7-25-01LOOKS AS IF NEW ROAD WILL BE BUILT
After some time of suspense regarding the probability of the
Milwaukee cut-off being built, there again is little hope. In
conversation with a railroad man yesterday evening it was learned
that there had been quite a little delay regarding this matter,
but that there is still good prospects of the road being built
in the near future. He said that he has been in the employe of
Flick & Johnson, the railroad contractors, who have been at
work on the C. R. I. & P. cut-off near Perlee and that they
made their bids on building a portion of the new Milwaukee cutoff.
He also stated that bids of Flick & Johnson had been
accepted and that they have everything in readiness to start
operations as soon as they received the word. He said that the
contract and everything was settled and all there is needed yet
is the word to start, when within 24 hours there will be scores
of men throwing the dirt. The Company of Flick & Johnson have
the contract for building the first eight miles of track out of
the city, which he said was considered the heaviest work in the
state of Iowa. He expressed his idea that one reason why there
had been some delay was that the dry weather has made it almost
impossible to do work of this kind. "In fact," he said, they
have almost ceased operations on the Perlee cut-off, on account
of the dry, hard condition of the ground. He also said that
the present prospects of the coming crop would probably delay
the building some, but that he thought the times was not very
far distant when there would be something doing along the line.
8-14-01SAY IT IS SURE THING
President Earling Says Milwaukee is Coming
CONTRACT TO BE LET TODAY
This is Definite News and Is Vouched For By the Washington
Journal, Which Received a Dispatch So Indicating
President Earling, of the Milwaukee Road, stated yesterday that
the cut-off will surely be built. So says a dispatch to yesterday's
Washington Journal. The information is also given that
the contract is to be let today. The Chicago officials have been
telegraphed for further information, but at 3 o'clock nothing had
been received from them. It is entirely probable that if the
contract is let today work will begin yet this fall.
8-21-01CONTRACT IS LET FOR THE MILWAUKEE CUT-OFF
The contracts have been let for the construction of the Milwaukee
Railroad Cut-Off from Muscatine to Ottumwa. This is built to
shorten the Milwaukee from Chicago to Kansas City. The line will
be the most expensive ever built by the Milwaukee road. It will
cost in the neighborhood of $33,000 per mile, and the total cost
will approach or possibly exceed $2,800,000. G. M. Titus left
this afternoon to buy land for right of way, and it is probable
that some subcontractors will begin work Friday. The work will
be pushed with all possible speed, but it will take probably a
year to complete the road.
Muscatine Now Rejoices
All Is Now Settled and There Need Be No More Uncertainty
As To The Road
As announced in the Journal last evening the Milwaukee road has
ordered the buying of right of way outright and have thus banished
all doubt of the new cut-off from Muscatine to Rutledge being
Senator Titus has been seeing to the option of the company and he
received a telegram yesterday calling him to Rock Island and Moline.
When he returned last evening he gave out the glad news of
the certainty of the Milwaukee road for Muscatine.
Work May Begin Friday
In fact it is probable that work on the railroad will begin next
Friday. Several subcontractors are said to be waiting today at
Conesville and that they will make dirt fly just as soon as the
Deeds are made out and the land is the property of the Milwaukee
Railroad Company. The main contracts were signed yesterday at
Davenport and there will be no delay in the work as the deeds
for the right of way are obtained.
A Costly Road
The building the new cut-off is one of the most costly pieces of
railroading ever done by the Milwaukee Railroad. As remarked by
a prominent citizen today "that is what has been making them hold
their breath". The average cost of the railroad will be about
#33,000 a mile. In fact, the cut-off, it is said, is going to
cost fully half a million dollars more than had at first been
supposed. The right of way, it is said has cost more than was at
first figured. The first estimate is said to have been an average
of $1,500 per mile, whereas it will probably reach nearer $4,000
per mile. Some of the right of way will cost $5,000 to $6,000 per mile.
Page 85Buying the Land
Mr. Titus leaves this afternoon for Conesville, where he will
commence buying the land for the right of way for the railroad,
He has been instructed to commence at the west line of the county
and buy toward Muscatine as rapidly as possible. There are many
Conesville farmers who are jubilant at the prospect of the railroad. Farm values out that way have jumped considerably today. John McKee, of this city, is one of the fortunate ones. The roadwill run within forty rods of some of his land, so that the
products will have to be hauled only a block or two to be loaded onto the cars.
Mr. Titus' Work
When G. M. Titus returned from Rock Island last evening he stated
that he had been directed to cease taking options along the line
of the new Milwaukee cut-off and commence at once the taking of
deeds for the right of way as located in Muscatine county. Mr.
Titus is also directed to make payment for all land taken as soon
as the deeds are executed and this is evidence alone that work
of construction on the line is to be commenced at once. He says
that some $50,000 will be paid out for right of way in this county
alone. The line will start from a point on the Rock Island road
just south of Roach's factory where the South Muscatine street
cars cross the railway tracks. It will strike the Burlington Road
at Leutzinger's place and reach the top of the bluff in the neighborhood of Adam Wigim's Farm.
The Flick & Johnson Construction Company, of Davenport, has been
awarded the contract for the construction of forty four and a half
of 79 miles of track. The contract was signed in Chicago yesterday.
This is one of the largest pieces of work that has been let
in this section of the country for some time past and shows the
progressiveness of the Davenport firm. At the same time, it determines, beyond any question of a doubt that the Milwaukee will
build its Kansas City cut-off. The cut-off has been in the balance
so long that there was doubt expressed that it would ever be built
and even endless rumors have been circulated to the effect that the
Milwaukee had sold its interest in the D.R.I. and N.W. This sets
all of them at rest.
Total Cost Work $1,030,000
The total cost of the construction of this line will be, in round
numbers, $1,030,000, exclusive of the rails and ties. That is to
say, that the construction of the roadbed and bridges alone will
cost that amount and that the rails will be laid by the Milwauke
itself. The other successful bidders are Mcintosh brothers of
Milwaukee, who secured the contract for the construction of thirty
four and one-half miles.
Page 86Flick & Johnson Contract
The contract for the construction of sections No. 2 and 3 were
awarded to the Flick and Johnson Construction Company at $502,326.
Section No. 1 and 4 were awarded to Mcintosh Brothers. Section No.
1 includes the first seven miles of construction from Muscatine
west. At the end of this the contract of the Flick & Johnson Company
begins and continues for the entire distance of 44 l/2 miles
to the Skunk River. Then Mcintosh Brothers take up the work again
and carry it on to Ottumwa, or rather Rutledge, a small station
The contract for the Flick & Johnson Construction Company includes
A total of 1,802,000 cubic yards of earthwork. Of this amount
1,061,000 is in section No. 2 and 741,000 is in section No. 3. It
also includes the bridging which is quite heavy, owing to the fact
that the contract crosses the natural drainage of the country largely
and bridges will have to be constructed over numberless small streams
as well as over Cedar, Iowa and Skunk Rivers and twice over the
north fork of Long Creek. The bridging includes a total of 1,816,000
board feet of lumber, of which 1,146,000 is in section No. 2 and
170,000 in section No. 3 with 83,005 lineal feet of piling. This is
in addition to the several steel girder bridges which will be constructed
over the larger streams and which will be built upon concrete
or stone foundations.
