Iron Man Of The Month

OF DAYTON DAILY AND RADIO'S JOES JOURNAL

| March/April 1973

  • Ray Jones
    Ray Jones pumps a bucket of water from his mother's old pitcher pump, down at the bottom of the Rushville hill. Unlike Jack and Jill, he went ''down'' the hill to fetch a pail of water. Ray says his Mother felt like a millionaire when this pump was instal
    Joe Fahnestock
  • Model Juke Box
    Ray Jones takes time out to listen to the nostalgic music being ground out on the old 1930 Model Juke Box, owned by LaRoi's Old Stone Mill which grinds corn meal and wheat flour each year at the Pioneer Engineers Show, Rushville, Indiana. Courtesy of Joe
    Joe Fahnestock
  • Little John Deere
    Ray Jones, always interested in the human side of the Rushville Pioneer Engineers Show, advises 4-H Exhibitors, from seat of his little John Deere. The little tractor is really a ''foot saver'' during reunion time up and down the big hills and across the
    Joe Fahnestock
  • Peerless-Geiser
    Ray Jones explains parts of the T-Model Peerless-Geiser Valve-Gear to fellow engineer at the Pioneer Engineers Show, Rushville, Indiana. Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390.
    Joe Fahnestock
  • Ray Jones
    Ray Jones is also a religious man. Each year he passes out the hymn books and introduces the preacher at the Pioneer Engineers Show, Rushville, Indiana. This is the only time that one sees Ray without that straw hat around the reunion grounds. Courtesy of
    Joe Fahnestock

  • Ray Jones
  • Model Juke Box
  • Little John Deere
  • Peerless-Geiser
  • Ray Jones

UNION CITY, INDIANA

From plow-boy and steam thresher-man to trolley car conductor and locomotive engineer Ray Jones epitomizes the true lover of steam and the American ideal.

The proverbial country boy who someday dreamed of becoming a railroad engineer Jones remembers plowing behind horses on his father's farm, serving as water boy for the threshing ring at fourteen, entering partnership in a steam rig at eighteen, punching tickets as conductor on the town trolley and throttling the big ones as engineer on the mighty 'Pennsy.'

'Yes, I dreamed of someday becoming a locomotive engineer when I used to plow with Dad's horses and I'd hear the trains whistling in the distance,' reminisces Ray Jones with that far away look in his eye. 'I fired those big old freight engines on the Pennsylvania Railroad, starting when I was twenty-four. They were all hand-fired in those days-the H-6's and H-10's.' (They were known as the 'Consolidations' with the 2-8-0 wheel arrangement.)



'I also fired some of the big E-6's, which were the fast passenger 4-4-2 Atlantic-types,' continued Jones, his eyes thrilling to the memories. 'Later, when I became engineer, I ran the larger M-1's and I-1's (both freight and passenger types), and the mighty K-4's'.

'Ran many a fast passenger train behind the K-4's. They were the best locomotives that ever stood on steel,' 'minds Ray. 'That's what all us Pennsylvania men claimed.'