Muscatine County, Iowa

1901 – 1954


~ PART 6 ~

Transcribed, as written, by Lynn McCleary. Submitted November 28, 2019

Page 152



Something Of What Has Been Done And Will Be


Work Stopped Between Davenport And This City -- Have
Ordered Many New Bridges -- Anti-Pass Compact Broken
By Eastern Roads

    Considerable was accomplished during the past fall on the work of Grading for the new double tracks on the southwestern branch of the Rock Island between Buffalo and the City. Most of the work has Been suspended now for the winter and will not be resumed again until spring. There are still a few gangs at work near here. Nearly all the work near this city is in solid rock, which has to be blasted. The bluffs along the river have been blasted out With dynamite and the rock and dirt is used in filling elsewhere. None of the rock has been laid yet, although the grading is finished In places. It is expected that the work will be completed during this coming summer.

    The need of another track has been felt during the past few years where traffic of the Rock Island has increased to such an extant. If the Milwaukee uses the Rock Island track between Davenport And Muscatine as a part of its new cut off plan from Chicago to Kansas City, the traffic along the line will be increased and an additional track will be increased and an additional track will be necessary.

    W. H. King, of Des Moines, who has the contract for the grading has returned to Des Moines for the winter. The extent of the grading is 20 miles.

$600,000 For New Bridges

    Over $500,000 is to be expended by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul road in new bridges. A large force of engineers is now employed in the general offices of the company in Chicago working on the plans for the structures.

    All of the bridges will be of steel and will replace the old iron and wooden affairs that have become antiquated and are too light for the heavy locomotives that have recently been put in service on this system.

    Bids are now being received by the company for nineteen big bridges. The total cost of these will be about $600,000. The structures will vary in length from 150 to 3.100 feet. Eight of the truss bridges will span streams on the new Kansas City cut-off of this road. They will all be between Muscatine and Ottumwa.

Page 153



The Muscatine Cut-Off -- Through Trains To Cross At
Rock Island — Service Also To St. Louis

    A floating item of Milwaukee gossip says, regarding the new cut-off "Between Davenport and Muscatine the Rock Island track will be used From Davenport to Savanna, the roads on either side of the river will be utilized much as is a double track, but all through freight and passenger trains between Kansas City and Chicago will run on the east side of the river from Davenport north. From Thompson, Ill. a short line will be built northeast to intersect the Savanna-Chicago line east of Mt. Carroll, and this line will be used for through business. Another change that will soon be made as yet has received little attention. The company will put through trains from Minneapolis and St. Paul to Davenport, by way of Clinton, which will have through cars to St. Louis; in fact, will be to all intents and purposes through trains. This train service will be fast and stops will be made only at the more important places, it will be entirely on the west side of the river to Davenport points These trains will not cross over to Savanna or even turn in at Sabula, but will pass down under the bluffs. A local train will be operated between Savanna and Sabula Junction to meet the through trains. To facilitate this fast through service between St. Paul and St. Louis, the road will be shortened and straightened at several points. In this way several miles will be dropped off.



    Between 60 and 75 car loads of material has been unloaded at this station for the Milwaukee road. It is in evidence slightly that the station on the new railroad will be a short distance south of the (old) Catholic Church in Seventy-Six Township.

Page 154



What Is Being Used On the Railroad Work Near Muscatine


Machinery Made and Sold To These Contractors
For Work South of Muscatine—Manufactured by Austin Mfg. Co.

    Probably one of the most important phases in the industrial growth of this city, and at the same time, one of the most interesting subjects for attention is the construction of the new Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul cut-off which is being run from Davenport to Ottumwa via Muscatine, and which is calculated to lessen the running time on the Chicago & Kansas City division considerably.

    The ordinary persons traveling across the country and indulging in all the elegancies of a first-class Pullman sleeper, the amount of hard work involved in the construction of a road bed which will be so perfect that the comfort of the passengers may in no wise be disturbed, is almost inconceivable. Even to the old timer who has witnessed the railroad building of the past fifty years, the methods utilized by builders of the present day are radically different from those which were in vogue when the great trans-continental railroads were conceived. Where the builders of the first railroads of the west followed largely the contour of the undulating prairies, those of the present day must cut down the hills and fill up the valleys in order to bring the road bed as nearly a perfect level as is possible. This is necessary because of the great increase in the tonnage of the average freight train and the demand for fast time, to which by even the slightest grade would be fatal.

Journal Man Visits Camps.

    Within a few miles of Muscatine may be seen all the modern methods of railroad construction involving as they do the use of machinery wherever such a thing is possible. A person who has never seen a contracting camp in full blast is surprised at the …

Page 155

… methods applied to the simple moving of earth, but in reality, the methods used are not so very new, having been in use in the far west for probably fifteen or twenty years past. It is only occasionally, like in the present instance, that railroad construction is carried on so near to metropolitan centers as to afford an opportunity for its observation. The Muscatine Journal's correspondent visited the camps of a number of contractors who are working near Muscatine, little thinking that he would meet with the surprises which he did. First calling upon the camp of David Grant, one of the best known railroad contractors in the west, he was favored with a view of their grading outfit at work. At the very outset, a visitor is impressed with the amount of machinery utilized by Mr. Grant and of the wonderful quantities of earth which are moved from place to place in one day.

