Muscatine County, Iowa

1901 – 1954


~ PART 4 ~

Transcribed, as written, by Lynn McCleary. Submitted November 3, 2019

Page 83



     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.


President Earling Says Milwaukee is Coming


     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.

Page 84



     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 built.

     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 85

Buying 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.

Contracts Awarded

     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 86

Flick & 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 above Ottumwa.

     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 87

The 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.

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 ever constructed.

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.

Page 88



Conesville People Especially Pleased--Teams Arriving
and Will Be Ready For Work First of the Week—
DeedsBeing Made.


     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 …

Page 89

… 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 …,

Page 90

… 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.

Engineer's Residencies.

     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 5 months.

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 …

Page 91

… 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 92

His 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 replied:

     "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.

Page 93

     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 vegetable lines."

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 94

Good 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.

Page 95



     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.

Page 96


Work On The Milwaukee Cut-Off Is Started


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.

Page 97

     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.

At Washington

     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.

Page 98



     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.


Otto Schmidt of Letts, Will Build One At New
Milwaukee Station

     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.

Page 99



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 States.

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, …

Page 100

… 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 being pushed.

Page 101

     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- …

Page 102

… 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 citizens.

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 …

Page 103

… 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 their actions.

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 roads.

     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.

Page 104


Muscatine People Interested In the Project


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.

Page 105



     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.

Official Talks

     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 push it."

     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."

Page 106


Arrived in Muscatine Today and Will Be Put
At Work.


McDougal and Yale Pushing Things on the Lower
End--Plenty of Men Coming to Town--Other
Construction Matters.

     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 …

Page 107

… 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 Mad Creek.

Page 108



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 city.

     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 the result.

Page 109



The Contractor For the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul Pushing Things.


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 …

Page 110

… 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 …

Page 111

… 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 track layers.

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 …

Page 112

… 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.

Page 113



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.

Page 114



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 115

Active 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 …

Page 116

… 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.

More Machinery.

    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 steam shovel.

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.

Weather Favorable.

    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.

Page 117



The Milwaukee Road Forced to Make
Some Change in Road.


Said to Have Deal Completed for
Transcontinental Business—Building
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.

No Injunction.

    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 118

Trans-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 people.

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, …

Page 119

… 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 place yet.

    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.

Page 120



Committee From the Council and City Officers
To Go To Chicago


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 at Muscatine.

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 …

Page 121

… 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 …

Page 122

… 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 new depot.

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.

*       *       *

Back to Ardon History Table of Contents

Return to Index of History Books

Back to Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb, Index Page

Page created November 3, 2019 by Lynn McCleary