Two of the articles/obituaries were the announcement of his father-in-law's death, Nathan Cobb on 24 June 1892.
How did he end up on the train tracks? It wasn't far. Looking at an earlier map of Oak Park from the 1870s (available at the Oak Park River Forest Historical Society), I noticed he lived a block and a half away.
There is a picture of a Chicago Northwestern train right where Nathan was hit about 20 years later!
As someone who grew up in towns with trains running through them, the crossings all had signals, the tracks were a bit elevated and would be difficult to easily wander up to if walking with a couple of canes. BUT....
That is not how it was in 1892 in Oak Park. Frank Lipo at the Oak Park River Forest Historical Society pointed out to me that the trains ran right down the middle of the road, no elevation at all.
Here is a picture of the Chicago Northwestern tracks at Harlem Ave (a few blocks away from where Nathan was hit):
|photo thanks to Oak Park River Forest Historical Society|
The corner of Harlem Ave and South Blvd
There is no challenge for someone walking with two canes to get onto these tracks!
Today those same tracks are up a full flight of stairs with North Blvd on one side and South Blvd on the other!