Equipment of Machinery.

    His equipment of machinery consists in the main of several New Era graders and wagon loaders. Perhaps this is one of the most spectacular machines which is working in the territory. It consists briefly described, of a large steel arched frame which in itself impresses the casual observer with the idea of a tremendous strength embodying the principles of a bridge truss in its construction. Suspended from one side of this frame or truck which is mounted on broad tired steel wheels, is an immense plow which throws out a furrow of earth as the machine advances tossing it upon the rubber belt converoy which runs across and underneath the machine and carrying it up at a distance of something like twenty-five feet from the plow on right hand side and delivering it into wagons which are lined up waiting for their turn to receive a load of dirt from the grader. To a person who has never seen a wagon loaded by any other method than ordinary shovel, the rapidity with which it is accomplished in this instance is something astonishing. The wagons themselves are large, strongly built affairs which hold something like two yards of dirt, which is about three times as much as the ordinary farmer's wagon, and yet the machine fills the wagon in less than a minute. In fact, it is estimated by the operators of the …

Page 158

… New Era grader that it discharges close to a yard of earth every fifteen seconds. The wagons drive up from the rear of the machine, the driver bringing the box underneath the end of the elevator on the grader and advancing at the same rate of speed as the machine until the wagon is filled. The operator of the grader checks the speed of his teams for a moment while the driver of the wagon passes out from underneath the carrier and allows his follower to take his place. In this way, a constant stream of wagons is being supplied by the machine and each driver must be careful to keep his pace in order that the progress may not be delayed.

Description of Graders.

    The Journal representative has endeavored to give as careful a description of the grader as is possible, which briefly is as follows: As above stated, the machine proper is in reality a broad arched frame truck mounted on steel wheels. The rear axle of this truck revolves a countershaft and chain gear which is suspended on the right hand side of the grader and underneath it , sloping at an angle which is sufficient to raise the dirt from the plow and carry it up high enough- to deposit it over the sides of the wagons. The grader is propelled by twelve horses, eight of which are hitched in front and four of which are attached to the push cart in the rear. This distributes the draft evenly and is of considerable assistance in guiding the machine as it is possible for the driver of the push cart to direct his direction so as to swing the rear of the machine either in or out as required by the character of the soil or the condition under which the machine may be working.

Dump Wagons Used.

    The dump wagons themselves which are being used by Mr. Grant, also by a number of other contractors who are working on the same construction, should come in for their share of interest. While it is claimed by those who are familiar with the railroad construction that thousands of these wagons are being used in all parts of the United States in connection with the New Era grader, they are probably of a pattern which is unfamiliar to the …

Page 157

… average resident of a city.

    The wagon, which is known as the Austin contractors' wagon, is designed to instantaneously dump the load without stopping the team or without the driver having to leave his seat. To a person who has watched the laborious manner in which the ordinary loose bottom wagon is emptied, the rapidity of action which is possible in one of these instantaneous dump wagons is really remarkable. As above stated, the wagons hold two yards of dirt and are mounted on broad tired wheels with short coupled trucks which make them very easy running and are provided with two doors hinged lengthwise of the wagon by chain hinges, and supported from the inside by lift chains, these connecting with a sort of windlass at the front of the wagon and underneath the operator's seat, which by two or three turns raises the doors and closes them tight. When it is desired to dump the load, the mere throwing of a lever releases the windlass and allows the load to drop instantaneously, Not one moment is lost by the driver by having to stop either to dump or to close the doors of the wagon as this is done on the return trip of the machine. No time is lost (and time by the way, seems to be the chief commodity of value in dealing with dirt) in being stalled on the dump as the chain hinges allow perfect flexibility in case of obstructions or unevenness in the dump being encountered.

Other Contractors and Outfits.

    A number of other contractors on this division who also use New Era grader outfits are Mcintosh & Company, McDougall & Yale and C. Noehrent, all of whom are meeting with great success and are rapidly reducing the uneven prairie to a smooth roadbed ready to receive the rails of the track-laying gang.

    Aside from the outfits above described a number of contractor] are using wheel and drag scrapers, which are utilized on short pieces of construction where the amount of earth to be moved is very slight. The wheel scraper gang with its attendant camp lends a great deal of picturesque life to the railroad construction crew. It also greatly enlivens the scene of actual operations as the countless teams and scrapers swarm over the grades. On …

Page 158

… some of the larger and heavier cuts which abound in this vicinity a number of steam shovels are in operation. These shovels are used in connection with long trains of dump cars which in themselves are clever devices with which the average persons is unfamiliar. After receiving the load from the dipper of the steam shovel which practically fills the car to the limit, the train is loaded the cars are run out upon the field, and in a surprisingly short time dumped. It is interesting to watch the operations of the dumping crew who merely loosen a chain upon one side of the car and with a slight lift are able to over-balance the car box, which while dumping automatically raises the side doors to leave free egress for the load. These cars are also built by the Austin Manufacturing Company.

    The progress of the work in the vicinity of Muscatine is being closely watched by railroad men in a great many parts of the country as it means a great reducing in grades, and the shortening of line, which, if successfully terminated will undoubtedly bring about some improvements on a great many of the great western trunk lines.