The Lay Of The Line
The line adopted by the CM. and St. P., leaves the course taken by
the C.R.I. & P., southwest division, in the city of Muscatine, just
below Roach's factory. The Rock Island follows the river through
the outskirts of the city, while the Milwaukee bears directly, west
along one of the streets of the city. After it has passed the western limits
of the city it bears to the north until it reaches the
highlands. Then the course taken is south of west and is as straight
as it is possible to construct a line through rough country.
Section No. 1 secured by Mcintosh Brothers is composed of very heavy
Work and includes the grade work lending from the line of the C.R.I. & P.
to the top of the hills below Muscatine.
There is one heavy cut in the Flick and Johnson Contract in which
there is 131,000 cubic yards of earthwork along of which about
40,000 cubic yards will be of rock excavation. Whatever this amounts
to will be above the contract price as named, and will be about
37,000, which will bring the figures of the contract to $539,000
or in that neighborhood.
The cut-off will leave the C.R.I. & P. southwest division at Muscatine
and will cross the main line of the Iowa Central at Cone. At
Burlington it will cross the C.R.I. & P. and the Burlington and
Western, a narrow guage.
Page 87The Mcintosh Contract
The contract with Mcintosh Brothers was also signed yesterday. It
consists of a total of 2,168,000 cubic yards of earthwork. Of this
1,140,000 cubic yards is in the first seven miles on section No. 1
and 1,028,000 is in section No. 4.
The contract also includes 1,270,000 board feet of bridging, and
culverts and 50,600 lineal foot of piling.
The heaviest piece of work they will have to do will be the first
seven miles to the west of Muscatine. As will be seen by the above
figures, it will amount to more than all of the 27 1/2 remaining
miles of work secured by this firm, put together.
NOW FOR A UNION DEPOT
Muscatine Should Use Every Influence To Get One When Milwaukee Come
The certainty of the construction of the Milwaukee road through Muscatine brings up again the much talked of union depot project. It
is a well known fact that the present depot of the Rock Island railroad is an eyesore to every citizen. It is a considerably less
imposing depot and a building much more out of date than that which
the road has constructed at towns as small as Wilton and West Liberty
Muscatine certainly deserves something better and it looks as though
this was the chance to get it.
One site suggested for the union depot is the present depot grounds
or the site which was formerly known as Riverside Park. In case
using this ground M.N. & S. railroad might be included in the
union depot plans and a larger and more thoughly union depot than
Other Location Suggested
Some think, however, that a location for a union depot is farther
up the river front. Mr. Tobey, the gentleman who projected the
Tipton railroad once has selected an ideal sight for a union depot
thru south half of block 21 on which now stands the residences of
Peter Musser, A. F. Hutchings, Chas. F. Cadle, etc. Those who think
that would be a good location claim that if this was done the whole
river front could be parked. The others claim that there are many
difficulties in the way of such a plan. That there would be much
difficulty in ever getting the river front park or in ever keeping
it nicely and that the logical site for a union depot is the site
of the old Riverside Park.
8-23-01TRIP ALONG MILWAUKEE.
Conesville People Especially Pleased--Teams Arriving
and Will Be Ready For Work First of the Week—
RESIDENTS ALONG THE LINE ARE INTERVIEWED.
Almost All the Farmers Near the Proposed Cut-Off and the Residents of Convesville Express Pleasure at the Prospects - - Few Grumblers But They are Easily Headed Off --Shippers Expect it
To Be Advantageous.
Since the contracts have been let for the building of the
Wilwaukeee cut-off, in this county alone, by a very conservative
estimate, there has been a rise in the price of land that will
easily reach a half million. The road enters the northeast
corner of the county and extends slightly south of west and enters
Louisa county in the southwest corner of this county, at a point
Just below Conesville. This is estimated on a strip on which it
Is a certainty that a rise has taken place of from $5 to $15 an acre. To be conservative, the above has been figured on a strip of five miles extending along the entire road in this county. In
The strip of about 35 miles in length and five miles in width there
Is in round numbers 112, 000 acres of land, and $5 an acre as an estimate gives the above figures.
Money Being Paid.
Senator G. M. Titus and Attorney John W. McKee commenced
yesterday morning making out the right-of-way deeds and paying
by checks for the land that the road will control. By tonight there
are thousands of dollars in the hands of the farmers along the new
mad for the land. They a r e closing the deeds with all possible
speed in order to get everything in shape so that the building of
the road will not be delayed for a moment. They started at the
southwest corner and a r e coming in this direction, settling up as …
… they come, at least in every case where it is possible or they
can find the owners at home.
Crosses The Following Farms
The road leaves the southwest corner of this county extending
corner wise through the county and as much as it is
possible runs direct to Muscatine and from here on the
double tracks of the C. R. I & P. Those whose farms it
will cross are as follows: At a point about four or five
miles southwest of Conesville it starts by crossing Mary A.
Weir's farm and then follows, David Mayer, William Singleton,
Wm. Harper, Thomas Tipton, John Gay, H. Westerman, D.
Mayer, C. A. Quimby, J. T. James, T. J. Maxwell, John Stone,
Luther Colbert, William Verink, Mike Byrne, A. Cone, Cyrus
Fry, Elizabeth and O. J. Cecil, John O'Brien, Pat O'Brien,
Isaac Lee, Andrew Healey, Adam Wigim, Dan McCabe, D. H.
Vanatta, Holand McGrew, A. Q. Smalley estate, Sam Vanatta,
J. J. Hinton, Maggie Hintermeister, H. W. Funk, Chas. S.
Miller, Mary Fulliam, A. B. Brown, James Healey, John
Leutzinger, German Lutheran Estate, Mira Hershey, Priscilla
Hartman, W. D. Smalley and the Hershey Pasture, then into
South Muscatine, where it joins the C. R. I & P. track over
which it runs from here to Davenport.
Cost Of Right Of Way
Considering everything, very little opposition was met by
those taking options and buying the right of way for the company
Through Orono Township, the right of way was purchased at
prices ranging from $50 to $60 an acre. The right of way through
Cedar Township was secured at about the same price. In Seventy-
Six where the land sells for a much higher price the company was
compelled to pay $100 an acre. It is estimated that the right of
way through the county will cover about'500 acres. The strip extending from Muscatine south west is between 20 and 30 miles and
the strip is six rods wide. The company has purchased a great
deal of other land along the line for their use in getting dirt for …,
… filling and in many places where the road cute off a corner of a
farm leaving an acre or a few acres that is almost worthless to
the farmer, the company purchased the land, thus making everything
as satisfactory as possible to all parties concerned.
Construct Bridges and Culverts.
Wherever they are necessary, the company will build suitable
Bridges and culverts for the farmers along the line, and it is said
that in some places where a station is of any great distance away
and where there is a great deal of shipping done, that switches
will be put in for the convenience of the shippers.
Along the line there are stationed seven of what are termed
engineering residencies where the engineers and their crew of
three men each, besides the civil engineer, are located. They
are station at points of about 12 miles apart. The first is in this
city. Mr. Schoefield has charge of it. The next is located at
Conesville. It is under the personal supervision of F. R.
Savage. Mr. Savage is a man of several years experience in this
kind of work and is a gentleman in every respect. He has been
employed by the Milwaukee company ever, since he started in the
business. He is held high in the respect of the residents along
the line with whom he has had dealings. Some even say that the
agreeable state of affairs that has existed between the people and
the railroad company has to a certain extent been advanced by his
courteous treatment of those with whom he has come in contact.
