Who was Nancy Hanks?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

Who was Nancy Hanks and why was the train named after her?

-- Molly Mitchell (molly.mitchell@uno.edu), October 26, 2001


This is mentioned in our short history of Central passenger service on the Web site. Follow the "Varnish" link from any page or use this link to go directly to the "Nancy Hanks" section:


-- Ron Wright (rondywright@hotmail.com), October 26, 2001.


Nancy Hanks was Abraham Lincoln's mother. In the late 1800s, there was a race horse which was named in honor of Mrs. Hanks. The six year old mare broke the world trotting record in 1892 and was referred to as "The Swiftest Trotting Horse in the World from 1892 to 1894."

About that same time, the Central Railroad and Banking Company (predecessor to the Central of Georgia Railway) had begun operating a new locomotive (no. 1592). It was so fast that it was called Nancy Hanks, referring to the speed of the race horse. That locomotive was eventually operated on a passenger run between Savannah and Atlanta, and people began referring to the entire train as the Nancy Hanks. The train only operated for a few months, being discontinued in August of 1893.

In 1947, the CofGa began operation of two new streamlined passenger trains. One of these ran between Savannah and Atlanta. After debating about several possible names, the management of the Central decided to re-use the Nancy Hanks name, thus the Nancy Hanks II was born. It was operated until mid-1971.

The July-September 1999 issue of THE RIGHT WAY contains an article on naming CofGa passenger trains which contains additional information on the Nancy Hanks II and other CofGa named passenger trains.

Allen Tuten

-- Allen Tuten (allen@cofg.org), October 26, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