Page 159



First Place on the New Milwaukee Cut-Off Settled On


Hon. G. M. Titus buys lands for Station Purposes
yesterday—located Just West of Iowa River is
Louisa County

    The first new station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul cutoff has been definitely located and G. M. Titus, the representative of the road in Muscatine, purchased the land for the station buildings yesterday.

Where It Is Located

    The station is located just across the Iowa River in Louisa County. The place is about 20 miles from Muscatine and between four and five miles the other side of Conesville. It is almost directly north of Columbus Junction and will be one of the important shipping points on the new line.

To Be Called "Gladwin"

    The railroad people have determined on the name "Gladwin" as the name for this new station. The land was purchased from Mary Hancher, Mary Loftus, and John Butcher and consists of a tract as which to build a depot, put in the necessary side tracks and switches and lay out stock yards as well. This station is situtated in a good country and the road will be greatly disappointed if this does not prove to be a fine shipping point. The road always offered numerous inducements to prospective business men along the line to their road, particularly when prospects of a growing town with elevator, good stores and all that goes to make a prosperous burg are not beyond the range of possibilites.

May Be Another Station

    From the time the road built through Muscatine there have been all kinds of rumors that there will be another station located between this city and Conesville. It is thought one will be placed about eight miles from Muscatine, but nothing definite in this regard has been done as yet.

Page 160



    Lettsville, la. Feb. 13—Teams are hauling dirt cars from this village north to the Milwaukee right of way.



About A Dozen Located Will Be Platted

Muscatine County Has Two

With Conesville Will Make Three Stations In Muscatine
County on the New Road—Will Be Prosperous Towns

    Following jig is the list of stations on the cutoff of the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad between this city and Ottumwa:

Muscatine Haskins Linby
Ardon Washington Farson
Maduro Lorena (May Change) Rutledge
Cone Rubio Ottumwa
Gladwin Cranston (May Change)  

    The word comes from Washington, Iowa, that the above towns have Been selected and given the names. The choosing of the names of these various places was no easy task, as care had to be exercised in not getting a duplicate in this state or on the same road in any other state. It was the first plan of the road to buy not selling town sites, but town sites as well and invite settlers, town lots, and encouraging building booms, etc. but perhaps this latter idea has been given up. In fact, no ground for even station sites has been purchased in Muscatine County, but the surrounding neighborhoods have a good idea where the stations will be located.


    The first station outside of Muscatine will be called Ardon and …

Page 161

… about seven miles from this city, it will be a short distance beyond the Adam Wigim farm, and will be prominent as a shipping point of stock, etc. The prospects for a lively town here a r e good, as it is about the right distance from Muscatine.


     Four miles west of Ardon, and about the same distance this side of Conesville, will be Maduro. This, too, promises to be a prosperous community, particularly as a shipping point. The location of the stations at these various places will be of great value to Muscatine, inasmuch as people can come to the city for trade, arriving in the morning and returning on an evening train.


     Conesville is not a new place on the line, but the building of the Milwaukee through the place will prove to be of great benefit to that thriving locality. There are many people in Cone who have business connections in Muscatine, and hail with delight the Milwaukee road. Lately the town has experienced quite a boom, a new addition was laid out, and the lots have been selling fast.


     Mention has been made of the location of Gladwin in Louisa county. This place is just across the Iowa river. This promises to be a lively place. It is said that a hotel and elevator are already in course of construction at this place.


     In the journey from Muscatine to Ottumwa the first station in Washington county is Haskins. It will be located on the east side of the main travel road farthest east and going north out of Ainsworth. The road has purchased 38 acres of the Ebner farm and 80 acres of the Campbell farm. The depot will be built about 600 feet from the wagon road on the side of the track. Beyond the depot are the passing tracks about 2, 800 feet in length. Stock yards a r e also indicated on the profiles. The town will be platted inside of ten days, under the direction of Wm. Smouse, who is agent for the Milwaukee company on town site matters The distribution of lots will be in his charge due notice of which will be given the public later. There are prospects of a new hotel and other building soon.

Page 162


     The next stop will be one of considerable importance, Washington, the largest place on the road between here and Ottumwa. The people of that thriving and wide awake town hail the Milwaukee with delight, inasmuch as it gives them another competing line, which has been wished for some time in that city. It is a point half way between Chicago and Kansas City and although some of the good people of the place talk of it being made a division point, it is hardly probable.


     The first station west of Washington has not been located and will not Until the road can buy land cheaper. The road has figured on calling the town to be located in the Grace Hill vicinity Lorena, but it will has changed. On the Milwaukee system is another town called Loreta, and the two would be confused in freight shipping.


     Rubio is the next place of importance. It will be "the second station West of Washington, a mile and a half west of Skunk river. Rubio has acquired fame from the start.


     Northwest of Richland one mile will be a town which may be called Cranston. Some other name may be selected or it may yet be called Wickland.


     Seven miles farther west will be another station which will be called Linby.


     Seven miles southeast of Hedrick will be the last new town on the west end of the cutoff. It will be called Farson.

     At Rutledge the old line of the Milwaukee will be reached. The next Place is Ottumwa and so on to Kansas City.

Page 163

The Second Station

     The second station is located about five and one half miles farther along on the farm owned by Silar Fry. The depot and station grounds are on this place, but the town site will be across the track on the land owned by Frank Fry. This too, is a fine place for a station, and will be platted and the lots placed on the market in the same manner as in the former instance. This station will be about 14 miles from Muscatine. These two stations with Cone will bring considerable trade to this city, that hitherto has been going elsewhere.

