A Folk Hero
Do you live near the Memphis, TN area? If so, you will love the Casey Jones Museum in Jackson, TN, just a short one-hour drive from Memphis, TN. Our homeschool group, P226 Innovative Homeschoolers visited the museum last Friday.
We have been living in Memphis for exactly ten years this month and have only visited once to eat at the village restaurant – but not the museum.
I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the story of Casey Jones. If you have never visited it is a must!
Casey Jones was very exciting to learn about.
Casey Jones was a locomotive engineer who became a folk hero after his death in a train crash in 1900 was commemorated in a number of songs. According to legend, Jones died with one hand on the train’s whistle and the other hand on its brake. Reference: History.com
The museum starts with a short video about Casey Jones, and from there visitors tour the museum through the self-guided tour area. We learned about Casey’s life such as how he got the nickname Casey. He was born John Luther Jones on March 14, 1863 in Cayce, Kentucky. When Jones moved to Jackson, TN to work for the railroad system he was nicknamed Casey by the people whom he lived with in a railroad boarding house. The boarding house is where he met his wife, Mary Joanna Brady. They were parents of three children.
Casey was known for always being on time as a railroad engineer. On August 30, 1900, Casey died when his railroad collided with a stalled freight train in Vaughn, Mississippi as he was headed from Memphis to Jackson, TN. As the story goes, Casey was trying to make up time as he was an hour behind schedule before the deadly crash.
I was especially intrigued with Casey’s fireman, Sim Webb.
It is said Casey ordered Mr. Webb to jump from the train before it slammed into the freight train. This fatal crash only killed Casey Jones. Sim Webb, all the passengers and the people in area of the stalled freight were unharmed. After Casey Jones had died, Mr. Webb continued to spread Casey’s legacy everywhere. Casey Jones’ wife did amazing work for railroad engineers after his death. Mary Joanna Brady is also worth learning about.
This is only a short, and I mean very short, introduction of Casey Jones. The museum is full of amazing history including how the railroad system played a part in the Civil War.
It was a great visit. If you enjoy learning about American History, Casey Jones is a nice visit for your home education.
John 15:12-14 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
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