Warren Nickerson and crew of men are stationed at Ainsworth,
Mr. Evans and crew at Washington, B. M. Scheld, at Richland,
Max Linderman at Packwood and Mr. Thomas B. Downer, formerly
of this city, at a place near Highland Center. These residences
were established about June 10, and the men will have to remain
at the post until the road is completed, which possibly will be about
First To Sign Deed.
Wm. Harper, a wealthy farmer living near Convesville has the
distinction of being the first man to sign the right of way deed for the
Milwaukee cut-off. He has called to the residency at Convesville
Thursday morning by Senator Titus and John McKee, who made out …
… the papers transferring the land from Mr. Harper to the Milwaukee
railroad company and they were signed about 3 o'clock
and a check for the same was tendered him by Sen. Titus.
Mr. Harper Talks.
Mr. Harper was interviewed by the Journal representative
who was on the ground and regarding the future possibilities
of the town, the advantage of the railroad, the outlet of the farm
products, the price of land that will be affected by the deal, etc,
in part said:
"I believe that the road will offer us many advantages that we
have heretofore been unable to get, as it will give us much better
shipping rates for there will be a strong competition between the
roads, which will be of great benefit to the farmers. It will also
give us many advantages in giving lis a direct line for eastern
markets, where heretofore we had to ship by way of Burlington, or by
way of Columbus Junction. There the stock and melons, etc. would
have to lay over several hours. When shipping stock, it is much
better to keep them moving, even if a longer route must be taken,
for when the car is standing it worries the stock much more than
if traveling. The road will give an outlet to Muscatine, which we
have long felt the need of and there a r e other advantages of which we
will learn of later."
Best Man To Deal With.
The man to whom the company gives the credit and distinction
of being the fairest and most agreeable man to deal with is John
Gay. Mr. Gay is a resident of Convesville and has lived in that
vicinity for years. He is considered as one of the wealthiest
farmers in Orono township. Instead of trying to make the negotiations
as tedious as possible, he cut it short by offering his land
to the company cheaper than it could be obtained from others and
did not hesitate over little technicalities but was business to the point.
Those working for the company said that it was a pleasure to deal
with such a man.
Page 92His Opinion of Road.
Mr. Gay was also interviewed regarding the road and spoke
enthusiastically regarding the matter and the future prospect of
the town of Convesville, He said:
"While I am of the opinion that the road will be of great
benefit to the surrounding country and the town, I think that
there a r e places it will benefit more than this town. The town,
of course, will grow, but not as much as many would suppose,
for there is not enough territory around it to make very much
of a town, as we have the Iowa River on the west and the Cedar
river on the east. There will also be a station built on the east
and west of town, which will, of course, take away a great
deal of the shipping and trading. There is one thing sure, the
road will not in any way injure the town, and I cannot see why it
will not be one of the best things that ever has happened for it."
In answer to the question of the reporter, "What is your idea
of the possibilities of a canning factory and the opening up of
avenues for the vegetables that this soil can produce?" He
"There has been some agitation upon the canning factory
question heretofore, but t h e r e is no doubt that it will be taken
up stronger now than ever before on account of the road. There
is one thing sure, if we cannot get a factory the road will put us
on a direct line with the Heinz Pickling factory at Muscatine, thus
making it possible for us to utilize the soil by raising those things
to which it is naturally adapted and which will make the soil far
more profitable to cultivate than it has been before. Of course
there is a great profit in raising melons and sweet potatoes, but
tnere are many other things that we could r a i s e better here than they
could be raised at other places and if there is a place where they
can be placed on the market without any delay, the land will thus be
made more valuable by the crop that it can profitably produce.
When the vegetables are gathered and loaded into the cars , it
will only take about an hour to ship them to Muscatine and
they can be placed on the market fresh and nice.
The road will also greatly encourage wholesale gardening
for Muscatine Markets and the tri-cities. I am glad that it
will go through and have thought it would all the time, but
many were skeptical from the first and will not be satisfied
until the cars are running."
Another thing he was asked about and seemed to be elated
over was the mails. When questioned, he said, "Why that will
be one of the great advantages for we can get the evening paper
from Muscatine and the eastern mails. It will be of the greatest
benefit during the shipping season, as we can get our orders in
the evening mail and can get everything ready to ship early the
next morning, which will save a great delay and we can thus be
put on a basis to compete with other places for quick orders in
The Mayor Interviewed.
Tom Maxwell, mayor of Conesville, was called upon by the
reporter and in a conversation regarding the new road Maxwell
said, "Of course the road will be of great benefit to this vicinity
but it will not help the town nearly as much as if it had gone
through the town. That is one objection that many have. It goes
about one half mile south, but of course, in time the town will
grow to it, but that will not be all at once. It will give lots of
work to the laboring people and will help those owning property
a great deal, as it will bring people here who will want houses
and will aid in the building up of a town. Why I have been in the
town for about a year and a half. I own two houses besides the one I live
in and every since I have lived here there has been many calls
to rent them. The housing shortage has increased and in a short time
will be doubled. This will give labor to the carpenter and laborer.
The property will be greatly increased and that will make more
taxes with which to improve the town. I have no doubt but that a
canning factory will be built soon for it is needed, I am confident
that Conesville will make a good little town in a short time.
Page 94Good Thing Sure.
There can be no doubt but that the road will be a good thing
for this county in many ways. It runs through some of the
richest and best producing country in the United States. It will
benefit this country, which has never before had a good outlet
to the markets and has not experienced stiff railroad competition.
There were also a few of the "chronic kickers and calamity
howlers" met along the way, but that cannot be helped. One of
them was talking with Senator Titus and John McKee; he was complaining
that he had not received enough for his land and that he
knew the road would be a permanent injury to his farm. He also
said that there was no such a rise in the land as many said, and
that he could not get within $10 per acre of the price he could have
sold for a short time ago. Mr. Titus asked him what he could
have received for his farm of five-forties. He claimed that he could
have received for his farm $50 an acre before. He was asked if he
would take that for it now. His reply was that he would be glad to
get that for it. Mr. Titus said, "I'll take it . " He had the fellow
cornered and he backed water, saying that he did not care to sell
it for he wanted to give the land to his children. Mr. Titus also
offered to buy other land for men who were kicking, but he failed
to get any.
Work to Commence at Once.
It is probable that no dirt will fly this week, but there is no
doubt that a, number of teams will commence at about Monday of
next week. There were several teams arrived at Conesville and
vicinity as early as Wednesday and since there have been quite a
number going in that direction and getting ready. When it is started,
it will be pushed with all possible speed, as the company is anxious
to get the road completed. It is thought that inside of 20 days there
will be hundreds of men and teams throwing up the grade.
Building of Double Track.
General Superintendent W. M. Hobbs, of the C. R. I. & P.
railway, is authority for the statement that the work on the double
track between Buffalo and Muscatine will be commenced soon and
rapidly pushed till completed. Superintendent Hobbs is now on a
tour of inspection with G. F. Wilson, superintendent of motive
power and equipment, and C. F. Drew, car service agent.
8-28-01CONTRACTORS ARE NOW ON THE GROUND
Mcintosh Bros, of Milwaukee, are in the city, also
McDougall, the contractor of Minneapolis, who has the subcontract
for the first seven miles of grading out of the city.