     These town sites were purchased yesterday by G. M. Titus, who in company with Jacob Schomberg, were at these places all day, returning late last night.

Station Named "Titus"

     But Senator Titus of this city has had the honor conferred on him by the Milwaukee road. The name of the first station the other side of Washington, possessed too much similarity to the name of another place on the line, so the name was changed to Titus, out of regard to the Muscatine man, who has worked so hard for the best interests of the company at this point and between here and Washington. The first station outside of Muscatine is to be called Ardon, but this may be changed to Healey, out of respect to Andrew Healey, the present owner of the land. The second station will be called Maduro.

New Map Arrives

     Titus & Jackson have displayed in their office in this city a new map recently published by the Milwaukee road. It shows the cutoff through Muscatine, and the cutoff from Ashdale to Thomson, Illinois on the other side of the river north of Fulton. By looking at the map it will be seen that the Milwaukee people will have a very direct route from this city to Chicago, being ten miles shorter than by way of the Rock Island.

Page 164



Looks Like Davenport Would Get Division Point
and Big Shops of the Line

     Davenport, la., March .4—SPECIAL—The Milwaukee this afternoon purchased 30 acres of land just west of the city for the purpose of establishing shops. It is reported on good authority that this will be made the main division point between Chicago and Kansas City.


Town Sites Located
The Town Sites on New Milwaukee Cut-Off In
This County Purchased


Two Prosperous Towns Will Grow Up In This
County—First One on Healey Farm and Other
on Fry's Place

     The town sites of the Milwaukee line through Muscatine County have been definitely located and the land for the town sites purchased from the parties now owning the land. There will be two stations between Muscatine and Cone, and that they will prove to be good ones is almost assured.

First Station Located

     The first station that will attract the eye of the tourist when beyond the limits of Muscatine will be the town called Ardon, about seven miles from this city. This section is located on on the Healey farm. This place by wagon road is about eight and a half miles from this city, but by rail will be only seven miles. It is about a half mile beyond where the McDougall & Yale shovel is at work. It is to be platted in a short time and the lots disposed of by Titus & Jackson of this city, and Mr. Healey will be their representative on the ground. A reporter For the Journal had a chat with Mr. Healey this morning and he seemed to feel quite jubilant, stating it was the first time he ever owned a whole town site. He says that the location is an ideal one for the town, is on high rolling ground, where good drainage is afforded and very near the highest point between Mississippi and Cedar Rivers. The depot will probably be located on the north side of the track, but it is not definitely settled as yet. The Milwaukee road will do all in its power to make this a good shipping point, and do all they can to build up a prosperous and contented community.

Page 165



County Surveyor McCampbell Will Begin On Monday.


Some Track Laying Done Near Cone--Rapid Progress
Southwest of Muscatine—What is Doing at Davenport.

     The new town for Muscatine county, which was originally named Ardon, and which may be named Healey, located about seven miles southwest of the city, will be platted Monday. The county surveyor, R. H. McCampbell, will make the plat and necessary drawings, so that the owners of property there and those intending to take up any kind of business within these new towns can have some basis on which to act.

To Have a New Church.

     The Catholic people were intending to build a church about a mile west of this proposed town, but these people on discovering the exact location, have decided to erect their church within this little city. They are very anxious to have the town laid out, so that they can select the location and proceed with the erection of the church.

     Mr. Healey, who owns nearly all, or practically all of this town site, was in the city yesterday and to a Journal representative stated that the work was going along at a good rate . The railroad people are pushing things, and he thinks the chances for the little town very bright„ He is particularly anxious at the present time to get the place laid out. It is said that a number of parties are scheming on starting business enterprises, elevators, general stores, etc., in these places along the line of the Milwaukee.

Page 166

Work Being Pushed.

     The work of construction is being pushed with great rapidity. The work of laying the double track from Davenport to Muscatine will be completed in a short time. The double track will only come as far as Brook street for the present, but if satisfactory arrangements can be made with the city council this double track will extend through the city. The places below the city, where all of the camps are located are extremely active. The contractors have to have their work completed by a certain time, and have no time to spare.

     At Cone, sidetracks and a Y switch have been placed so as to take the material to the Iowa and Cedar rivers for the con- struction of the bridges acrosss these streams. This will be the first track laying by the road in the county.

Work At Davenport.

     But the road is busy at Davenport also as the following in the Times of that city indicates:

     "Within a short time a construction force will be at work on the installation of a double track from Seventeenth Street to the Crescent bridge for the accommodation of the Milwaukee road for their Kansas City cutoff. This track is to be east of the present D. R. I. track, which Is now used by the Milwaukee and Burlington roads. A double track is to be installed on the Crescent bridge, but this does not mean that the bridge will be enlarged as the additional track will be laid in such a manner that although serving the purpose it will not permit the passage of two trains on the bridge at one time.

     The new track will be built in such a manner that one rail will be inside the present track, while the other will be on the outside.

     Every day a portion of the Rock Island road's yard properties in the city, such as the old round house, turn table and such are being removed. The old round house has been destroyed and now a force of men are tearing up the old turn table.

