American Folk Figure. He was killed in the wreck of the Illinois Central Train #1 ("The Cannonball Express") at Vaughan, Mississippi on April 30, 1900 at 3:52 a.m. He stayed with the train to slow it down as much as possible, and was the only one who was killed in the wreck. It is believed that his selfless actions saved his passengers from injury and possible death. He is memorialized to this day in the famous ballad of "Casey Jones" by his friend Wallace Saunders. The spelling of Casey's "hometown" was Cayce, Kentucky, which is pronounced "Casey." He himself actually signed his nickname as "Cayce," but letters from his wife in much later years show her spelling it "Casey."