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The Death of John T. Lyons

Pictures and newspaper article supplied by J.T. (Ted) Lewis
Retired Southern Railway Carman and Car Foreman

J.T. Lewis (Know by us as just, Ted) has shared with us the story of his Grandfather, John T. Lyons, tragic death on 9-25-1909. Ted's mother Kathryn Lyons Lewis was only nine years old at the time of her father's death. John Lyons wife, whose name wasn't mentioned in the article was Nancy Lucenda Carroll Lyons.

The pictures and newspaper articles here, are the sole property of, and are supplied by Ted lewis and I consider them to be of historical importance and well worth posting on this site for all to see. They are posted here, with Ted's permission. These pictures and this story is not for republication, or reposting anywhere, without express permission from J.T. Lewis.

These extremely rare photos of an old Southern Derrick tell a lot and speak for them selves, and there are many things I notice in the pictures, are very interesting to me and will be to any many others. It amazes me at the throngs of people who stood around watching the Derrick Crew do its work. Everyone seems to be dressed in their finest attire, and are crowded so close to the Derrick Crew, that it must have been very difficult to get anything done. Even ladies were in attendance at the wreck, and roaming around like it was a side show for them to watch.

Atlanta Constitution Article

1909 Derrick Photo

Notice the cribbing of cross ties under the boiler, of the Locomotive. They are supporting the weight of the top half of the locomotive, while they lift the botton half up to either block under it or perhaps to get a cable under it in preperation to rolling it upright. Notice there are only two ground men working, while others stand around watching and the Foreman keeps his hands warm in his pockets. This is something that has alway been a fact at train wrecks.

1909 derrick photo

It appears, there are 3 ground men working, and at least 40 spectators are right underfoot. The man in the center of the crowd, may have been a Train Conductor, as he appears to be wearing a Conductors Cap. The ladies are wearing big hats, and long dresses. It seems every one of the men are wearing ties, and hats.

1909 derrick photo

The term Engine turns turtle down, is a new one on me. I've never heard that before, and I dont think it is used any more. and everything on it, unless otherwise noted: © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007 by Walter Parks, "Carknocker" and Retired Railway Carman.