Page 167



What Has Been Accomplished on Cut-Off During the Winter

Wonderful Amount of Work Has Been Done--Heavy Grades,
Deep and Gigantic Fills - - Four Steam Shovels at Work.

     The vast amount of work accomplished by the contractors of the Milwaukee road, who a r e building the cutoff southwest of Muscatine, can hardly be realized. The winter work is astonishing and if any one dares to doubt the possibilities of a railroad through that territory, may he take a trip across the county and see with his own eyes the marvelous changes that have been wrought. The road is about completed to the bluff, the bluffs are cut through to the locality back of the Joe Vanatta farm, and the heaviest work at this point. Mr. Yale of the McDougall and Yale firm says is about half done. This latter firm are bound by their contract to have the work done by October 15th and it will be only a short time until the grade up to their place will be ready for the ties and rails. A short distance beyond their work , upon the level country is the town site of Ardon, the first station outside of Muscatine on the new cutoff. This town site has been platted, the blue prints being put in readiness, and lots in that enterprising place will be placed on the market time. Surely, the amount of work is marvelous in the extreme and the one to contemplate the possibilities of the human mind.

Just Out of Town

     The grade leaves the Rock Island a short distance below Oregon street in South Muscatine and turns off to the right, taking a straight course across the upper end of the island. Slowly but surely the grade rises , as if getting ready to make one grand leap over the bluff, is a substantial and well built bridge over the old slough, and the grade …

Page 168

… at this point and even farther is ready for the ties and rails. There first scene of activity is in front of the Orphan's home a short disstance west of the old creamery.

Leutzinger Bridge

     At this point the (wagon road goes under the grade, while the railroad slowly begins to climb the side of the bluff. Here the board of supervisors and railroad people were inclined to occupy the same ground. According to the plans of the road a corner of their right of way caught a corner of the bridge over the Leutzinger Bridge. The wagon road will be turned to the north here, and the bridge moved up stream about 75 feet, the road turned down past the Leutzinger home, striking the over head bridge squarely instead of approaching it gradually. The Board of Supervisors will commence the removal of the bridge in a short time.

Grading Being Done

     At this point the first grading is being done. About twenty five men and half a dozen teams with two or three trains of dump cars are at work. The dirt is being taken from the side of the hill and taker, down into the flat. The road here is next to the wagon road and about ten feet higher on the level. Slowly and surely the railroad becomes higher as the assent of the bluff is begun. The grading at this point is a pretty piece of work. All so regular and even, that one can hardly imagine that it was once a dense woods and wilderness.

Trestle Over Lowe's Run.

     The next place of interest is the high trestle built over Lowe's run about a quarter of a mile beyond the Leutzinger creek. An immense trestle has been put in and considerable grading, but the work is practically complete and the unloading of ties and rails at this place is looked for at an early date. The trestle is a fine piece of work.

Good View of Work

     A splendid view of the work can be gained from the road that turns off the Burlington, and leads to the right to Conesville. This road also passes under the railroad grade, but a splendid view of the work is to be found here. The grade begins to make a slight dip, being down grade for a short distance, this being in order to lessen the heavy fills that had to be made. The grade is practically completed to this point, but beyond …

Page 169

… some hard and difficult work is being done. The contractors had to cut through the big bluffs at this point, and they have a large force of men at it now. A lay off of a few weeks was taken on this bit of work during the winter months. The track here will run through a cut probably about 25 feet deep. This work is progressing in nice shape, being under the supervision of the firm of Mcintosh Bros.

A Pumping Station.

     But the most active place is in the gulch back of the farm house of S. Vanatta. Here is a 72 foot fill. The firm of Mcintosh Bros. , places steam shovels both to the east and west of this creek, and commenced the task of putting this immense quantity of dirt into the gulch. The steam shovels can not be seen from the road, being up behind a large bank, but they can be readily heard as one drives along the road. The shovels are in such a place that to haul water to them, is almost an impossibility and to do away with this difficulty a pumping station was established in the gulch between the grade and the wagon road. The water is secured from a spring farther up the hill piped down and emptied into a small reservoir, while an upright boiler and small pumps force the water to the east and west to reservoir on the top of the hills that are connected to the steam shovels. This simply demonstrates the many things that have to be in the contractor's mind when he figures on his work.

Grade Leaves Road

     From the home of S. Vanatta to the Joe Vanatta farm, the railroad maes a light curve to the north avoiding some extraordinary large fills and grades that could thus be avoided, and the wagon road is left about a quarter of a mile to the south. But after this slight curve , the road swings around toward the southwest and makes a direct line for the first station Ardon, which is located on the Andrew Healey farm.

The Heaviest Work

     But back of the Joe Vanatta farm on the land formerly owned by Adam Wigim is the heaviest of all the work, the immense contract of McDougal & Yale. Columns were written last fall of this work and its enormity but to real ly appreciate it, and realize the cuts and fills, one must see it with his own eyes. Two steam shovels are at work at this place, one of which has been inactive operation all winter, while the other the larger of the two was laid but six weeks during the real cold weather. McDougal …

Page 170

… and Yale had just a year to complete this work at this point. They had a big job before them and realizing the situation, prepared for it. They purchased a new 55 ton steam shovel, and this with the help of the smaller one mentioned above is the machinery aside from the usual dump cars, wagons, scrapers, etc.

