Hero Alexander Dudderar – Lincoln County

Alex Dudderar, 1859-1910.  Elizabeth, his wife, 1866-1925.  Buffalo Springs Cemetery, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky.

A beautiful memorial stone stands in Buffalo Springs Cemetery in Stanford, Lincoln County, remembering Alexander Dudderar.  Born January 27, 1859, to William Huff and Cynthia A. Dudderar, he was the eldest child and brother to seven other children.  In the newspaper articles I’ve found he seems like such a wonderful person, always spoken of with great esteem and kindness.

The first mention of ‘Zan” Dudderar was his 21st birthday supper given by his parents.  ‘Quite a select crowd were present, including a number of ladies and gentlemen from Stanford, and all seemed to enjoy the many good things that were spread before them, wishing Zan to live to celebrate his 100th birthday.’  Perhaps it’s just as well we do not know the date and time of our demise, to live life fully and happily until that drear day arrives.

Interior Journal, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky

Friday, January 30, 1880

Five years later Alexander Dudderar and Miss Elizabeth East were married by Rev. J. M. Bruce.  The article states Mr. Dudderar is a No. 1 engineer and Elizabeth is ‘pretty and capable of making a real help-meet.’  Theirs proved to be a fruitful marriage, producing three daughters and two sons – Ephraim, Nancy, Chad, Addie and Alpha.

Interior Journal, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky

Friday, March 6, 1885

Alexander was a member of the Rowland Literary Club of Stanford.

In February of 1905 Alexander, wife and daughter Nancy spent several days in Frankfort, attending the celebration of the golden wedding anniversary of his parents.

Kentucky Irish American, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Saturday, February 18, 1905

A mere five years later Alexander Dudderar was the hero who gave his life to save his passengers.  ‘By his presence of mind and the sacrifice of his life, Engineer Alexander Dudderar saved the lives of many passengers on the north-bound passenger train No. 24 on the Southern railway, when it ran into an open switch and collided with an extra freight at Waddy, at 7 o’clock yesterday morning.  He was crushed to death at his post of duty when the light speed locomotive turned over after the smash.

‘From the information given by members of both train crews the train No. 24, bound for Louisville from Dunnville, was speeding at a rate of about thirty-five miles an hour.  Just east of the switch opening there is a deep cut and a curve and this prevented Engineer Dudderar from seeing the signal.  When about 200 yards from the switch the engineer saw the open rail and shut off steam.  He applied the emergency brakes with such suddenness that passengers were almost thrown from their seats.  The passenger train had slowed down to about ten miles an hour when it went into the switch.  An instant later the crash came.

‘The small passenger locomotive hit the big freight engine, rebounded and turned over.  The engineer, who stuck to his throttle and air brakes, was hurled under tons of metal.  Fred Thomdale, the fireman on the passenger engine, jumped, but was caught.  His right leg was broken, but his condition is not serious.  R. H. Thomas, the baggage master, was badly bruised.  The men live in Louisville.  The crew of the freight train heard the whistle of the passenger train before it rounded the curve and were watching for it.  The had time to get out of the way and none were hurt.

‘None of the passengers required medical attention, and were able to proceed on their journey as soon as the tracks were cleared.  The tracks were torn up for several hundred feet and the road was blocked for several hours.  But for the fact that the passenger train had reduced its speed it is said by the railroad men that there might have been a score of fatalities.

‘Alexander Dudderar lived with his family at 2719 Portland Avenue.  He had resided in Louisville for twenty-two years and was one of the best known and most respected residents of that section of the city.  In speaking of Mr. Dudderar’s tragic death, the railroad officials declared last night:  “You can’t say too much for him as a railroad man.  He had been with the Southern for twenty years or more, and he was considered one of the best engineers and finest men in the service.”’

The Courier Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 9, 1910

The most poignant newspaper article came from The Interior Journal of Stanford, from those who knew him best.

‘Zan Dudderar Killed – Our people were saddened Tuesday when the news came that big-hearted, big-bodied Zan Dudderar, engineer on the Southern Railway, had been killed in a wreck near Waddy, Shelby County.  His train ran into a switch that had been left open and his engine overturning, he was crushed to death.  The remains of Mr. Dudderar were brought to the home of his parents, Col. and Mrs. W. H. Dudderar, at Rowland, and Thursday morning after services by Rev. D. M. Walker at 10 o’clock at the home, they were laid away in Buffalo Cemetery.  He is survived by his wife and five children.  The family resides in Louisville and was an exceptionally happy one.  Great sympathy is felt for them, as well as for the aged parents, brothers and sisters.  May He who doeth all things well comfort them in their dark hour.’

Would that all of us would be brave enough to lay down our lives for others.

Interior Journal, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky

Friday, February 11, 1910


2 replies »

  1. Hi, I keep looking for information about George Gootee born c 1793in Dorchester, Maryland. He died 30 November 1862 in Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky. His father I think is Andrew Gootee. George’s wife was Mary Polly Burris (Burns) They we’re married on 14 August 1818 in Washington County, Kentucky. They were Catholic and buried at St. Rose Cemetery. I have will of his brother Joseph Whelan Gootee (1773-1810) giving his brother George land.

    1) I need to prove who the father is of George Gootee. Maybe middle name is Sebastian. 2) I need to prove Joseph W. Gootee (1824-1898) is George Gootee’s son.

    I think my lineage is this: Andrew Gootee 4th G G and Priscilla 4 th GG George Sebastian Gootee 3rd GG Joseph Whelan Gootee 2nd GG Matilda Frances Gootee (1820-1898) GG Ambrose Garrett Smith( 1877-1935) Grandfather Earl Ambrose Smith (1918-1965) Father I am his daughter Donna Sue Smith Jones

    Thanks, Donna Jones

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Just curios during your research have you came across any information on the Anderson surname in Rockcastle and Laurel county Ky.


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