Kassie Jones

Furry Lewis

John “Casey” Jones

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Furry Lewis performs his version of “Kassie Jones” during the ’60s, a turn of the century folk ballad he originally recorded in Memphis, Tennessee on August 28, 1928.

The heroic story of white railroad engineer John “Casey” Jones and his brave death while trying to save the lives of his passages from a collision is immortalized in this ballad written by his friend African-American engine wiper Wallace Saunders. Jones was the only causality when his Cannonball Express hit a stalled freight train in Vaughan, Mississippi on the foggy night of April 30, 1900. -His watch stopped at 3:52 am, the time of impact. Had Casey not remained on board to reverse the throttle and apply the break many more would have perished in the crash.

There has been some controversy about exactly how Jones died. Massena Jones, former postmaster and museum director of Vaughan said “When they found Jones according o Uncle Will Madison (a section hand who helped remove Jones’ body from the wreckage), he had a splinter of wood driven through his head. Now this is contrary to most of the stories, some of which say he had a bolt through his neck, some say he was crushed, some say he was scalded to death.”

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