“The Brush Creek Wreck”


The singer tells of a wreck near Bevier. As the train, moving at high speed, crosses a bridge, the switch "flew backward And sent them through the bridge." The engineer finds several fatally injured; the people of Brookfield mourn their dead


This is item dG37 in Laws's Appendix II.

Belden does not comment on the form of this piece, and has no tune, but it appears to me nearly certain that it was sung to "Casey Jones." Though it would take some squeezing to make it fit any tune; the text is highly irregular (and more than a little forced. Belden doesn't think it went far into tradition, and it's easy to see why). - RBW

Historical references

  • March 1, 1881 - The Brush Creek Wreck (actually wrecks, as the rescue train also went off the tracks, causing worse casualties)


  1. Belden, pp. 421-422, "The Brush Creek Wreck" (1 text)
  2. Cohen-LSRail, p. 272, "Brush Creek Wreck" (notes only)
  3. Roud #4137
  4. BI, Beld421


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1912 (Belden)
Keywords: train wreck death
Found in: US(So)