Location: Royal Oak, MI - Fourth Street Tower

Fourth Street tower was a highway crossing signal tower in Royal Oak on the Grand Trunk Western main line.


ROYAL OAK, July 22. A prowler that took possession of a railway signal tower at Fourth Street and the Grand Trunk tracks in Royal Oak early Sunday was slain by a bullet from a patrolman's revolver after the signalman had been attacked and put to flight.

Harry Lewis, in charge of the tower, set the crossing warning bell ringing as a freight train approached, and descended to pass orders to the train's crew. When he returned to his lookout, the prowler leaped on his back.

Lewis fought him off and for a moment it appeared that his assailant was going to leap from a window. The he wheeled on Lewis and attacked him so viciously that the signalman fled. Patrolman Stewart Lehman noticed that the warning bell did not cease ringing after the freight passed and hurried to investigate.

He climbed up the tower, revolver in hand, and confronted the invader. Lehman fired when he was threatened with attack. The prowler, a large raccoon, was killed instantly.

Where the raccoon came from in Lewis' brief absence police have been unable to determine. [DFP-7/23/1934]