You’re listening to the Jesters with a Decca recording from 1944. Railroads were the nation’s backbone at the time and schedules were of the utmost importance. The engineer set out an hour and a half behind schedule in the wee hours of April 30th 1900. He was determined to make up the time from Memphis to Canton, Mississippi and had just about done so a couple miles outside of Vaughan. But two trains were already taking up the passing tracks at the station, with cars left out on the main line. Jones, somewhat miraculously, slowed the train’s 75 mph speed to 35 at the time of collision. He was killed in the impact, his being the only fatality, and preventing many more.

Image: Casey Jones’ home at the time of his death. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.