Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawaii - West Oahu: Honolulu Record Digitization Project

Honolulu Record, Volume 10 No. 13, Thursday, October 24, 1957 p. 5


"Casey" Jones' Old Fireman Dies

The last living figure in one of America's best known legends died last month—the man who heaved coal into "Casey" Jones' firebox on the fateful day when the engineer crashed his locomotive into the rear end of a freight train, that had not been pulled far enough off on a siding down in Mississippi.

The man is Sim Webb, a Negro who lived to be 83 before he died in Memphis last month, and who had told the story over and over at meetings of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (APL-CIO) whose paper appropriately enough tells the story.

The fatal ride came in 1900 when Jones and Webb rolled into Memphis to find the regular engineer of the crack "Cannon Ball" of the Illinois Central line was sick and the train was eight hours late. Jones volunteered to take the run and try to make np the time.

They were doing well enough, tearing through Mississippi, when the rear end of the carelessly handled freight train loomed ahead. The ' engineer yelled, "Jump, Sun, and save yourself!"

That was what Sim did, and he lived to a ripe old age. "Casey," whose real name was John Luther Jones, rode the locomotive through a caboose, a car of corn, a car of hay, and halfway through a car of lumber, to his death.

According to tradition, he was found with his hand on the alarm , signal.

The song, "Casey Jones," was almost immediately popular thereafter, though the engineer's widow successfully sued one group of publishers because of certain lines in the song falsely alleging that she had another daddy on the Salt Lake Line."

p /> I do not say that at odd hours a patient must be given the regular hot dinner or supper. Few people would expect this.
But what is so complicated about opening and heating a can of soup, making some toast, or preparing instant coffee or tea? Why cannot a night nurse do these simple things after the kitchen to closed? Is it just too much trouble?

It is only common humanity to feed the hungry. If our hospitals are too big, too complex, too impersonal to do these small kindnesses for the sick, something is very wrong.