(October 16, 1886 - 1940)
Madison County Times
LeRoy Carpenter Obituary
"Killed in a work accident when the truck he was driving was struck by a
fast eastbound mail passenger train a mile west of Chittenango. Leroy
Carpenter, serving his second term as highway superintendent of the town of
Sullivan, was killed in the line of duty Monday afternoon when the truck he
was operating was struck by the east-bound fast mail passenger train No. 38,
at the car crossing on the New York canal, a little over a mile west of
Chittenango. The truck Mr. Carpenter was operating was demolished and hurled
many feet from the scene of the crash and the body was thrown twenty-five
feet from the wrecked truck. Members of the town highway crew, under his
supervision saw the approaching train and shouted vain warnings. They had to
stand helplessly by and see their leader meet his death.
The work at the crossing had been undertaken by Mr. Carpenter as a safety
measure, to remove the earth banks from the approaches to the crossing and
make possible for those using the road to have a better opportunity to see
approaching trains. Two fatal accidents occurred at the crossing recently. On
July 28, Mr. Carpenter's son Harold, driving a town truck, was struck and
injured and later Henry King's tractor was demolished when he drove onto the
track in front of a train. A short time ago Mr. Carpenter had obtained
permission from railroad officials to remove the obstructing banks.
During the work he repeatedly warned his men to use extra care, had erected
guard rails as an added safety measure and constantly patrolled the work to
protect his men and those using the road. Just before the fatal accident he
took special precautions to keep from danger children living on near-by farms
and who were watching the work.
Leroy Carpenter was born in northern Sullivan October 16, 1886. His parents
were William and Carolyn Carpenter.
He married Miss Amelia Gibbs. She survives him, as do also five sons, Carl,
whose marriage to Muriel Tanner of Canastota took place Saturday night, and
who was on his wedding trip when the accident occurred, and Donald, Harold,
Robert and Arthur, all of Chittenango. There are also two sister, Mrs. John
Centner and Mrs. Howard Bender, both of Chittenango Station, and four
brothers, William and Fred of Chittenango Station and Chester of Chittenango
and Clifford of Canastota. His mother, Mrs. Carrie Carpenter also survives.
Mr. Carpenter was one of the best-known and highly esteemed men of the town.
He had twice been elected town superintendent of highways, the second time by
a record majority. His work was outstanding and won him an increasing number
of friends and supporters. Before being elected to town office he spent
several years in various branches of work in the county highway department,
holding a responsible supervisory position there at the time he became a
candidate for town office. He was a member of the Grange and of the
Chittenango Fire Company, of which he had served both as company president
and as fire chief.
The funeral took place Wednesday afternoon. There was a private family
prayer service at the home at 1:30, followed by a public funeral at the
Methodist Church, with Rev. Harold Steer officiating. Friends and business
associates from all parts of the county attended the church service.
Burial was at Fyler.
Members of the Fire Co. attended the funeral in a body in uniform. The
Grange and County Highway Superintendent Association also attended as did
Town Officials and the County Highway Department.
The train which struck the truck causing Mr. Carpenter's death stopped as
soon as possible and the crew returned to the scene. Later the train
continued its run. Coroner Boyd was assisted in his preliminary investigation
by Troopers Harold Lutz, Robert Wyllie, Brannigan, Brunkhurst, and Sargenti
Members of the road crew working on the job and who witnessed the tragedy
were: Merle Weeks, Thomas Austin, Clifford Moth, Judson Wheeler and James
Date: Monday, January 10, 2000 09:16 AM
Madison Co. Families