Every indiciation is that it will not be but a few days until
this part of the country will look like "railroading, " as
there will probably be at least 200 men working on the grade
within seven miles of the city inside of 30 days. They will
build a camp south of the city. Bowman's hauled 10 to 15
loads of lumber to the cite this afternoon and the building of
shanties will commence at once. There will be two steam
shovels on the ground next week and two additional ones as
soon as cars for hauling the machinery can be obtained. They
will not use any more horses than necessary owing to the
enormous price of feed. Hundreds of men are wanted along
the line, in fact, it is hard for them to get the men necessary
to crowd the work as fast as they desire.
9-5-01ARE ON THE GROUND
Work On The Milwaukee Cut-Off Is Started
CAMPS ARE BEING ESTABLISHED
The Contractors For The First Section Of
Grading Are Here - Two Steam Shovels Will
Be Put In Operation Soon.
Railroad work down the line of the new Milwaukee extension is
assuming a business like activity and in a few weeks 200 men
will be at work grading for the right of way. McDougal & Yale
are the contractors for the first section and they are now
making preparations for fulfilling their contract. From Muscatine
to Rutledge the territory has been divided into three parts. The
first section, which consists of about seven miles of work and
calls for the removal of about 1,300,000 yards of dirt has been
given to Mcintosh Bros., of Milwaukee, who have given to the
subcontractors, McDougal & Yale about one-half of this. The
heaviest work is given to McDougal & Yale as they prefer that
kind of work and their outfit is better fitted for it.
McDougal & Yale will establish a camp on the Adam Wigim farm
about five miles from this city. Here is one of the heaviest
cuts and they will be at work here for over a year. At present
they have fifteen car loads of grading tools in the yards,
consisting of wheel scrapers, dump cars, track, etc. In a few
days will have two of their large steam shovels and then
the work will actually commence. They will probably put to
work about 200 men and will work all winter. It will also take
about fifty teams.
McDougal & Yale run their own boarding establishment. They are
now erecting shacks and temporary quarters for the men. They
charge their men $4 per week for sleeping accomodations and board.
The last work that this firm had was with the Great Northern
railroad in Montana. They had been at work on this contract
for some time and it is one of the heaviest ever attempted.
They removed about 1,000,000 yards of dirt and excavated cuts
anywhere from 115 to 125 feet deep. James J. Hill the owner of
this road, said this was the finest piece of work he had ever
seen and complimented them highly on their enterprise.
In talking with Mr. McDougal and Mr. Yale, the Journal Representative
found those two men very pleasant and he was assured that
within a few weeks Muscatine would be the center of railroad construction
work in this section. It is the intention of these
men to push this work and the Milwaukee company will find this
piece of road bed is in competent hands.
Washington Journal, 4th: The first dirt to be thrown on the new
grade of the Milwaukee cut-off here took place today west of the
city. For the coming three months Flick and Johnson's men will
be in this vicinity working on the grade, and longer if the
weather will permit, perhaps. J. H. Flick, who arrived from
Davenport last night, said the first thing to be accomplished was
the making of cuts on either side of Crooked Creek, so as to
get the steam shovel to work as soon as possible. Several men,
with teams, came in last night and hitched to the west side of
the park. They had six teams and dump wagons. The party came
from Pleasant Plain, in which vicinity they have been working on
the Rock Island cut-off. Foreman Tom Grace is at the head of
the gang. He will have fifty more men and teams on the right-of-way
west of the city this week. This number was due here overland
from Pleasant Plain today. When all of Flick Johnson's force has
arrived here there will be quite a little village of men near
our western suburb. Three large tents were brought over from
Pleasant Plains to be erected, and will be used for sleeping and
living apartments. The mess tent is quite large, and will seat
a goodly number. It was not decided this morning on which side
of the creek the work would be commenced. Mr. Flick went out
today and will get things well under way by this afternoon.
The parties who arrived here last night camped just west of the
city. They have fine, heavy teams. There was not a poor horse
or mule in the whole outfit that came last night.
9-12-01TRYING TO DELAY MILWAUKEE CUT-OFF
Ottumwa, Sept. 11 - Some little trouble is anticipated in the
matter of settling with certain farmers living west of the city, for
the land which is wanted for the right-of-way of the Milwaukee cut-
off. It may be that some land will have to be appraised by a sheriff’s
jury before the railroad company comes into ownership. E. E.
McElroy of this city, is handling the business for the Milwaukee
people, although he does not say that he expects much trouble,
in the scheme that such a happening is almost a certainty.
A few of the farmers in Wapello County have, it seems, formed a
combine the object of which seems to be to bleed the railroad
company for more than the land is worth. It is said that a lawyer
is behind the scheme, and has the confidence of some of the small
farmers who own but small tracts of land. The attorney, it is
said leading the farmers to believe that they can get whatever
they want for their land, and has prevailed upon them to organize
in the scheme.
Mr. McElroy returned today from Jefferson County. "Some of the
Farmers seem to think", he said in speaking of the matter, "that
the Milwaukee company is simply made of money and that my work is
to throw it around the country. As a rule, however, the ones who
make the biggest complaint regarding my plans of settlement are
the small owners who have but little land to sell to the company.
The large farmers in both Jefferson and Wapello counties, are the
ones with whom I settle with the most dispatch."
It may be that the law will be used and the law condemned, but this
Will not benefit the farmers greatly, and it is more probable that,
If they see they cannot bluff the railroad company, they will take
the price and be content.
9-19-01A NEW BUTCHER SHOP
Otto Schmidt of Letts, Will Build One At New
Otto Schmidt, the butcher at Letts, was a business visitor in the
city today. He informed the Journal man at the Firefly that he
was going to "take time by the forelock" and build a butcher shop
at the new Milwaukee Station down in Seventy-Six Township. The
will be called Seventy-Six Township Station. Mr. Schmidt
said that he thought there was a good chance for an opening and
that as soon as he could get enough carpenters to complete the
building he would start a first-class shop. He will continue to
run an uptodate shop at his old stand at Letts.
9-27-01RAILROAD WORK IS BOOMING
Muscatine County Is Witnessing Some Great Improvement
In Railroad Construction activity Near Conesville
Other Railroad Matters
Railroad work is booming, Muscatine county has not witnessed
in years so much activity in the building of railroads.
For years the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific have had things
their own way, and although they have given the people good
service and will continue to do a large volume of business in
this section, nevertheless other roads have found that Muscatine
is an important business point and that the shipping interests
of this section of the state should have more careful
looking after. With the factories already here, the new ones
that are contemplating removal to this city, the enlargement
and extension of some that are now doing a good business in
Muscatine, it is needless to state that the railroads will be
kept busy. If one doubts for a minute that freight business is not
good let him stroll down through the yards any morning and see
the many carloads that are received and the many that are
being loaded preparatory to being sent to all parts of the United
Muscatine a Railroad Center.
Muscatine will in time become quite a railroad center. For
many years it has been sort of isolated, but now the prospects
are good for it to have good connections, both freight and passenger
with all of the leading markets in this western country.
The Rock Island already here, the Milwaukee building, the proposed
extension of the Muscatine North and South to Burlington, …
… putting the city in close connection with the great Burlington
system and the proposed road from Des Moines to Peoria and
the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern, will make a combination
of railroad facilities that few cities in the state can equal.
The Milwaukee Work.
But the people of Muscatine are most interested in the work
that the Milwaukee road is doing south of the city. A great deal
has been published about this work, so that nearly all of the
Journal readers are familiar with the intentions of the company.
