell.
The following article mentions Shively cousins and provided the clue to the identity of Wilbur Earl Shively. Wilbur Earl Shively and Benjamin George Shively are the cousins mentioned in this article found in The Valley Falls New Era, Valley Falls Kansas, Jefferson County, Thursday, September 29, 1910, Page 5, Column 4:
W. E. Shively of Otego Kans., a cousin of Ben F. Shively, of Valley Falls was one of the number killed in the Rock Island railroad wreck in Norton county last Friday morning when our neighbor John Sloop lost his life. Wilbur E. Shively was about 25 years of age. He was on his way to Colorado where he was homesteading to visit a sister and occupy his claim. He had been on the fated train a few hours only. In the first report of the wreck his post office was given as Agar and friends here were not sure at the time that a relative was among the slain. Confirmation came later. These railroad fatalities are getting too near to home.
Additional information regarding the Rock Island railroad wreck was extracted from The Morning Oregonian, Saturday, September 24, 1910, Page 2, Column 1:
16 LOSE LIVES IN WRECK OF TRAIN
Cloudburst Washes Away Track and Cars Plunge Into Watery Gully
MOST OF DEAD IN SMOKER
Locomotive and Several Cars Leave Track, Other Cars Plowing Into
Them, Killing Many of the Passengers
DENVER, Sept. 23.--Fifteen persons lost their lives and 11 others sustained more or less severe injuries in the wreck, two miles east of Clayton, Kans., early this morning of westbound Rock Island passenger train No. 27, which was due in Denver at 8:25 this morning from Kansas City.
The known dead:
F.Richenbaugh, Goodland, Kan., engineer A.V. Huffman, Kansas City, baggageman
J.W. Usher, Denver, conductor William Mills, Goodland, Kan., fireman
Herman Mueler, Smith Center, Kan. John Sloop, Boyle, Kan.
W.E. Shively, Agra, Kan. Gilbert M. Yams, Fullerton, Neb.
Eight unidentified persons.
Many Are Injured - The injured:
G.D. Brackon, lineman, Goodland, Kan., arm injured
Mrs. H. F. Scott, Jennings, Kan., right arm injured
Victor Engle, Birmingham, Ala., bruised and cut, not serious
Mrs. T. H. Evans, Langton, Kan., head cut
John Cigler, Stratton, Colo., head and foot cut
D.Duges, no address, side cut
A.H. Avias, Blue Rapids, Kan., left leg broken
Mrs. Anna Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., hand and wrist cut
Henry Ahlers, Meata, Mo., slightly
Helen Benson, Colorado Springs, Colo., slightly
Most of the dead and injured were in the smoker and one of the day coaches.
Cloudburst Causes Wreck.
The wreck was the result of a cloudburst which carried out 1000 feet of a fill at what is normally almost a dry bed, turning the latter into a torrent many yards wide and 20 feet deep.
The train was proceeding on a straight stretch of track. Evidently the first intimation that the engineer had of any danger came when he realized that the forward portion of the train was running in water which had spread out over the tracks near the fill. Reversing his engine, the speed of the train was checked but not enough to prevent the engine, baggage car and smoker going over into the depression.
The rear-end of the smoker remained tilted on the earth bank and the chair car ripped its way into the smoker, smashing it to pieces, and killing or injuring many of the passengers.
As near as can be learned here tonight, all of the passengers killed were occupants of the smoker.
It is certain that Engineer Richenbaugh could have jumped and saved himself but he remained at his post and did everything possible to prevent the train running into the ditch.
Pullmans Stay on Track
The three Pullmans remained on the track and the occupants of these cars were unhurt.
The dead and injured were taken to Norton, Kan. None of the injured is in serious condition. The washout was repaired late this evening and traffic resumed.
Passengers in the Pullman and other day coach, hurried from their berths and chairs by the shock, hurried out into the storm and rendered what aid they could to the injured and in extricating the mangled bodies of the dead.
Others hurried to Clayton, where news of the accident was wired to division headquarters and within half an hour physicians and nurses and a wreck train were being hurried to the scene from Norton, Colby, Goodland and Phillipsburg. It was not until late this afternoon, however, that the last body was recovered from the wreck.
Members of the Topeka baseball team of the Western League on their way to Denver were occupants of the Pullman, but escaped injury.