Remembering the Immortal Ten Round Rock, Texas

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for letting us post these wonderful articles.

The Time Capsules stories are prepared by

Bob Brinkman - Texas Historical Commission


Remembering the Immortal Ten

In 1927 Round Rock was a quiet town of 1,000 people at the intersection of State Highway 2 and the International and Great Northern Railroad. But on January 22 of that year, this little community was the scene of a terrible tragedy that received widespread notice. On a cold and rainy day, the Baylor basketball team was traveling to Austin for a night game with the Texas Longhorns.

The highway from Waco came through town along with Georgetown, and Main Streets, then turned south at Mays. As the bus driver turned toward the railroad tracks, he noticed that the Sunshine Special train was speeding along eastward and that a collision was imminent. The driver attempted to turn east off the road and put the bus between the railroad tracks and the passenger depot. But on the slick roads, his actions only changed the angle of the impact.

The train tore through the back and right side of the bus, instantly killing six of the players and student passengers. When the train was finally able to stop, it backed up, and the crew joined the Round Rock citizens who had rushed to the scene. Then the train, which was headed for Taylor, continued on with two injured students, rushing to the Taylor hospital. Two more students were taken to the hospital in Georgetown, but they died en route; the other two died in Taylor. In a terrible irony, one of the men who came to help the injured was Ivey Foster, Sr. of Taylor. Among the dead students, he found his own son.

After the bus crash, Baylor received international attention and sympathies.

Other basketball games and events that weekend were canceled or postponed out of respect. Some long-lasting and beneficial developments came from that awful Saturday. State legislation was immediately introduced to construct grade crossings at all railroad-highway intersections.

When U. S. 81 was built through Round Rock eight years later, the Highway Department built the first railroad overpass in Texas and dedicating a plaque to the Baylor victims. School buses across America introduced new safety features and were required to stop at all railroad crossings before proceeding. And at the first student assembly each fall at Baylor, they still set out 10 empty chairs for the Immortal Ten.