Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tragedy Tuesday: Mike and Mollie Kelly killed in train crash

Two Killed at Greenwood - Burlington Train Hits Car on Grade Crossing - Mr. and Mrs. Kelly of Lincoln Meet Instant Death When Auto Stops on Track
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kelly of Lincoln were instantly killed Monday afternoon, near 3 o'clock when hit by Burlington train No. 2 eastbound at a crossing near Greenwood. The remains were brought to Lincoln late Monday afternoon.
Mr. Kelly was a brother of Mrs. O.E. Rector and of Mrs. John Fitzgerald. The accident happened east of Greenwood near the elevator. Mr. Kelly drove up on the eastbound track and stopped to let a freight train go by, never noticing the approaching fast passenger train. The car was demolished and the occupants were instantly killed.
Mr. and Mrs. Kelly left Lincoln Monday morning on business. Mr. Kelly is a retired farmer and the circumstances of the accident indicate that he was driving to their farm near Greenwood when the train struck them. Mr. Kelly was about sixty years old and Mrs. Kelly about fifty-five.
Word was received Monday evening that Mrs. John Fitzgerald, sister of Mr. Kelly, would arrive Tuesday from Evergreen Col. where she is now living. Edward, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, will arrive sometime Tuesday from Notre Dame university where he is a student.
The remains of Mr. and Mrs. Kelly are being held at Roberts' Parlors pending funeral arrangements.
Source: Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 5, 1920

Mr. and Mrs. M.C. Kelly Meet Death
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kelly met instant death Monday afternoon when struck by Burlington train No. 2 at the crossing near the stockyards. No one knows the exact cause of the accident, but many think the victims were watching a freight train coming from the east and failed to see the approaching fast passenger train. The car was demolished and Mr. and Mrs. Kelly almost instantly killed, the bodies being taken to Lincoln on No. 7.
Mr. and Mrs. Kelly lived on their farm near here until two years ago when they retired and went to Lincoln to live. They leave two children - Edward, who is attending Notre Dame College and Mrs. Mayme White, who resides in Texas.
The accident has cast a gloom over this community where Mr. and Mrs. Kelly made a host of friends during their long residence in this vicinity.
Source: Greenwood Gazette, Greenwood, Nebraska, October 7, 1920

Notes: Michael C Kelly was the brother of my great grandfather, Daniel Kelly. Mary "Mollie" Kelleher was the daughter of Patrick Kelleher and Nora Nestor Kelleher. Mollie's first husband was William D. Kelly, Jr., brother of Michael C. Kelly. Mollie and William had two children. Willie died as an infant in 1886. Mary Theresa was born in 1888 and died in 1964. She was known as "Mayme" Kelly White. Mike and Mollie's child together was Edward.
Mike and Mollie are buried in unmarked graves at Calvary Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska near the graves of Michael's parents and little Willie.


  1. This is the worst kind of accident, it must have been difficult to learn of this. Why are they in unmarked graves, was it due to financial reasons of the children?

  2. Barbara, as far as I know the families were quite well off at this time. Michael's brother-in-law, John Fitzgerald, left an estate of $1.5 million when he died in 1894 and he doesn't have a stone either. The only thing I can figure out is that they may have had stones but they've sunk into the ground by now.