Fourteen-Year-Old Boy Killed Under Wheels of Heavily Loaded Car Returning With Conference Visitors

This heart-breaking accident happened on 26 April 1914.  Jacob Alvaro Bushman was the son of Theodore Martin Bushman, son of Jacob and Charlotte Bushman.

interurban-electric-railroadThe Lehi Banner, 2 May 1914

Fatal Accident on Interurban

Fourteen-Year-Old Boy Killed Under Wheels of Heavily Loaded Car Returning With Conference Visitors

Alvaro Bushman, the 14-year-old son of Mr. And Mrs. Theodore M. Bushman was run over and almost instantly killed by an interurban car at 9:30 Sunday evening.

Bushman, Jacob Alvarrow

The accident took place two and one half blocks east of the interurban depot, between Dr. Hasler’s and Bishop Gardner’s homes. The wheels of the heavily loaded car had passed over his body, almost completely severing it at the waist. There was also a gash over the left eye, though this wound would not have been fatal. Dr. Hassler and John Comer were on the scene within a minute after the accident and turned the young man over just as he gasped his last breath but death was almost instant. Others soon gathered and by the striking of a match some of his classmates recognized the features. Bishop Gardner notified his father, who came soon in an automobile. Bishop Lewis was notified and the body was taken to his undertaking establishment, and during the night was prepared by him for burial.

No one on car knew that the accident had happened. There were four boys, George Gaisford, Cedric Dorton, Lorenzo Kirton, Odell Brown and young Bushman, who had been riding back and forth to American Fork during the afternoon and evening on the special car which was hauling conference visitors. As the car this time was making its last trip, they planned only to ride a block or two and then jumb off. The car was crowded with passengers returning after the evening session.

The Kirton and Gaisford lads were on the rear steps, Brown and Dorton were on the baggage steps and Bushman was on the front. The first four had had more experience in jumping off trains than their companion, so that when the car was getting good speed they jumped and called to Bushman to do likewise. He, however, rode several rods further. At this point it is steep and down hill and the car was getting momentum every rod, so that when he jumped evidently he became frightened and slipped under the wheels.

Soon as the four boys saw what had happened they were brave enough and had presence of mind to run fast as they could for medical help, two going for Dr. Hassler, and two for Dr. Holbrook.

There was no formal inquest held, the county attorney and sheriff deeming it unnecessary. However, an informal examination of the boys was held before Judge Beck and the railroad’s attorney, which brought out the facts as above stated.

According to the boy’s parents he would have been 14 years old on the seventh of the next month. He was in the sixth grade in the public school. He was a dutiful son and never gave his parents any trouble, so the untimely and tragic death has been a great shock to them, the mother particularly having been almost insane with grief.

Funeral services over the remains were held in the Tabernacle Tuesday afternoon. The building was filled with sympathizing friends, the teachers and students of the grammar grades attending in a body. The floral tributes were beautiful.

Bishop James H. Gardner presided. The other speakers were Supervisor A. B. Anderson, President A. J. Evans, Counsellor William Wing and Trustee George A. Goates. Jesse Smith conducted the singing and Mrs. Hazel Holmstead gave a solo. Six students from his class in the sixth grade acted as pall-bearers.interurban-electric-railroad-1

Lehi Interurban.JPGThis is the building that stands now where the Interurban Depot was in Lehi.  I’m not sure if it’s the same building or not.


THE OREM INTERURBAN RAILROAD DEPOT Constructed: 1914 Address: 103 West 300 North Present owner: Charles (Bud) Snedecor As early as 1902 voices were raised that an electric interurban railroad would be built through Lehi. Interurbans were a direct outgrowth of city transit systems in the late nineteenth century. Trolley cars could be built for higher speeds than those feasible in local service. While common speeds were forty­ to fifty miles per hour, some systems could run even faster.

Interurban cars were usually bigger, more powerful, and more luxuriously furnished than city trolleys. electric railway cars could negotiate steeper grades and sharper curves than steam engines. Interurban lines were usually cheaper to build and could offer cheaper fares as well as more frequent and convenient service.

After several failed attempts, a group of Utah capitalists under the leadership of Walter C. Orem, finally succeeded in building the Salt Lake and Utah electric Railroad. This was popularly called the “Orem Interurban,” and eventually linked the business district of Salt Lake City as far south as Payson.

The line through Lehi was built down the center of Third North, before turning south near Seventh East. The first passenger car of the Orem Line arrived in Lehi on 16 February 1914. On 23 March, regular daily service began between Salt Lake and American Fork. This included intermediate stops at Adams, Taylorsville, Granger, Bennion, West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Bluffdale, Jordan Narrows, Kirkham (Jordan River), and Lehi.

The “Big Red Cars,” with gilt trimmings, were sixty­-two feet long and nine feet wide. Decorated with mahogany interior trimmings and leather-­upholstered seats, each unit had a smoking compartment, drinking fountain, steam heat, electric lights, overhead racks for storage, and a Pullman­-type rear vestibule with folding gate. Each unit was equipped with multiple control systems, whereby a car could supply its own power or be coupled into a train. The crew, normally consisting of a motorman, conductor, and brakeman, transported Lehi passengers to downtown Salt Lake City in seventy­-three minutes.

The Lehi depot for the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad was erected in July of 1914, on the southwest corner of Third North and First West. The pre­-fabricated cement building, thirty-­two feet wide and fifty feet long, was built in Salt Lake City and shipped to Lehi in sections.

The northeast corner of the completed depot housed an eighteen-­by­-eighteen­-foot waiting room with double doors opening both to the north and east. The baggage/express room was in a fourteen­-by-­eighteen-­foot room in the northwest corner. The ticket office, between the waiting room and the baggage room, projected six feet farther north than the rest of the building. On each side of the ticket office and in front of the waiting and baggage rooms were porches that were six feet wide.

The prosperity of the line began to falter during the Depression. The end of World War II brought about the company’s demise. The 2 August 1946 “Lehi Free Press” announced that Salt Lake & Utah Railroad assets had been sold in auction. The corporation was dissolved by Judge Clarence E. Baker on December 27, 1946.

The Denver & Rio Grande and the Bamberger Railroads purchased most of the trackage and equipment. Raymond Stewart, owner of the Lehi Cereal Mill, purchased the track for salvage. Jack Beveridge successfully bid $4,000 for the Lehi depot and in 1947 sold it to Jack and Elroy M. Lamph. They soon converted it into an automobile repair shop. It was later remodeled into a residence, and remains a private home today.


Here are some interesting memories shared by old folks who rode the Interurban:

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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2 Responses to Fourteen-Year-Old Boy Killed Under Wheels of Heavily Loaded Car Returning With Conference Visitors

  1. KTC says:

    What a sad story!

  2. Gary H Lewis says:

    We would love a hard copy of these pictures and story if you could send them to us….yes, that building is the original train station… it has been re-modeled a couple of times.. wish it would be restored. The tracks use to run in front of where our home is now… it was just a field then. Thank you….Gary and Rhea Lewis 695 East 300 North, Lehi, Utah 84043 801-768-3615

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