Niagara Gazette

Opinion

February 27, 2013

GLYNN: Family ties traced to train crash in the 1890s

Niagara Gazette — Descendants of two Niagara area families — the Lynches and Butterys — encountered an unexpected reunion nearly 120 years after a railroad accident one day that thrust their ancestors into the news.

Jim Lynch, whose family roots run deep in this city's North End, recalls that day in 2011 when he was doing research at the Lockport History Center. While there, he happened to meet Lewis Buttery, another local history buff, and his sister, Carol. Lynch explained that he was searching for articles about his great-grandmother, Anna Piper Lynch and her children who were hurt in a train accident  in 1894. 

As Lynch talked about the incident, Buttery expressed intense interest in all the details. "Believe it or not, that was my great- uncle (Earl Buttery) operating the train along the gorge that day, when the accident happened," Buttery said. Quickly they started comparing mental notes, sharing family backgrounds. They struck up a friendship that continues to this day.

Lynch, now a Ransomville resident, has dedicated countless hours researching his ancestors. He also regularly delves into microfilm, newspaper articles and cemetery records, among other sources to piece together the family story. His brother, Brian Lynch, has focused on ancestry.com, digging up information on relatives dating back to the year 700.

Anna P. Lynch, 40, and her four children were riding on a branch of the New York Central & Hudson Railroad after attending her brother's wedding in Lewiston. The train had left the village below the Escarpment at 1:25 p.m. and was due at the Tenth Street Station in Niagara Falls at 1:45 p.m. According to witnesses, the train was passing opposite a stone quarry just north of Niagara University — the present site of the Robert Moses Niagara Project — when a car loaded with stone came hurtling down the incline railway of the plant site and smashed into the rear end of the observation car next to the engine.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page