Date of Death: 24 May 1890
Subject: Francis Xavier Rochambeau
Source:St. Joseph Daily News, 26 May 1890, p. 6


A K.C. Brakeman Thrown Under a Moving Train and Instantly Killed

Last Saturday night Frank R. Shombeau [Rochambeau], a switchman in the employ of the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad was instantly killed when engaged in coupling two cars together by being struck by a draw-bar, thrown under the wheels and ground to pieces. When picked up it was found that his head had been severed from his body, which was horribly mutilated, having been drawn along the track for some distance. The remains were taken to Heaton's undertaking rooms, where an inquest was held yesterday morning, the jury bringing in a verdict censuring the crew of the train which killed Shombeau, charging that they were running the cars in a reckless manner. The dead man leaves a wife and four children and was a prominent member of the G.A.R. post here. Members of that order met at Mr. Shombeau's late residence, Ninth and Olive streets, at 9:30 this morning and escorted the body to the depot, from whence it was taken to Cosby for burial.

Source:St. Joseph Daily Gazette, 26 May 1890, p. 6

Rochambeau's Death Resulted From Carelessness

Acting Coroner T.K. Weaver held an inquest at Heaton's undertaking rooms yesterday over the remains of Frank Rochambeau, the unfortunate man who had his head crushed in the K.C. yards Saturday night. The inquisition began at 10 a.m. and was not concluded until 2 p.m. A jury was empanneled who after viewing the body, listened to the testimony of nine witnesses all of them railroad men who were at work in the yards with the dead man. From the testimony introduced it would seem that Rochambeau's death was the result of carelessness on the part of the crew of a switch engine. The testimony regarding the killing was very brief, only one man, William Herndon, seeing the accident. The testimony of the witnesses was that at the time Rochambeau was killed, the engine was cut off from the train which was also in three sections. Rochambeau did not know this, and when he stepped between the cars to make a coupling, a detached section was shoved against the train he was at work on. H was between a flat car and a box car loaded with grain. The bumper of the flat car broke from the great shock and drove the flat car into the grain car, crushing his head into a pulp. The witnesses all swore that at the time the cars came together they were running from five to six miles an hour.

Engineer Thompson testified that he did not think the shock was greater than others he had known of that did no damage.

The jury after hearing all the evidence returned the following verdict, which they delivered to Acting Coroner Weaver: We, the jury, find the deceased, Frank Rochambeau, came to his death by carelessness and negligence on the part of the crew of engine No. 31, of the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs Railroad company, by being caught and mashed between a coal and grain car whilst making a coupling.

(Signed) Edward F. Leavitt,
W.K. Davis,
Joseph Gardner,
C.E. Bacheler,
A.M. Limbacker,
A. Casto.

At the conclusion of the inquest the body of the unfortunate man was turned over to his wife and family, who reside near the corner of Ninth and Olive streets. Rochambeau was a well respected, hard-working man and leaves a wife and five children in poor circumstances. He was a member of the G.A.R. That organization took charge of the remains and last night had them removed to his former residence. To-day they will be taken to Cosby for burial. The members of the Chester Harding Post will accompany the remains to the Union depot. Mrs. Rochambeau was nearly prostrated with the fearful blow and was in a serious condition last night.