JONES, JOHN LUTHER "CASEY" - Madison County, Tennessee | JOHN LUTHER "CASEY" JONES - Tennessee Gravestone Photos

John Luther "Casey" JONES

Mount Calvary Cemetery
Madison County,

John Luther "Casey" Jones

March 14, 1863 - Missouri
April 30, 1900 - Mississippi

This American folk figure is known for the sacrifice of his own life in an effort to save the lives of his passengers. On April 29, 1900, Casey had just pulled the No. 2 train into Memphis Tennessee and was scheduled to remain there. The engineer on train No. 1, known as "The Chicago & New Orleans Limited", called in sick with cramps. Jones was asked to take his place and take the train back to Canton. The train was 95 minutes late leaving Memphis and Casey, loving a challenge was determined o "get her there on the advertised" time no matter how difficult it looked. During the first 100 mile stretch to Grenada, Mississippi, with a stop for water at the half way point, speeds of up to 80mph had made up 55 of the 95 minutes. When he reached Durant, 155 miles into the run, he was almost on time. As he was traveling through a 1.5-mile left-hand curve that blocked his view. His fireman’s view from the left side of the train was better, and he was first to see the red lights of a caboose on their track. The fireman called out the warning and Casey reversed the throttle and slammed the airbrakes into emergency stop while yelling for the fireman to jump. He did but was knocked unconscious. Casey quickly plowed through a wooden caboose, a car load of hay, another of corn and half way through a car of timber before leaving the track. He had amazingly reduced his speed from about 75 miles per hour to about 35 miles per hour when he impacted with a deafening crunch of steel against steel and splintering wood. His actions saved the passengers from serious injury. The crash, fatal to Casey, stoppd his watch at 3:52 AM on April 30, 1900.
The nickname Casey was given to him because his home town was Cayce, Kentucky, He always spelled his name as Cayce, but everyone else, including his wife spelled it Casey.

Casey Jones' fame can almost certainly be attributed to the traditional song, The Ballad of Casey Jones, recorded by Mississippi John Hurt, Pete Seeger, Furry Lewis, The Grateful Dead, and Johnny Cash, among others.

Contributed on 7/8/13 by tomtodd
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Record #: 92

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Submitted: 7/8/13 • Approved: 7/8/13 • Last Updated: 8/15/15 • R92-G0-S3

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