Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
CAREY, JOHN M. (deceased).-Many of the present generation of Irish-Americans in Springfield will readily remember the late John M. Carey, for many years a city employee and business man, whose death occurred November 8, 1909. It was not so many years before, on the night of July 4th, that he had saved the midnight train from plunging from the Chicago & Alton bridge into the Sangamon River, after a heavy storm had caused a flood that washed one of the piers away. Mr. Carey was born near Queenstown, Ireland, the son of John and Mary Carey, both of whom died in Ireland.
John M. Carey came to the United States as a young man with his two brothers, Thomas and William, and after landing in New York City came direct to Springfield. John became watchman at the Chicago & Alton railroad bridge, where he remained many years, and it was while holding this position that he performed the deed that saved many lives. On the night above mentioned during a heavy storm, which had continued for several days, Mr. Carey became suspicious that the rain would damage the bridge and taking a lantern, started out to investigate, finding that one of the piers had washed away. He managed to stop the midnight train in time to save it and for his services received the sum of $25. Later he accepted a position with the watch factory, where he was employed for nine years, but subsequently went into the grocery business. He finally became a miner for a few years and then retired, his death occurring at his home in Springfield November 8, 1909. He was a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. He was a Democrat in politics and served for a time as trustee and for years as Justice of the Peace of Ridgely, before that town was incorporated with Springfield.
On November 22, 1877, Mr. Carey was married to Catherine Rohan, who was born near London, Ohio, October 17, 1856, a daughter of Patrick and Catherine (Sheehan) Rohan, both of whom are deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Carey there were born the following children: Nellie M., who is deceased; Margaret J., who married Jacob Owens; William J., of Tacoma, Wash.; Elsie C., Alice L. and Mary C., at home; and John A. and Walter M., deceased.