47 Facts About Casey Jones


John Luther "Casey" Jones was an American railroader who was killed when his passenger train collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi.

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Casey Jones was noted for his exceptionally punctual schedules, which sometimes required a degree of risk, though this was not a factor on his fatal last journey.

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Casey Jones was due to run the southbound passenger service from Memphis to Canton, Mississippi, departing 11:35pm.

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Casey Jones eventually departed 75 minutes late, but was confident of making up the time, with the powerful ten-wheeler Engine No 382, known as "Cannonball".

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All are agreed that Casey Jones managed to avert a potentially disastrous crash through his exceptional skill at slowing the engine and saving the lives of the passengers at the cost of his own.

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Casey Jones met his wife Mary Joanna "Janie" Brady through her father who owned the boarding house where Casey Jones was staying.

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On March 1,1888, Casey Jones switched to IC, firing a freight locomotive between Jackson, Tennessee, and Water Valley, Mississippi.

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Casey Jones was promoted to engineer, his lifelong goal, on February 23,1891.

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Casey Jones reached the pinnacle of the railroad profession as an expert locomotive engineer for IC.

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Railroading was a talent, and Casey Jones was recognized by his peers as one of the best engineers in the business.

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Casey Jones was known for his insistence that he "get her there on the advertised [time]" and that he never "fall down", meaning he never arrived at his destination behind schedule.

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Casey Jones was so punctual, it was said that people set their watches by him.

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Casey Jones was famous for his peculiar skill with the train whistle.

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Casey Jones's whistle was made of six thin tubes bound together, the shortest being half the length of the longest.

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Casey Jones answered it, spending a pleasant summer there with his wife.

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Casey Jones shuttled many people from Van Buren Street to Jackson Park during the exposition.

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Casey Jones asked for permission to drive the engine back to Water Valley.

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Casey Jones's request was approved, and No 638 ran its first 589 miles with Jones at the throttle to Water Valley.

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Casey Jones liked No 638 and liked working in the Jackson District because his family was there.

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Casey Jones drove the engine until he transferred to Memphis in February 1900.

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Casey Jones had left the cab in charge of fellow engineer Bob Stevenson, who had reduced speed sufficiently for Jones to walk safely out on the running board to oil the relief valves.

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Casey Jones had finished well before they arrived at the station, as planned, and was returning to the cab when he noticed a group of small children dart in front of the train some 60 yards ahead.

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Casey Jones shouted to Stevenson to reverse the train and yelled to the girl to get off the tracks in almost the same breath.

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Casey Jones was an avid baseball fan and watched or participated in the game whenever his schedule allowed.

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Casey Jones was issued nine citations for rules infractions in his career, with a total of 145 days suspended.

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Railroaders who worked with Casey Jones liked him but admitted that he was a bit of a risk-taker.

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Casey Jones was by all accounts an ambitious engineer, eager to move up the seniority ranks and serve on the better-paying, more prestigious passenger trains.

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Casey Jones had to move his family to Memphis and give up working with his close friend John Wesley McKinnie on No 638, but he thought the change was worth it.

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Casey Jones would drive Hatfield's Engine No 384 until his death in 1900.

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Casey Jones made up another 15 minutes in the 25-mile stretch from Grenada to Winona, Mississippi.

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Casey Jones was told that No 26 was in two sections and would be on the siding, so he would take priority over it.

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Casey Jones pulled out of Goodman only five minutes behind schedule.

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Casey Jones alerted Jones, who ordered him to jump from the train.

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The last thing he heard as he jumped was the long, piercing whistle used by Casey Jones to warn anyone still in the freight train looming ahead.

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Casey Jones reversed the throttle and slammed the airbrakes into emergency stop, but the engine quickly plowed through several loaded train cars before derailing.

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Casey Jones had been able to reduce his speed to about 40 miles per hour before impact.

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Casey Jones's body was found lying under the cab, with his skull crushed and right arm torn from its socket.

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Casey Jones was in a sleeper on Jones's southbound fast mail and said after the wreck:.

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Engineer Casey Jones did a wonderful as well as a heroic piece of work, at the cost of his life.

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Casey Jones continued north a further distance of 500 to 800 feet, where he stood and gave signals to Jones's train No 1.

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At least ten years after the wreck, the imprint of Casey Jones's engine was clearly visible in the embankment on the east side of the tracks about two-tenths of a mile north of Tucker's Creek, which is where the marker was located.

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Casey Jones's beloved Engine No 638 was sold to the Mexican government in 1921 and still ran there in the 1940s.

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Casey Jones's widow, Janie Brady Casey Jones was born on October 29,1866, and died on November 21,1958, in Jackson at age 92.

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Casey Jones's wife received $3,000 in insurance payments and later settled with IC for an additional $2,650.

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Casey Jones wore black nearly every day for the rest of her life.

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Casey Jones's tombstone in Jackson's Mount Calvary Cemetery gives his birth year as 1864, but according to information his mother wrote in the family Bible, he was born in 1863.

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Songs titled “Casey Jones”, usually about the crash or the engineer, have been recorded by Vernon Dalhart, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb, Feverfew, Tom Russell, The New Christy Minstrels, Skillet Lickers, and the Grateful Dead.

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