CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett declared July 28 as Budds Creek Disaster Day of Remembrance.
The proclamation honors the sesquicentennial of a Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad disaster on July 28, 1869, at Budds Creek in southern Montgomery County. Five people died in the wreck, including the train’s engineer, fireman and several passengers.
Durrett issued the proclamation at the request of writer Todd DeFeo, founder of The DeFeo Groupe and editor of Railfanning.org. DeFeo has written a book about the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville, which The History Press is publishing on Oct. 14.
“It is important to remember historical events that happened in our county, especially one as tragic as the disaster at Budds Creek,” Durrett said. “The railroad meant so much to Montgomery County, and I hope our community will take a moment to reflect on the lives lost 150 years ago.”
The Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville formed an integral part of the railroad link between New Orleans and New York. The Louisville & Nashville purchased the railroad in 1871 and operated it as part of its Memphis Branch for more than a century.
DeFeo has written about the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville extensively for Railfanning.org.
“This railroad has such a fascinating history, and the tragedy at Budds Creek is an important part of its story,” DeFeo said. “I appreciate the opportunity to help commemorate this tragedy and help keep alive the memory of the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad.”
DeFeo’s first book, a history of the Western & Atlantic Railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, publishes on July 1.