Home History Townships & Maps Birth, Marriage & Death Biographies Census Military Churches Schools

Boone County Railroad History

Railroad History Highlights

Boone county has long been tied to the railroad. Various railroad companies have been among the county's major employers since 1866 when rail tracks first arrived in the community of Montana, now called Boone. The county's history is closely entwined with the history of the railroad, as it first brought settlers to the area and then crossed the county on its way to the West.

Among railroad highlights in Boone county:

In 1866 the railroad reached Montana and the communities of Ogden and Moingona were formed by the railroad. Just one year later in 1867 as the first coal mine was opened west of Boonesboro, the railroad reached the western edge of Boone County with a station being established at Beaver.

The railroad grew with the expansion of mining interests in Boone County until 1891 when Boone Valley Coal and Mining Railroad Co. which had been established at Fraser, became Newton and Northwestern Railroad, then Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad.

In 1907 the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad was electrified and a power plant was built at Fraser.

By the middle of the twentieth century, the fortunes of many railroad companies were on the decline. That decline was also noted in Boone County. In 1955 the last passenger trolley run of Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad occurred.

Railroad mergers and consolidations became common place and in 1968 the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and South Railroad become a part of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. As a result of the merger, the Boone office was closed and and in 1973 the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad Depot in Boone was demolished.

Boone County's railroad history will not be forgotten however. It lives through stories like those of the heroism of Kate Shelley and the sounds of Chicago & Northwestern trains as they cross the county dozens of times a day. It's also remembered through efforts such as the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, with train rides on the former tracks of the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and South Railroad.

Boone County IAGenWeb Copyright 1996-2013 IAGenWeb Project and Submitters
Please Read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer - all of which apply to the Boone County IAGenWeb site.