Unidentified Wiki

"Happy Jack" was the nickname of a man who was killed in a train accident in Wagon Mound, New Mexico in 1913.


One June 9, 1913, one of the oldest engines on the Santa Fe system, "Uncle Dick," was coming down from Levy, New Mexico to Wagon Mound, New Mexico when its crew found a man lying unconscious on the side of the tracks. They took the man into the engine and brought him to Wagon Mound. The company physician, Dr. E. A. Northwood, found the victim to be having a concussion, several scars on his face, a severe bruise on the back of his head and neck that was covered in blood, and other parts of the body, especially the back, to be bruised where the later examination indicated broken ribs. He was then taken to the house of Frank Lujan, who was a justice of the peace, where he was cared for. He passed away at about 9:45 AM the next day and never woke up. The district attorney was informed, and a verdict ruled he was killed by a being struck by the train that brought him to town. No papers of identification were found on him.

The crew of the engine testified that they saw him sometime before reaching him but couldn’t tell whether it was a man or just a bundle of clothes. A section gang reported seeing the victim get off the track when No. 9 passed a little ahead of the light engine and they saw him walking on up the track after No. 9 passed, and that he then sat down. The gang also saw this engine stop but did not hear the whistle as a warning to the man as the crew had.

A saloonkeeper in Wagon Mound that the victim purchased a bottle of whiskey from him and that he was from Arizona. Another man, P.E. Arnett, met him while riding ways out of town. He told Arnett he had been in the Santa Fe area since the beginning of the railroad era in the 1880s, was a pioneer who fought Native Americans, trained prizefighters, and was known in Colorado as "Happy Jack".

"Happy Jack" was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Wagon Mound on June 11, 1913.


  • Grey hair and mustache.