At present the work is being pushed right along and all the men
the contractors can get are being put to work. The first grading
of any particular note is being done by the contractors, McDougal
& Yale, on the Adam Wigim farm in Seventy-Six township. This
Firm has the contract for the first two miles and are now making
things hum in that direction. They commenced work over two
weeks ago and have been steadily adding to their pay roll until
now they have a force of about one hundred men and fifty teams.
Mr. Yale stated to a Journal representative recently that this
firm would have two steam shovels here from Milwaukee in about
two weeks, This firm makes a specialty of heavy work. They
made some grades for the Great Northern in Montana that were a
wonder. They will have heavy work in their section in this county.
The contract of Mcintosh Bros, includes the first seven miles
of track out of Muscatine, which will require the moving of a
million and a quarter cubic yards of earth, or over one-fourth
of the entire amount of grading on the cut-off of 76 miles.
Down Near Conesville.
After leaving the work, here, not much activity is seen until one
Gets down between the Iowa and Cedar rivers, where in the space
of about seven miles three camps are established and the work is
McCurdy & Pauline, sub-contractors for Flick &
Johnson, have the distinction of turning the first spadeful
of earth on the cut-off between Davenport and Ottumwa,
They have the contract for building two miles of track
commencing a half-mile east of the Iowa River, in Louisa
County, and extending about a quarter of a mile across the
border of Muscatine county. This firm of sub-contractors
have already completed three-quarters of a mile of track,
which is in readiness for the ties and steel. Flick &
Johnson are certain to be well pleased with the roadbed
already finished for it is constructed as nearly perfect as
it can possibly be done, the line being straight as a die and
level as a plane, McCurdy & Pauline have been engaged in
railroad construction for a period of thirty-five years and
Mr. McCurdy says that he is much better satisfied with the
appearance of this roadbed than with any he ever constructed,
it being built fully four feet wider than the ordinary
railroad bed. Their employes consist of sixty men and boys
who live in the immediate vicinity of Oakland, Louisa county,
and Conesville, Muscatine county, and they expect to have
their contract completed by November 1st.
The little village of Conesville is experiencing the
magic touch of business and commercial activity such as
it has never before enjoyed. Last week there landed in the
village several carloads of horses, scrapers and hay
and a force of sixty men. This crew is now engaged in
constructing a line of road commencing on the west side of
the Cedar river, in Orono township, and extending to the
eastern termination of McCurdy & Pauline's contract,
near the county line. This construction gang have their
tents scattered all through Cedar bottom and have their
families with them to do their culinary and domestic
services. The village of Conesville furnishes all pro- …
… provisions for the camp, the grocers, grain dealers and
butchers being kept busy supplying their wants, one
dealer alone having sold a thousand bushels of corn to
feed the graders’ teams and expects to sell an equal
quantity before the camp moves.
Before the week is over another crew of sixty teams
and hundred men from the northern part of the state
is expected to camp in close proximity to Conesville.
There is another village of tents, consisting of about
Sixty teams; and one hundred laborers, located on the east
and west sides of the Iowa river, in Louisa county, about
five miles from Conesville, which is a source of supplies
for the camp, also. The people in the vicinity of Conesville
are pleased with the temporary settlers, who so far
have conducted themselves as good, orderly and peaceable
At the Other End.
Work on the west end of the cut-off was commenced on
Monday of this week, two contractors having put gangs of
graders upon the right of way for the purpose of converting
the hilly farm land into a level road-bed ready for the laying
of steel. P. Schwenck, the representative of Owen Bros.,
who has the contract for the grading for a distance of fifteen
miles east from Rutledge, the little station a few miles north
of Ottumwa which is to be the west end of the cut-off, has
established his headquarters in Ottumwa, and is daily in conference
with prospective sub-contractors with whom he will
probably close deals for the grading of the major portion of
the fifteen miles of road-bed for which Owen Bros, hold the
contract at present.
It will pay the residents of Muscatine to drive down to
Some of these camps and seek their processes and manner of
work. When one considers the amount of dirt that will have to …
… be moved, leveled up and graded it is little short of wonderful
how so much work can be done in such a short space of time.
It will be all the more interesting when the steam shovels are
put on the work, for these machines almost seem to be human in
Other Railroad Matters.
Western roads are now resorting to the unprecedented
practice of hauling empty cars east bound. Westbound merchandise
is moving in considerably larger volume than eastbound
grain, and consequently the roads are compelled to haul empty
cars from the west to accommodate their westbound traffic. Such
a thing has not been known, before in the history of the western
Last week the Milwaukee and St, Paul road hauled eighteen
per cent of the grain traffic into Chicago, The Burlington got
fourteen per cent, the Rock Island eleven per cent, the Northwestern
and Illinois Central ten per cent each and the Santa Fe
eight per cent.
The experiment of using steel ties made of worn-out steel
rails on the Lake Shore railroad is said to have been extremely
satisfactory. It was sixteen months ago that a short stretch of
track was laid with these ties in Sandusky, These ties were
placed in the main track. Some months ago about 300 feet of
track on a curve east of Sandusky were laid with the ties.
10-1-01THAT UNION DEPOT
Muscatine People Interested In the Project
IS ALMOST AN ASSURED FACT.
The Commercial Club and the Council Both Working
For This End--A Milwaukee Man Talks To the Journal Reporter.
The question of a union depot which has been confronting the
people of Muscatine for some little time is still being discussed.
The prospects for one are very favorable. The need of such a
structure is apparent on every hand. The present building used
by the Rock Island is entirely too small and unfitted for the use
of this great road. They have a lease on the ground on which
the present depot stands, which expires in nine years from next
spring. Some little time ago the question came up before the
council and was discussed thoroughly by that body. Soon after
this Mayor Schmidt wrote to the Rock Island headquarters and
to Carrol W. Wright, the attorney for the Chicago, Milwaukee
and St. Paul road. He received a reply from Mr. Wright stating
that the matter had been referred to the head offices at Chicago
and the mayor is expecting to hear from this source every day.
Will Be Needed.
When the Milwaukee road comes in here a union depot will
be badly needed inasmuch as the road paralels the Rock Island all
the way from Davenport. They will have to have some depot
facilities in Muscatine and of necessity near the present location.
Other railroads are figuring on building here and if a union depot
was provided and the terminal facilities for these various roads
made easily accessible it would be an inducement for their construction.
10-1-01COMMERCIAL CLUB ACTS
Last evening at the meeting of the Commercial Club the subject of
a union depot was brought up and was referred to the railroad
committee, who will no doubt commence operations at once. If
Muscatine is ever to have a union depot, now, when the new road
is coming in, is the time to push it.
D. W. Walker of Charles City, la., excursion agent for the Chicago,
Milwaukee and St. Paul Ry. was in the city today. Mr. Walker
an old time resilient of Louisa County and was married in Atallssa
this county. He is here for only a short visit today, but it is
good to hear him say that he expects to come oftener later on.
"I have my eye on that fine new district which is being opened
up by the road west of here," he said, "there is going to be a
new town caused by the road that is sure to spring up. It will
be some place between here and Cone. Ever since I heard we were
going to build this line I have been much interested in it as it
is near my old home. At first you know we thought we would use
the Rock Island tracks clear to Columbus Junction but decided not
to later on. In fact at one time I think it was decided not to
use the Rock Island tracks from Davenport ever but as the latter
wished to use ours into St. Paul an exchange was made. The
arrangement will not affect business a particle, however, as we
shall go after it as hard as the Rock Island."
