Casey jones at vaughan
Mississippi Magazine|July - August 2020
The famed engineer’s last ride
FORREST LAMAR COOPE

Casey was born John Luther Jones in southeastern Missouri on March 14, 1864. He was the eldest of four brothers, all of whom became railroad engineers. When John Luther was 13 years old, his family moved to Cayce, Kentucky. At only 15, he started his career as an apprentice telegrapher on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad at Columbus, Kentucky, and acquired the name “Casey” after his hometown of “Cayce.”

In 1886, Casey married Miss Janie Brady of Jackson, Tennessee. Two years later, he took the job of fireman on a freight run between Jackson, Tennessee, and Water Valley. After nearly two years of firing locomotives, he won his dream job of a locomotive engineer.

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