New Jersey Obituaries - 1899 - James H. Fowler

Hurled To His Death

James H. Fowler Killed At The Highlands

He was Struck by a Locomotive on Saturday Afternoon and Instantly Killed - He Lived at Seabright for Many Years

James Holmes Fowler of Jersey City, son of James Fowler of Seabright, was struck by an express train at the railroad crossing at the Highlands last Saturday afternoon and instantly killed. He was on his way to visit his father. He came from New York on one of the boats of the Patten line and got off at the Highlands, intending to take the 6:40 train from there to Seabright. He arrived at the Highlands about an hour before train time and he waited at Murphy's hotel, which is only a short distance from the station. When he heard the train coming he started for the station. Between the hotel and the station are the railroad tracks. He had just stepped on the first rail of the track when the engine struck him. He was thrown to the station platform on the opposite side of the track and landed at the feet of a throng of passengers. His skull was crushed and death had already taken place when he struck the platform. The body was moved to Seabright at once and Sunday morning Coroner Herbert of Asbury Park gave a permit for burial.

Those who witnessed the accident say that there is no doubt but that Fowler was aware of the approach of the train, and the reason assigned for his attempting to cross the track is the supposition that he thought the train was a local instead of an express. He evidently saw the train coming, calculated the distance between it and the station and thought that as the train would slow up for the station he would have plenty of time to cross the track. The fact that the train was an express upset his calculations. There is a flagman at the crossing near where the accident happened. Had Mr. Fowler followed the public road in crossing the track he would have been warned of the danger in time to have saved his life. Instead he took a short cut to the east of the highway and was crossing the track on railroad property.

Mr. Fowler was a married man and his wife had come to Seabright Saturday morning, where both she and her husband were to remain over Sunday. She was at the station to meet her husband when the train came in that caused his death. She was at first told that her husband had been badly injured, but the fact of his death was not kept from her long. The news was a great shock to her and she was almost prostrated. Mrs. Fowler is a daughter of the late Robert Smith of Cream Ridge. She has no children.

Mr. Fowler, the victim of the accident, lived at Seabright until about four years ago. He worked at the Seabright station for nine years and was express agent there when he left to go to Jersey City to become billing clerk for the United States express company. This position he held at the time of his death. He was forty years old.

Besides a father, Mr. Fowler leaves five brothers and two sisters. They are Mrs. Brazilla Johnson, William, John, Elwood and Effie Fowler of Seabright, and Charles Fowler of Long Branch.

The funeral was held yesterday at two o'clock at the Seabright Methodist church. Rev. S. Monroe VanSant had charge of the service. The body was buried at Asbury Park.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, August 23, 1899