FRIENDSHIP -- Addison S. Tait, aged about seventy, employed as a mail carrier at the post office here, was seriously injured this morning when he was struck by a Shawmut train at the crossing here. The accident occurred shortly before nine-thirty o'clock.
Mr. Tait, according to those who witnessed the accident, was taking mail from Erie depot to the post office, drawing the bags on a truck. As he crossed the Shawmut tracks, between the station and the post office, one of the bags fell from the truck in the center of the tracks. Seeing that a train, westbound, was coming, Mr. Tait grabbed the bag but was struck by the engine.
Witnesses took him to the office of Dr. E. S. Webster where first aid was administered. Dr. Webster ordered him taken to Cuba Memorial Hospital.
The extent of his injuries has not been determined but it is known he suffered a partially crushed left foot and injuries to the left shoulder.
Source: Olean (NY) Times Herald, September 3, 1937, p. 4
Cuba. Sept. 3. -- Addison S. Tait, 70, mail carrier at Friendship, was seriously injured when he was struck by a Shawmut train at the Friendship crossing. Mr. Tait was taking mail from the Erie station to the post office, when one of the bags fell on the tracks. Seeing a westbound train was coming Mr. Tait clutched the bag, but was struck by the engine.
He is a patient at the Cuba Memorial Hospital, where the full extent of his injuries has not been determine.
Salamanca (NY) Republican Press, September 4, 1937, p. 8
Devotion of high degree to duty at Friendship seems likely to be awarded soon by Uncle Sam.
The House of Representatives at Washington has passed a bill awarding $1,500 to Addison S. Tait, seventy-two-year-old resident of Stevens Avenue, Friendship. Only concurrence by the Senate remains before payment is made of a debt owed a former employe of the Post Office Department.
Mr. Tait for five years carried filled mail sacks between the Friendship Post Office and Erie and Shawmut Railroad station. There was nothing spectacular about what he did but he was faithful to his trust from day to day in good weather and bad.
But on September 3, 1937, Mr. Tait, in doing what he regarded as his simple duty, became a national figure. He was wheeling a cart full of sacks of valuable mail from the Erie Station toward the post office. In doing so he had to cross the rails of the Shawmut road. When his cart wheels went over the rails three sacks of mail were shaken off on the rack just in front of an advancing locomotive drawing a freight train. Seeing the danger to these bags of mail, Mr. Taft jumped to their rescue. He succeeded in getting them out of the way in time to avoid damage but not until a wheel of the engine ran over the toes of his right foot and knocked him aside with other serious injuries. The toes were amputated in Cuba Memorial hospital.
Friendship residents, knowing Mr. Tait's devotion to duty, aided him by contacting Congressman Daniel A. Reed of Dunkirk, who introduced the bill which, when passed will make the former mail messenger's days happier in knowing that he has been rewarded for his heroic act.
Source: Olean (NY) Times-Herald, March 9, 1940, p. 5
Created on September 07, 2006