An Immense Fill

     The land here was of a pecular topography. A sort of chasm about 125 feet deep was to be found, with three smaller branches leading to the north. To bridge this gulch would be an enormous expense an immense cut had to be made on either side, so the dirt accumulated from these cuts, was taken to the gulch, and the place filled in for a height of 115 feet. There is no bridge whatever to found here the contractors have practically moved an immense hill and placed in this gully. On the Adam Wigim farm, from which place the dirt was removed a cut 44 feet deep was made, all of this dirt being taken to this immense fill. The method by which this was done was fully described in these columns last fall. The dirt is moved by the steam shovel and the dump cars.

Make A Water Way

     But probably one of the most difficult things to do at this point, And one that tested the skill and ingenuity of the engineers was to dispose of that water coming down from the hills on the north side of the track, which before this immense fill was put in had three different courses, that it could get to the little stream that runs out of the hills at this place. To build three large long culverts is an expensive piece of business, so the contractors decided to cut down about 40 feet into the hills on the north side and make a water way, turning all of the water down that way to and east, and running through one large culvert, just back of the big McDougall and Yale camp. A steam shovel has been at work all winter, digging out this waterway, the cold weather not interfering for it worked every day. From this place on, the road begins get up out of the bluff onto the level. A deep cut is being made near the house of Adam Wigim, but the work is far from complete here. On beyond this point only a little grading has been done and a few culverts put in, until one comes to Conesville where some track is laid and the bridges are being placed.

Large Force Employed

     The contractors are all busy and are pushing the work with great vigor. Altogether there are close to 300 men on the work between Muscatine and Conesville, and that the road will be practically completed by the first of November is without doubt and before snow flies the handsome and luxuriant trains of the great Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad will be speeding through Muscatine County on their way to Kansas City, the Western Metropolis.

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Seventy-Six Township

     Seventy Six, la.-April 22 - John Hickey, who has been sick for the past few weeks, is reported to be better.

     The box social which was held at the school house last Wednesday night was well attended, people being present from far and near The boxes sold high and the program was successfully rendered by the teacher and pupils.

     The Misses Othmer and Hoffman, of Muscatine, were callers of Mrs. J. Byrnes one day last week.

     The scarlet fever is raging through the country but so far no deaths are reported.

     Pat O'Toole who has been on the committee for building the new Catholic Church, has resigned and Joe Furlong has taken his place They have begun laying the foundation for the church which is located about half a mile from the station and they are to be congratulated on chosing such a pretty building spot.

     The dance given by the "Never Grow Old Club" was largely attended many being present from Muscatine, Ardon and Lettsville. The music was excellent and was furnished by the Muscatine orchestra.

     The steam shovels along the Milwaukee cutoff are attracting a great deal of attention as large crowds are out every day, especially on Sunday, watching them work and they also visit the camps which are very numberous.

     The Misses Julia and Annie Tomney visited over Tuesday with their brother Pat who is farming on the Harrigan place.

     Ex-Senator Titus and Mr. McCampbell, the county surveyor, were out platting off the city Ardon and have laid out ten blocks on which neat little cottages will soon be erected.

     Most of the young folks of this vicinity attended the Flints who have been at the opera house the past week and report them comical.

     Dame rumor has it that there are going to be several weddings in the near future.

     Joe and Lew Byrne were callers in the city Wednesday.

     The committee which is composed of the Messrs. Jim O'Toole, John O'Brien and Tom Cashman and Joe Furlong were business callers at jfche county seat one day last week and made arrangements for building the new church.

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     The Misses Annie and Aggie Foley, Jane and Leola Lee, Nellie Cashman Kate, Anna and Clara Healey and Mollie Dalton and Messrs. Grat Dalton, Sam Altekruse, John Healey, Matt Foley, Joe Hickey, Willie Byrne, Jim O'Brien, Mike Byrne and Jim Cashman spent Frilg at S. A. Grosjeans'.

     The Misses Clara and Anna Healey visited over Sunday with friends In Muscatine.

     Miss Mary Foley is teaching near Atalissa this spring. Her many Friends wish her success.

Page 173



Milwaukee Will Commence Operation in Muscatine
In about 10 days


Track Laid East to Cedar River and Now Working
West to Iowa River--Some thing of the town of Ardon.

     If the plans of the great Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad do not miscarry, the work of track laying on the Kansas City cut-off will commence in close proximity to Muscatine in about ten days. This matter as to the time of getting the track in has been the subject of more or less discussion for some time, and a feeling of relief comes when it is understood that the actual work will shortly begin.

Work at Conesville.

     At Cone the track is laid east to the Cedar River. The men are now at work laying it west to the Iowa river. As soon as these two pieces of track a r e in, this track-laying crew, which consists of about 150 men will be brought to Muscatine and the work of laying track from the lower limits of the city to the southwest commenced. The gang of men board and live in 15 boarding cars, which are now stationed at Cone. The Rock Island road will give them room some place in the yards in this city and these men will live in those places during their stay.

Grade is Ready

     The grade for a distance of about six miles out of Muscatine is practically ready for the track laying. From the lower end of the city, where the road leaves the Rock Island the grade extends across the upper end of the island going into the hills near the Leutzinger bridge, and up to this point of this grade is complete and ready for the rails. After getting into the hills, the grade is almost finished up to the immense fills and cuts being made by the contracting firm of McDougall & Yale near the Joe Vanatta place.

