The Columbus Telegram has the following to say of the heroic work of Jos. Ray, son of “Dad” Ray of this city: Columbus has a candidate for one of the Carnegie hero medals. His name is Joe Ray, one of the switchmen in the local U. P. yards. Had it not been for the presence of mind and the prompt action of Mr. Ray last Wednesday morning no doubt there would have been another railroad tragedy to the credit of Columbus. The person rescued was John Speicher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Speicher. John is delivery boy at the Cassin meat market.
About eight o’clock Wednesday morning he started to drive across the railroad tracks on Olive street. At the same time the Union Pacific switch engine suddenly appeared from behind the lumber sheds in that vicinity. Speicher first thought he would stop, but his horse was spirited, and he then tried to whip up and cross ahead of the engine. He had tarried too long. The horse got across the track, but the engine backed square into the buggy. Joe Ray was riding on the foot board at the rear of the engine, and as young Speicher was hurled toward him he hooked one arm firmly around the hand rail and with the other pushed Speicher to one side, so that he fell beyond the rails. Had it not been for the interference of Ray it is the opinion of those who witnessed the accident that Speicher had surely been killed. As it was the young man was thrown about thirty feet. He was unconscious and bleeding at the nose when picked up, but his injuries proved to be quite trivial. Brakeman Ray was almost if not quite as seriously injured, and has laid off from work for the balance of the week. He was caught between the buggy and the engine and was quite seriously bruised.
Source: The Madison Star-Mail, January 18, 1907, page 5.