Vaughan MS is the location, where
in the wee hours of April 30th, 1900, an engineer on the Illinois Central,
"Casey" Jones, died as the result of a crash. There is a Casey Jones
museum in Jackson TN, where he was living at the time of his death.
The following excerpt comes from the "DE" source listed below......
Once in a great while an individual attains a degree of fame that is
tantamount to legend. Such a man was Engineer John Luther ("Casey")
Jones (1864-1900), who died at his post on an Illinois Central Railroad
Express train on April 30, 1900.
Although he had been born in southern Missouri, he was called "Casey" in
reference to his boyhood home of Cayce KY. At age 15, he went to work
for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad as a
telegrapher, and three years later he became a fireman. In 1888 Casey
moved to the larger Illinois Central,
and within two years he achieved his goal of becoming a steam locomotive engineer.
The then 26-year-old, 6'-4" engineer ran fast freights for the IC, first out
of Jackson MS, and later out of Centralia IL. In 1892 he was assigned
to a local express taking fairgoers from downtown Chicago to the World's
Columbian Exposition. For the next seven years he was back on
freights, with his home base at Water Valley MS. He was known up and
down his division for his six-tone calliope whistle and the "whippoorwill
call" he played upon it, and among co-workers for his dashing good looks and
As the new century began, Casey Jones was promoted to as prestigious a job as the
Illinois Central could offer. He was to pilot the company's premier
Chicago-New Orleans passenger train, the "New Orleans Special," also
known as the "Cannonball." His division covered the 188 miles south of Memphis.
On the night of April 29,1900 the 36-year-old Casey and his fireman, Sim
Web, brought the northbound "Cannonball" (officially, the "Chicago Fast
Mail") into Memphis on time. There they learned that the engineer
scheduled to take the southbound "Cannonball" when it arrived from Chicago
was out sick, and they were asked to turn around and retrace the miles they
had just logged. They agreed, with Jones insisting that he be able to
use his regular engine -- the 4-6-0, Number 382, that he had just brought in
from Canton, Mississippi at the head of the northbound. The 10-wheeler
was readied, but Jones and Sim Webb had to cool their heels: the southbound
"Cannonball" was late and they would be leaving Memphis 95 minutes behind schedule.
The train orders Casey received that night specified that the southbound
"Cannonball" be on time at Canton, which meant that those 95 minutes would
have to be made up in 188 miles. That was not any problem for Casey
Jones, as Sim Webb recalled some years later that "running on time was his
hobby." By the time the train left Granada, 100 miles into the run,
one hour had already been erased from the deficit; after another 23 miles,
the "Cannonball" was only 15 minutes late. Casey Jones approached the
little depot at Vaughan almost on time. "The old girl's got her
high-heeled slippers on tonight," he shouted to his fireman over the thunder
of his roaring locomotive.
Jones hoped Vaughan wouldn't cost him any time. His orders told him to
"saw" through two freights that were sided at the station. This was a
common enough procedure when the total length of the sided trains exceeded
the length of the siding: the far train extended off the siding through the
switch at the far end, and out on the main track. Once the incoming
train had cleared the first switch it would back up and clear the far
switch. That synchronized maneuver would clear the main track ahead
and the through train could continue on its way.
It would all have gone smoothly if an air hose hadn't broken on the first of
the two sided freights, delaying its southbound maneuver. There were
no automatic signals in those days, so a flagman was sent to warn the
"Cannonball" to stop well short of the four cars of the freight that blocked
the track at the north switch. For whatever reason, Jones did not heed
the flagman's lantern signal and approached the curve leading into the north
switch at 70 mph. He only began to brake when his wheels exploded a
warning "torpedo" the flagman had placed on the track. Within seconds,
Fireman Webb saw the lights of the freight's caboose around the bend up
ahead and shouted "Look out! We're gonna hit something." Jones
told Webb to jump, and hit the emergency brakes. The "Cannonball" was
doing considerably less than 50 mph when it struck the freight, but the big
10-wheeler tore through the caboose and one boxcar, the impact killing Casey
Jones. He was the only casualty of the wreck.
A song about Casey Jones, in its dozens of variations, put the doomed
engineer into the realm of folklore, and cast him into so much of an example
of reckless bravery that now -- a full century later -- people ask, "Was
there REALLY a Casey Jones?
The depot that used to be located here, and used as THE Casey Jones Museum,
was actually a depot relocated from Pickens MS. Sometime after the
museum closed in 2004, according to Wikipedia, the depot was again moved to West MS.
The depot in Pickens before being moved to Vaughan.
Found this on the internet, but no information available with the picture as to where it was taken....
Where one of the Vaughan sidings used to be
GPS Coordinates: 32.816590, 90.038428
The marker at this location was stolen, and all that remains is the mounting
post. It was dedicated in 1953, and the ceremony was attended by Sim
Webb (the fireman of the train), and Janie Jones ( Casey Jones' widow).
I'm looking for pictures of it. I do not believe I knew about it back
in 1985 in order to go out and get a picture of it when I was here in April
of that year. Darn. The marker is/was about 3300 feet north of
where the depot was located.
The Casey Jones Museum
GPS Coordinates: 32.816590, 90.038428
56 Casey Jones Ln., Jackson TN 38305
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm // Sunday: 1pm-5pm
Adults: $8.00 // Senior Citizens (60+): $7.00 // Children (4-10) years: $5.00
Although not in Vaughan, it is listed here for continuity.
A stamp was issued in 1950 which featured Casey Jones on the
face. This is accompanied by several first day covers found on EBay.
The stamp goes for anywhere from $2 on up, and you can get a sheet of them
for 6 bucks plus shipping! The first day covers are going from about $6 on up.
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Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
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Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
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By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
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