August 18, 1905
Killed by the Cars
Fleming Stevens, aged 66 years, and living on the Fluhart farm, north of town near the Rock Island reservoir, was struck and instantly killed by a Missouri Pacific train near McDonald Bros. Scale factory last Tuesday night. His watch found near the body had stopped at 8:43 o'clock, which is the time the fast passenger train from St. Louis is due and it is almost certain that this was the train that struck him.
Parrott Hayes was taking in the signal lights at 6 o'clock Wednesday morning and discovered the body. He at once notified the officers and Constable Robt. Etmore, Ben Stephens and the Local man drove to the place where the body lay. He was lying with his head in the ditch and his feet near the track. Acting Coroner Willis ordered the body taken to W. W. Hon's undertaking establishment, where it was prepared for burial. Upon examination it was found that the skull had been fractured in two places, his left foot was horribly crushed and his left hand was badly torn and lacerated; he was also badly bruised about the body.
A coroner's jury was impaneled, composed of Thos. Hayes, Smith Duncan, Wm. Reeder, W. E. Fitzgerald, B. E. Parker and N. Burris. Their verdict was as follows:
We, the undersigned jurors, find that the deceased, Flem. Stephens, came to his death by being struck by a Missouri Pacific train on Tuesday night, Aug. 15th, 1905, near the spur of McDonald Bros. Scale factory, and the jury further finds that the deceased is alone responsible for his death, having wandered on the track in some manner unknown to the jury.
No one was able to account for his presence in the neighborhood where he was killed, as he lives in an entirely different direction. It is evident that he was sitting on the track when struck as every indication pointed that way. Mr. Stephens was on the streets of Pleasant Hill the entire day and no one noticed when he left town. He was known to have been intoxicated during the afternoon, however, and this probably was the reason for taking the wrong direction home.
Mr. Stephens leaves a wife and seven children, two boys and five girls. He has been a resident of Pleasant Hill for many years. Funeral services were held at the family residence Thursday and his remains were taken to Lees Summit for burial.