The Real Casey Jones Story

"A great deal of misinformation about Casey Jones and the circumstances of the Vaughan wreck has been written compounded by re-writings, exaggerations and speculation." - Railroad Historian Bruce Gurner

Casey Jones 100th Anniversary

The Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum observed the 100th anniversary of the wreck at Vaughan on April 29 and 30, 2000. Please see our story and photos.

The US Postal Service offered a commemerative postal cancellation at our museum on April 30, 2000. It will be available from our museum while supplies last.

Casey Jones 102nd Anniversary

The Casey Jones Museum at Vaughan observed the 102nd anniversary of the wreck at Vaughan on April 27 and 28, 2002. Please see our story and photos.

In 1972 Gurner published his account of the accident based on Brotherhood lodge records, official I.C. Railroad records, interviews and his own years of experience as a fireman and engineer.

On the night of April 29, 1900, Casey and engine 382 with Sim Webb firing were listed out of Memphis on train #1 with six cars southbound for Canton. Conductor was J. C. Turner. The scheduled departure time was 11:15. Records indicate he left at 12:50; one hour and thirty-five minutes late.

A good engine, a good fireman, a light train and away late; the perfect setting for a record run. He made that record run too, if the oft quoted departure time of 12:50 is correct, for Casey went to Goodman on time for a meet with #2.

While Casey was rolling south, the stage was being set for his tragic wreck. Freights #72 and #83 were both in the passing track at

The only known authentic photograph of Casey in the cab of an engine. This is a detail from the photo of the 638.
Vaughan and there were more cars than the track would hold. It was necessary for these trains to move north or south to clear the main line switches in order to allow other trains to pass; this is known as a saw- by.

Meanwhile, northbound local passenger #26 arrived from Canton and had to be sawed in on the house track west of the main line. As #83 and #72 sawed back south to clear the north passing track switch, an air house broke on #72 and he couldn't move. Several cars of #83's train were still out on the main line above the north switch.

Engine 382 crashed through the caboose and several cars and came to rest on the right side pointing back north. Casey was fatally wounded in the throat. He was carried one-half mile to the depot were he died lying on a baggage wagon.

The railroad's formal investigation concluded that "Engineer Jones was solely responsible for the accident as consequence of not having properly responded to flag signals."

Want to know more about Casey Jones?

Click on the titles below to view more in-depth information.

The Real Story (long version)
The Casey Jones Wreck Report
The Wreck Photos
Newspaper Reports
Mrs. Casey Jones
The Flagman
The 382
The 638
100th Anniversary
Stamps and Coins
1953 Memorial at Vaughan
Vaughan - a sad look, 2006
Cannonball? 382? 384?
Samuel W. Tate
Willard W. Hatfield
Casey's Signature
The Brotherhood
1900 Seniority Roster
Wallace Saunders
The Songs
Sim Webb
Casey the Baseball Fan
The Cuff Links
Gift Shop

News media visitors. Please click here for photographs and additional information.


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Copyright © 2006 Jack Gurner