WELLINGTON, KS., Nov. 22---Last evening, Levi Meeker, his wife and 8-year-old daughter were found dead on the Southern Kansas railroad track by his son. It is supposed they were struck while crossing the track in a wagon by a passenger train.(reported in the Wisconsin State Journal ~ November 23, 1888). 

In my book, WHEN DEATH RODE THE RAILS: STRANGE DEATHS IN OKLAHOMA, 1900-1920, I explored cases like this. I had found some suspicious cases in northern Texas and theorized there might be more in surrounding states.

Exactly how did a steam locomotive - stealthy they were not - sneak up to kill this family? No one on the wagon (pulled by one or more horses, walking or at most trotting) was aware of the oncoming train? None could hold the team and run it across the tracks in time?   One source indicates express passenger trains on that line were to travel at between 25-35 and mail trains 15 mph.     Were they, like some in Oklahoma, killed and then placed there to cover the crime? Are there similar deaths along that particular line?

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