The Union Depot
"This union depot matter is a great thing for your town," he
continued, "I suppose we will be forced into it. There certainly
is an elegant location for one here and a very fine structure
could doubtless be put up. I find the people here very much in
favor of the idea and suppose the road would have to take it up
if the matter is pushed as hard as the town seems determined to
The reporter suggested that Muscatine was glad indeed to have
the Milwaukee come through the city, whereupon Mr. Walker said,
"The town may well consider itself fortunate for a better railroad
company never was. The officials are all the finest kind of
men and the road is sworn by in every town on its line. It means
a great deal for Muscatine."
10-7-01THE STEAM SHOVEL
Arrived in Muscatine Today and Will Be Put
IT IS QUITE A COSTLY MACHINE.
McDougal and Yale Pushing Things on the Lower
End--Plenty of Men Coming to Town--Other
The big steam shovel to be used on the work below
Muscatine arrived today and will be at once taken to the
scene of operations. Mr. Yale of the firm of McDougal
and Yale showed a bill of the machine to a Journal reporter
this morning and stated that the big piece of machinery had
arrived. The cost of it is $7, 000. 00.
A Wonderful Machine.
To one who has never seen one of these big machines
work the sight is a wonderful one. When one takes into
consideration the fact that it takes just two shovel fulls to
fill an ordinary flat car, he can arrive at some idea how
fast the work of removing large quantities of earth is accomplished.
These machines have been named the "Big
Mike" as it is stated that one of them can do the work of
200 Irishmen. In modern railway construction they are
An absolute necessity and if it were not for them the road
From here to Ottumwa would not be built for many years.
In a short time this same firm of contractors will have
another one here to work near the same place.
Work Progressing Nicely.
In conversation Mr. Yale stated to the reporter this
morning that he was very much pleased with the amount of
work being accomplished. He now has plenty of men and …
… teams. He was in Chicago last week and purchased a car
load of horses and put them to work here. The weather is
especially favorable and before winter closes down he said
he expected to see a big strip of the road bed finished and good
progress made on the bluffs.
Many Men Arriving.
Nearly every train in brings in men looking for work on the
railroad construction. They have been sent here by employment
agenices and then many come, having heard of the vast
amount of work to be done. Their place of congregating seems
to be down at the foot of Iowa Avenue on Front street and ever
day a number can be seen there with their baggage. The
bringing of these men to Muscatine has also brought a larger
volume of business to the merchants. They all have to be fed
and a great many of them a r e buying clothing, overalls,
jackets and the like, so as to be prepared for the work before
them. It is said that the merchants were very busy Saturday
selling this kind of goods.
A great number drove down to see the work yesterday, but
it will be far more interesting when the steam shovel starts to
work and no doubt the number of visitors will be increased.
Work East of the City.
Work on the Rock Island's double track between this city
and Buffalo is progressing quite rapidly, and one of the officials
of that road said recently that the track would be completed
and ready for use by January 1st. The work is well under way
all along the line and the huge steam shovel is throwing out
hundreds of cars of dirt in the neighborhood of Wyoming Hill
every day. This is loaded on cars and dumped along the
river bank in order to widen the roadbed. The company's
large steam pile-driver is at work driving piling for the bridges
and the company has contracted with Charles Kincaid to drive 106
piling for the new double bridge which the company will put in at
10-17-01A GREAT TRADING CENTER
What the New Milwaukee Railroad Means to Muscatine
and Vicinity--Muscatine, the Most Popular Trading
Center Along the River, Extends a Hearty Invitation
To the People For Miles Around.
Nowadays when somewhat over a thousand men are making
the dirt fly along the route of the new Milwaukee cut-off one is
tempted often to stop and think just what all this means to Muscatine.
Figure as you may it means more than most people's
wildest dreams. While the new connection with the outside
worId is a great feature yet the development of the country
about Muscatine is probably the most directly important to
Muscatine is a popular trading center now. The merchants
of the city are up-to-date. They a r e always in the van with new
ideas. Ask any rural resident for miles about Muscatine about
it and they will tell you that if possible they prefer to do their
trading in this city. But many of them find it inconvenient to
get to Muscatine as often as they would like. The new line of
the Milwaukee railroad will open to the city one of the richest
sections of land in this vicinity. This is a feature which means
more to Muscatine than can be figured in dollars and cents
until the time comes and actiual benefits are being experienced.
This line of the Milwaukee is to be one of the most important
on their system. It is to be the fast passenger line between
Chicago and Kansas City. That means that the best trains on the
road will be run over these tracks and an elegant and conveniently
frequent train in service for Muscatine and the country about will be
10-21-01RAILROAD WORK IS PROGRESSING.
The Contractor For the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul Pushing Things.
STEAM SHOVELS ARE BEING MOVED.
The Monsters Are Now About Three Miles Out
of Letts--Numerous Camps Established Along
the Right of Way--Other Matters.
The great railroad system of the Chicago, Milwaukee and
St. Paul company is doing a vast amount of the work southwest
of Muscatine and but a drive along what has already been accomplished
is sufficient to demonstrate to what an enormous
expense this company is going to and the immense amount of
work they are doing to push their line through to Kansas City
by the shortest route. This great system realizes that in
the great race for the reduction of time between Chicago and
the southwest, that to gain their share of the business they
must have the most direct line possible and fortunate it is for Muscatine
that it lies on this short route.
Work Easily Seen.
It is very easy to see the progress of the work and
what has been and is being accomplished as it is long side of the road
leading along the lower edge of the bluff. The work is in plain
view until the place of Joe Vannata is reached, when it leads off
to the right and starts through the great bluff to the level beyond.
It is at this place that the heaviest work will be done and where McDougall
and Yale have established their winter camp.
Some Grading Completed.
Leaving Muscatine and driving southwest the first place of
interest is found just a little this side of the old creamery and the
Orphans' Home. Here the grading is completed in places and …
… stretching along the low level land can be seen a grade about
12 to 14 feet high, which appears as straight and even as
human energy could make it. There are two camps located
here in the large field, giving them plenty of room and good
pasture for the stock. One of these is the Taylor camp and the
other the Norene camp. About twenty-five men are to be
found here and about the same number of horses and mules
which are used in the grading. The old creamery is being
used for a camp also and makes an ideal one. A number of
men are being housed within its walls and it will be a good
place for the protection of the men from the wintery blasts.
Pile Driver at Work.
Just below the Orphans Home a large pile driver is at
work. The method pursued here is to drive these immense
timber and build on them a sort of tressel work and then
the dump cars out onto the tressel and throw the dirt
removed from the hill beyond into this low place. A culvert
will be constructed to let the stream through. Here it is
that the first work is commenced in getting over the big
stiff. The road starts up the edge and works its way along
the side, all the time gaining a little in height over this
obstacle to railroad construction.
More Camps Appear.
From this place on down a number of camps are to be
found. These camps are not in tents, but have houses and
barns made of rough timber and will be used all winter as they
will be quite warm and comfortable. At the Oliver Ayers
place the road has to make another large fill to get across a
gulch. Here another pile driver has been to work and some
piling thirty feet high have been driven and the construction
of the trestle will commence this week. Here another culvert
will be put in. All along the side of the hill the trees
and brush have been cut away and some of it is being burned
up or hauled away so as to give the graders a clear field on
which to work. The houses on the north side of the road …
… either have to be moved to the other side or have the railroad
in a very uncomfortable position back of the house. In one
place the road runs nearly over the house. Some of the places
have been moved across the road. Mr. Funck had to do this and
now his house is just across the road with the railroad in front
of it about 40 yards.