Page 174

To Carry Material

     One of the great conveniences with this arrangement will be the easy mood by which material can be transported to the scene of action instead of having to carry it in wagons for many miles as formerly. If these plans work out it will not be many days before a Milwaukee engine and crew will make its appearance in the Muscatine yards and what the people have talked of, read of, and dreamed of, will be actually realized.

Town of Ardon.

    The town of Ardon, the first station on the cut-off southwest of this city has been platted by County Surveyor McCampbell. The railroad strikes the place diagonally, running from northeast to southwest. The little place is laid out in 10 blocks. There are for the present three avenues, Main Avenue, Lincoln Avenue and Cedar Avenue. The streets running east and west are first, second, third, etc. according to their distance from the railroad track. Main Avenue will be the main business street of the small city and when one takes into consideration the location of the place, the high and rolling ground on which it is situated and its general surroundings the town starts out under the most favorable circumstances. Lots will be placed on sale in a short time.

New Church Being Built

    The Catholic denomination is commencing the erection of its church near Ardon. The church site is not right in the city, but about a quarter of a mile west on the road that runs north and south at that point. It will be convenient to the people who live in the new town. No doubt other churches will be built in the near future.

    The other new town in this county, Madura, which is located near Cone, has also been platted and lots in that town will also be on the market in a short time.

Page 175



     The street gang has completed laying steel east to Cedar River and is new as far as the Oakland School House going west. They will complete their work to the Iowa this week.



The Switch for the Milwaukee Cut-Off Is In Position


Street Car Frog is in and All in Readiness to Begin
the Work of Track Laying—Said to be Short of Rails

     Where Oregon street crosses the Rock Island tracks, can be seen The first rails laid for the new Milwaukee cut-off from Muscatine to Ottumwa. The switch was placed a day or two ago and a rail or two placed leading away from the line of the Rock Island. The large frog is also in position for the street car tracks. Ties are laid along the grade for about a mile and everything is in readiness for the laying of the rails.

Short of Steel

     The report is current in this section that the Milwaukee people are experiencing some difficulty in securing the rails. The rolling mills are all very busy and there is such a large amount of railroad construction over the country that it is difficult to supply the increasing demand. However, it is thought this trouble be done away with in a short time. Word comes from Conesville that the road has completed its track to the new Cedar Bridge and also nearly to the Iowa River Bridge. This steel gang will probably be here in a few days.

From Davenport Down

     Of the work from Davenport to Muscatine the Davenport Leader has the following:

     "The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway company has just completed the double track work between Buffalo and Muscatine so that the road is now all double tracked between Davenport and Muscatine This work, as is generally known, is part of the Milwaukee cut-off plan. A long time contract has been entered into between the Milwaukee and the Rock Island for the joint use of the trackage there. The construction thereof has been in charge of the engineering department of the Rock Island and under the direct charge Roadmaster Gulley. He is greatly rejoiced that it is completed.

Page 176

     “It is intimated, however, that a little more work is to be done In the vicinity of the Wyoming Hill where there is something of An abrupt curvature. It is probable that this will be reduced In cutting away more of the hill. Mr. Gulley has the surfacing well under way and a few weeks will see the new track in commission for freight service. In this connection it may be stated that the double track work between West Liberty and Iowa City has not been progressing rapidly though that portion or it which had been completed between Downey and Iowa City it is now in commission and is being ballasted as rapidly as possible.

Constructing the "Y"

     The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Pawl Railway Company has commenced construction of the "Y" which is to be located in the lower part of the city and which is to form one of the approaches to the lower bridge. It is now driving piling there. The fact of the matter is that the great portion of the "Y" construction will be trestling and bridge work. Under the plans of the company the trestling will be about 2,800 feet in length and in addition thereto will be about 500 feet of bridge work, making A total of 3,300 feet of trestle and bridge work in the entire "Y".



     Quite a number of the workers on the Milwaukee are leaving from our station because the grading is approaching completion.


To Be Here Six Months

     One of the men said this morning that the crew would be in This vicinity until winter, as there would be much work to do in getting the track in good shape. However, it is thought that cars will be running before that time, but it takes much time to get the track in the desired condition. There will be considerable Adjusting to do after the rails are laid, as there will be Many places which will not be level.

Page 177



Milwaukee Plans For Passenger Traffic Are Learned


Will Be Only a Local Service Between Davenport and
Ottumwa Until Road is Well Ballasted—Use Rock Island Depot

     The Journal learns through General Passenger Agent Miller of the Milwaukee Road, that the through passenger service will not be installed on the new cut-off until the bed has been in use several months and is well ballasted. A local service will be put on between Davenport and Ottumwa and soon after the first of the year the through trains will run over the line. Freight business will begin soon after the road is completed. A Journal representative was told that such were the plans.

     It was further stated that the Rock Island is to furnish all facilities in Muscatine, such as depot and the Milwaukee has no thought of building here for the present at least.



     Wright's camp on the Milwaukee, north of our town is tearing up to leave, having finished their contract.



Rock Island's New Train Through Muscatine to
Be a Beauty

Will Be Running By Nov. 1st

Competition as to the Naming of the Train Closed September 1,
and the Above was Chosen—Handsome Train for Muscatine.

