Casey Jones was a folk hero from Jackson, Tennessee, about whom songs have been written and TV shows produced.
When he was 16 years old, Jones started working for railroads–first the Mobile & Ohio and later the Illinois Central. By the time he was 27, he had become a railroad engineer, which means he drove the train.
Casey Jones eventually developed a reputation as a man who would go to great lengths to get his train to the station on time. He died in a train wreck in 1900, with one hand on the whistle and the other on the brake. By staying on board the train with his hand on the brake, he saved the lives of the passengers on his train.
By the way, the main reason Casey Jones became famous after his death was because an African-American engine wiper named Wallace Saunders wrote a song about him. If you want to hear the song’s tune, click here.
Today there is a museum in Jackson that tells you all about Casey Jones.