Mcintosh Has a Camp.
About a half a mile beyond the place owned by Mr. Funck
the contracting firm of Mcintosh Bros, have established a
camp, near the corner of the road leading north. This, too
is a winter camp and from all apperances the men and horses
will be quite compfortably situated this coming winter. About
forty men are located here. They have been busy clearing the
land and not much grading has been accomplished so far.
The Largest Camp.
The largest camp of any is located right back of the place
owned by Joe Vannata. Here is where McDougall and Yale have
taken up their quarters. They have a thoroughly up-to-date railroad
camp. Rough houses and barns have been constructed and the
men will be made comfortable. They expect to work all winter and
when one gazes at the large hill, through which they will have to
cut, he becomes convinced that they will be here for nearly a year
at least. At present there a r e located here about 80 men and 120
horses . The camp is run strictly on a business basis and a store,
selling some of the necessities has been established. Here it is
that the big steam shovels will be taken and put to work on the
hill, plowing their way through to make way for the graders and
Moving the Shovels.
The large steam shovels about which so much has been said
and written a r e now on their way to the place where they will be
put to work. They were brought by train to Letts. One is made
by the Vulcan Iron Works of Toledo, Ohio, and is owned by the
contractors, Mcintosh brothers, and has been used a number of
years. The other is built by the Bucyrus company of Milwaukee,
and is a new one, just purchased by McDougall and Yale for the …
… sum of $7, 000. From Letts they a r e being taken to the
working place, a distance of about seven miles over land.
The Bucyrus shovel weighs 55 tons and one can scarcely
Imagine how these monsters are moved along a country road.
Where They Are.
These shovels have been making their way along at the
rate of about a mile a day. They are now about a half mile
this side of the place owned by J. W. Lindly. It will be the
first of the month before they a r e to work in earnest. They
are moved by building a track in front of them and as as
they pass over it, the track is taken up and carried on. A
force of about 25 men and ten teams are at work. They
work quite rapidly and the systematic management and
methods of working a r e very interesting. Some times the
big machines get started down the grade and it will take
the combined efforts of all the men to get the wheels properly
blocked and the shovel stopped before it runs off the track.
The greatest of care is used and when one contemplates what
Is being accomplished it is little short of marvelous.
It will pay the people of Muscatine to drive down to the
camps a distance of about five miles when the shovels are
started to work and the graders busy in earnest. In the
meantime the Journal will endeavor to keep the people acquainted
with the facts and the progress of the work.
10-25-01LOOKED AT THE ROAD WORK
Lettsville Correspondent Sees Much Activity And
Writes Of His Impressions
Lettsville, Oct. 25 - Wednesday your correspondent drove out from
Muscatine via the Vanatta Hill to Lettsville and saw the work of
railroad building galore. Notwithstanding the dust it was replete
with interest. So much hauling of brick and other material of
construction has made the dust deep and hence travel is sluggish.
The temporary buildings erected all along the line gives a thought
of the tented field. The grubbing, grading, blasting, pile driving
etc., is in evidence. All the way the observer impressed with the
magnitude of the undertaking as he scans the great hills that are
to be removed and the deep ravines that must be filled so that the
track grade may gradually be lifted to a level with the prairies.
When we arrived at the prairie level, we saw the two great steam
shovels which had started last week from Lettsville. Creeping
slowly forward to their fields of usefulness. From this point
home we met nothing of special interest except the beautiful roads
the lawn like pasture fields, the green fall grain fields, the
abundance of corn in shock and dame nature's leaf painting display.
11-4-01PRESENT AT A BUSY SCENE.
Work on the Milwaukee West of Muscatine.
McDougall & Yale and Mcintosh Bros. Will
Bring Another Shovel Once the Work--A New
Excavator has Arrived.
The work on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad
Kansas City extension is progressing rapidly and for an active
busy scene, one has just to drive a few miles along the bluff
road. In all of the dealings of this road they have proven themseIves
to be hustlers and the energy with which they are pushing
this work and the activity of the contractors is sufficient evidence
of the fact that they a r e going to keep up their reputation, while
building through Muscatine and Muscatine county.
Some Work Finished.
The work from the point, where the road branches off from
The Rock Island line up to the old creamery is practically finished
and the camps that were established across the road from the
Orphans' Home and creamery building have pulled up stakes and
moved along to where there is more work. All of the rest of the
camps on the work are winter ones and well protected from the
wintry blasts that will visit that section within the next few
months. All along the bluff road are various evidences of work.
Where the wagon road passes under the railroad, grading is in
progress and it will not be a great while until a trestle will have
been completed at this point and the grade made out even with the
under grade crossing at this point. The land is now all cleared
and the trees, stumps and such pretty well out of the way.
First Steam Shovel.
The first steam shovel is about two miles this way from the
Adam Wigim farm and is owned and operated by Mcintosh Bros.
of Davenport. This firm have not gotten the big machines to work
yet, as they had to bring it two miles farther along than the
other people arid after climbing a long hill and transporting it over
some pretty rough country they have it in a place where it can be
put o use. This contracting firm have about fifty men employed
of the present time.
Page 115Active Camp.
But the point where the most work is being done and where
the greatest amount of work is yet to be done is right back of
the place owned by Joe Vanatta and partly on the land purchased
from Adam Wigim. Nestled down among the trees along the bed
of the stream, McDougall and Yale have placed their camp,
where every convenience and facility of an up-to-date camp is
to be found. These men have been in this business for a great
number of years and know just the right manner to prepare for
such an immense undertaking. West of this camp is where the
most of their men a r e working.
An Immense Fill.
Here just before the largest cut to be made is an immense
fill, the graders working in that place at the present time, Mr.
McDougall stated to Journal men the other morning that it would
be about 110 feet. When one takes into consideration the immense
amount of earth it will take to make a fill of 110 feet in
depth, he can gain some conception of the size of the contract
this firm has taken.
The Big Cut.
When the route of the Milwaukee was first layed out the people
in and around Muscatine all looked at that immense bluff and
wondered how the great railroad or its contractors would go at it
to cut through this small mountain. If one will take the time to
go to the spot one day when everything is working he can see the
problem solved. McDougall & Yale have steam shovels at the
top of the hill and are working right into the face of the bluff.
At the point where they a r e now working, a cut of 44 feet has to
be made and a few hundred feet west across the pasture in front
of the house of Mr. Wigim the cut is 30 feet deep.
Shovel Works Rapidly.
But the "Big Mike" moves an immense amount of dirt in a day.
With every turn of the dipper three cubic yards of dirt are shoved,
loaded onto dump cars and when the train is loaded, taken down to …
… the end of the grade and dumped. At the present time, owing to
the shortness of the grade at this point, the shovel can take care
of more dirt than the cars can handle, but in a few days the grade
will be sufficient Length that more cars can be utilized and the
work go on faster.
But McDougall and Yale have not enough machinery as yet and
Friday they received an excavator, a machine that grades off the
dirt and elevates it into a dump wagon, in which it is carried away.
this machine is worked with horses and not to be compared with
Another Shovel Coming.
