Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Immortal Ten

My great-great grandfather, Tom Castellaw Jr., stayed in Haywood County his entire life as did most of his children. His brother Fletcher, however, had a son who moved to Ennis, TX before the turn of the century. Jack Coleman Castellaw became a pharmacist and owned a drug store in Ennis. Jack had a son named Jack Pender Castellaw who attended Baylor in Waco and was on the basketball team. On Jan. 22, 1927, coach Ralph Wolf was taking his first Baylor basketball team to play a game in Austin against the University of Texas.

In Round Rock, Texas, just miles from the team's arrival in Austin, a speeding train rammed into the side of the bus at a railway crossing near the center of the city. Ten of the 21 players, coaches and fans in the Baylor party that traveled on the bus that day were killed, including Jack.

The Immortal Ten are honored each year during Homecoming, when freshman hear the tragic story and participate in a candlelight remembrance ceremony.

On June 22, 2007, a monument was erected on campus in the new Traditions Square to honor the Immortal Ten.

In December 1968, Jack's mother gave approximately $750,000 to Baylor to fund the Castellaw Communications Center in his memory.

You can read more about the tragedy in a post as part of The Waco History Project or buy the book, The Immortal Ten: The Definitive Account of the 1927 Tragedy and Its Legacy at Baylor University on Amazon.

Check out to read more about The Castellaw Family.

1 comment:

  1. I am writing a biography of A.J. Armstrong, founder of the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor. He attended the funeral of Jack Castellaw in Ennis after the tragic bus crash. I wonder if you know if Armstrong spoke at the funeral. If so, is there any record of what he said?

    Scott Lewis
    B.A., Baylor, '83