I didn't find anything on Will's you'd need to write to the county courthouse, but I looked up what was in the old newspapers for you:
Lincoln Courier, Dec 21,1911:
FLAGMAN KILLED BY ALTON TRAIN
(William F. Coffee struck by Prairie State Express and Died of Injuries)
Struck by the southbound Prairie State while attemping to flag a switch engine at the Tremont street crossing. William F. Coffee, flagman stationed at the street crossing received injuries of which he died forty-five minutes later at the Deaconess hospital. Coffee never regained consciousness and died while in the elevator that was bearing him to the operating table at the hospital. Coffee, who is said to have been somewhat hard of hearing, was flagging a switch engine running north about 2:30pm. The Prairie State was late and had just began to slow down for the station two blocks away, when it was seen that Coffee was unaware of his danger. The brakeman of the switch engine shouted to him, but it was too late. Coffee was standing directly on the street crossing, and the engine evidently struck him in the back of the head. His body was hurled through the air and his head struck against the concrete curbing of the street. An employe at the nearby bottling works stated that he heard both engines whistle and looking out saw that the Prairie State had thrown on the brakes.
The crew of the switch engine could not reach the body until the train had passed and it was found that life was almost extinct. Considerable delay was incurred before an ambulance was summoned. The train crew wanted to run down to the depot and call a doctor and take the man's name and neighbors finally had to summon Dr. Ewing, the company's physician. The ambulance of Ryan & Purintion was then delayed at the crossing by the switch engine that persisted in blocking the tracks even with help in sight.
The Prairie state was in charge of Conductor Sutton.
Coffee lived only a block away on Logan Street with his widowed daughter, Mrs. Berkley, who soon reached the scene. He also leaves three sons, Abe Coffee, Section foreman at Broadwell, and Jim Coffee who was formerly section foreman at Atlanta. Another son , Oscar Coffee lives at home.
Coffee had been working at the flag station for three years. His wife died three years ago. He has worked as a flagman for many years in different parts of the country.##
From Lincoln Courier Dec. 22, 1911-Friday
HOLD INQUEST: (Coroner's Jury Inquires into the Death of W.F. Coffee and Adjourns.)
Friday afternoon at the Boyden Undertaking rooms an inquest was held to inquire into the death of William F. Coffee, the aged flagman who was killed Thursday afternoon by the Prairie State express at the Alton crossing at Tremont street. The jury was composed of the following men: Fred Berger, Henry Brown, J.R. Jones, Wm.E. Town, J.T. Rudolph, George J. Brockett. the jury met at 2 o'clock and heard all the testimony that was available. They adjourned until a later date when the railroad trainmen can appear and give their testimony. The funeral arrangements have not yet been completed owing to the absence of one son , Abe Coffee, who has been visiting in Kentucky. He is expected home at any time.
William F. Coffee was aged 62 years, 1 month and 26 days at the time of the deplorable accident. He was born in Kentucky and has lived in this state for the past seven years. He has been working in the employ of various railroads for many years. Persons at the passenger station who wre waiting for the Prairie State and who saw the accident, state that he had stepped onto the middle of the track just before the engine struck him. His body was thrown high in the air and fell within the shadow of this little flag shanty. A deep cut of about four inches in lenght, that had penetrated his skull, substantiated the first theory that his head struck some other sharp object causing death. This was presumably the corner of the street curbing. Funeral Announcements will follow.##
Hope this is something you didn't have and it's of use for you. I found it very intersting to read.
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