This same firm will have another shovel here in about ten
days to put on the work. It will be placed east of the present one. This
is one that was purchased last year and weighs 45 tons. It has been at
work up in Wisconsin. It was sold by Mcintosh Bros. , and has since
been bought back. It is also understood that Mcintosh Bros, will
bring another of their shovels on to the work, they owning several of
them. These two will be brought to Bayfield by rail and then taken
across the country, like the other two were brought over from Letts,
These latter ones will have to be taken about six miles. It takes
plenty of machinery and capital to do this work, but these firms seem
be well supplied with both.
Mr. McDougall stated to a Journal man recently that the
weather was ideal and that a great deal more would be accomplished
before cold weather would settle down, than had ever been thought of.
The men are pushing things, but even cold weather will not in the least
stop their work. The camp is a winter one and if it is not storming,
they can grade just the same not being interferred with by the frost.
The Milwaukee Road Forced to Make
Some Change in Road.
ROCK ISLAND PUSHING THINGS.
Said to Have Deal Completed for
Connecting Link to Arizona—Railway Matters.
Information has reached this city that the Milwaukee railroad
will probably make a detour south of the poor farm in Wapello
county and that its proposed line through that body of land will
be abandoned. This will make the line run a short distance south
of the present survey, and will eliminate all feeling on the part
of the board of supervisors, who had asked for an injuction to
prevent the road from running through the poor farm.
According to the new plan the cutoff will leave the present
survey, just east of the poor farm, and making a detour south will
strike the present main line a little piece north of Ottumwa.
While this decision has not been officially announced it is
practically certain to be adopted and is quite a victory for the board
of supervisors. The hearing for an Injuction was to have been heard
Tuesday, Nov. 12, but the official announcement of the change in
route will not make a hearing necessary.
The new route will make the entrance of the cut-off a half mile
nearer Ottumwa, and while it will not give the Milwaukee such a
straight piece of track as it would liked to, have had, yet there will
be but little difference in the line.
Page 118Trans-Continental Line.
Rumors which are flying thick in the air say that the
formation of the connecting links in a new trans-continental
railway is likely to be the result of conferences of Arizona
and California railroad men, held at Phoenix, Arizona. Not
only is such a result the aim of the promoters, but it is hoped
at the California end that San Diego may be made the main
port on the western Coast, and San Francisco relegated to the
rear as a shipping point.
Rock Island Interested.
Apparently the hand of the Rock Island is to be seen in the
movement. The Rock Island is completing its line into El Paso.
Plans have been laid for the building of a road from San Diego, straight
through southern California, to Yuma on the Colorado River, and the
surveyors are completing their work. Between Yuma and El Paso
there is a gap of nearly 1,500 miles. To close the gap and complete
the transcontinental route doubtless is the aim of the Rock Island
New Northwestern Train.
The Northwestern road put on a handsome train last Sunday, that
leaves Chicago at 8 in the evening. It is made up of a buffet car
and four Pullmans of the finest pattern and improved type and runs
solid to San Francisco from Chicago. It makes but few stops and its
speed is nearly fifty miles an hour. It carries only first class passengers
and no passes are allowed. It will no doubt be a popular
train out of Chicago for points west, for those who can afford to travel
on such a train.
Progressing in Grading.
Washington Journal: For a distance of seven miles east of
Washington the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway will be as
straight as an arrow. The grading has been finished on the Roberts, …
… Graham and Wells places. The camp which was located near
Will Wells' house has just moved to the Metzgar farm, where
a new grader and several new dump wagons are at work on a
long fill on the south branch of Long Creek. There are women
and children in this camp. Little work has been done at this
A short distance beyond this is the camp where the steam
shovel is at work. It is only a few rods east of the Beard
school house, which had to be moved off of the right of way.
Many people visit this place daily and watch the men at work.
The positions cannot be filled by ordinary men, experts being
required. The speed the engine is worked is almost a miracle
to our mechanics in this part of the country.
The "exhaust" frightens nervous people and has been the
cause of many a lively ride for people driving spirited horses.
A much larger steam shovel, which will be run out of Cotter
on a track, will be operated soon, about five miles beyond where
the present shovel is located on a sixty foot cut. The shovel to
be used just west of town is also expected to arrive soon.
11-8-01FOR UNION DEPOT
Committee From the Council and City Officers
To Go To Chicago
WILL CONFER WITH OFFICIALS
Efforts will be made to Induce the Rock Island
People to Enter Union Depot with the other roads in Muscatine
Another stage has been reached in the question of a union
depot for Muscatine. Next week a committee from this city
consisting of the mayor, H. Schmidt, city solicitor, J. F.
Devitt, city recorder, Bert Benham, city engineer, J. J.
Ryan and Aldermen Gremmel, Schenck and Riggs, will go
to Chicago and confer with the Chicago, Rock Island and
Pacific Railway officials and also the Chicago, Milwaukee
and St. Paul railway people in regard to their depot facilities
Will Urge Union Depot.
In all probability this committee will urge the erection of a
Union depot and if such an arrangement can be made, perhaps
The Muscatine North and South can be prevailed upon to enter
the same depot, thereby making it one grand, central station,
from which passengers can depart in nearly every direction,
Other cities are equipped in this manner and why not Muscatine?
Each Waiting On the Other.
The trouble at the present time is that the Milwaukee and
Rock Island roads are each waiting on the other and watching
to see what the other road will do. The Rock Island people
realize that they will have to do something with the old shack
that the y have the name of the city painted on and where they
their trains, which they call a depot, but seem to be waiting …
… to find out what their future competitors, the Milwaukee people,
are going to do in this direction.
Has Made A Report.
Some time ago mention was made in the Journal to the effect
that Senator Titus was selected by the Milwaukee people to locate
the stations between Muscatine and Ottumwa, and this also included
the recommendation of the depot question in Muscatine. Senator
Titus by this time has probably made the report on the Muscatine
situation, but it is not made public and will not be for some time.
A report gained considerable currency some little time ago that
the people out on East Hill were making strenuous efforts for the
location of the depot in that end of the city, but the general impression
prevails that their pleading will be in vain.
Present Site A Good One.
There is no objection to the present site for a union depot. It
is convenient to the business portion of the city, post office and
hotels and seems to be a model location. One thing, however, that
will no doubt be necessary is that considerable amount of Front
Street will have to be utilized and the council committee that will
go to Chicago next week will probably be confronted with a proposition
to lease a large amount of that section for depot facilities.
New Freight Depots.
Another matter that will need attention with the increased railway
facilities is the question of freight depots. The Milwaukee will have to
have a new one and the Rock Island people will be forced to make some
sort of a change. Not that the present one is not large enough to handle
the business, but people leave their shipments there so long and it
accumulates in such a short time that many times the platform and
building are crowded to overflowing. This road does an immense
business out of here and Muscatine and her people are deserving of
better facilities, service and advantages than they are now enjoying.
Method of Procedure.
Just the method by which the city officials will confront the Rock
Island people is not given out, but it is stated on good authority that they …
… will simply lay down a proposition to the railway companies,
telling what the people of Muscatine want and what they a re
willing to do to have their desires satisfied and a l so state
what is expected of the railway companies in providing this
Will Be Decided Soon.
One thing seems to be certain and that is that the result
will be known in a short time. The Rock Island and Milwaukee
officials will have to know shortly what is to be done so the
grade may be established and the necessary preparations completed
by the time the double tracking from Davenport is completed
and the Milwaukee people well along with their work
south of the city. In the meantime the Muscatine people will
be patient, but hopeful.