     The new Rock Island Flyer which will begin coming through Muscatine Nov. 1 will be called the Golden Gate Limited. The company was overwhelmed with suggestions for the name as it was chosen after a competition open to all, the winner receiving $100 for his suggestion. His name has not yet been given out but he is said to be a Denver individual.

     The competition closed Sept. 1, and careful consideration was given the various names which were forthcoming, and it was only …

Page 178

… after considerable discussion that the name chosen was selected, The name was finally selected Friday and that same day the Pullman Company went to work painting the name on the 70 cars which will make the train's equipment. These cars will make up ten trains, which number will be necessary to keep up a daily schedule between Chicago and California. It is expected that the company will put out the finest train which has ever run on regular schedule to the west, as that is their intention. The train will run in competition with the Overland Limited of the Northwestern and Union Pacific and the California Limited of the California, hitherto supposed to be the finest western train but the Rock Island Company instructed the builders to exceed these two trains in splendor of equipment and finish, and the cars will cost over $1,000,000.

Lighted By Electricity

     The train throughout is lighted by electricity and makes its own power by the axle system, that is the power is generated by a system of attachments to the running gear by which power which formerly went to waste is utilized in running the dynamo. Each berth will have its individual light and vestibules and steps will be lighted by the incandescent lights.

     The Rock Island will start its California service Nov. 1, the route being via the Rock Island to El Paso, thence by the Southern Pacific to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The schedule has not yet been announced yet, but it is expected that it will be as short as that of the Northwestern Union Pacific, which makes the trip in something less than three days, which hitherto has been the quickest time to the east.

Page 179



Milwaukee Planning for Service on the Cut-off


Crews to Run three ways out of Ottumwa-New
Depot Completed at Cone--Little Station of
Ruttledge to be Helped.

     The officials of the great Milwaukee route a r e now planning on their service over the cut-off in course of construction between Muscatine and Ottumwa. Officials a r e going over the road and making plans for the train service and the running of the crews. Ruttledge, the first station north of Ottumwa, will be greatly benefited by the change, as is evidenced in the following taken from the Ottumwa Courier.

     When the Milwaukee Cut-off is in running order Ruttledge will be a busy place. Four tracks each 4, 500 feet in length, are being built at the little way station now to accommodate the rolling stock that will come to the place. The real business will all be at Ottumwa, but to save a long hard pull up the hill between this city and Rutledge the trains will be made up at the latter station.

To Run Three Ways

     It has been announced by the officials of the Milwaukee that when the new cut-off is put into communication the crews will run three ways out of Ottumwa to Marion. Ottumwa to Chillicothe and Ottumwa to Davenport. This will give Ottumwa several additional trainmen as this place will be the central place from which the start on all of the three runs will be made.

A Boom for Rutledge

     Instead of pulling the trains up the hill out of this city using three engines for the work, a change will be made. A transfer engine will pull cars from Ottumwa to Ruttledge where they will be set on the tracks …

Page 180

… then the regular trains made up to the capacity of one engine will leave Ottumwa and proceed to Rutledge, where they will fill up to the whole quota. The cars will be station ordered and billed in the Ottumwa yards and all that will have to be done at Ruttledge will be for the engine to couple onto the trains standing on the side tracks and start off for Davenport with them.

To Have Station Parks

     The Milwaukee is to inaugurate a new feature in Iowa, and within a year there will be pretty little parks at all of nearly all of the stations along the line. This will add much to the beauty of the depot surroundings and will be a popular feature for the company. A special car bearing H. R. Williams general manager of the Milwaukee, W. D. Underwood, F. D. Wright, superintendent of the Kansas City Division and the official florist of the company, a Chicago woman, passed through Ottumwa Saturday enroute from Kansas City to Chicago.

     An inspection of the station grounds along the route was made and In the interest of the establishment of parks at various places, or rather at almost every place along the line. An all=night stop was made at Seymour and it is said that the people of that little town were wild with excitement for a time thinking that their station had been elected as the place which should take the Chillicothe division point. Their interest, however, soon subsided, it is said, when it was found that all the visitors intended to do was start a little flower garden in the vicinity of the depot.

Add Beauty to Grounds

     There is not the slightest doubt that the money spent in establishing little parks at the several depots along the route will be invested well. There is a place near almost every depot where a pretty little plot can be made to look the more beautiful. Flowers and green grass is much more to attract the eye of the tourist and impress him favorably than do a pile of cinders or a collection of empty beer kegs.

New Depot at Cone

     The first depot to be completed on the Milwaukee cut-off in Muscatine County is the one at Cone. It is now ready for use. The foundation is of concrete, the building a frame one, and is a substantial and well built structure, amply large to accommodate the business to be transacted within the walls. The depot has a projecting bay window, in which will be located the operator's desk, thus affording him a good view up and down the track.

Page 181



The Contractors on the Milwaukee Working
Hard to Finish.


McDougall & Yale Have the Heaviest Work
On entire line—New Church at Ardon—
Grading at Madura.

     The work on the Milwaukee road is being pushed rapidly, and by the required time the contracts will probably have all been fulfilled, but if any one has the idea that the road is nearly completed, they should immediately dismiss the thought. For about four and a half miles out of the city, the grade is completed and the track laid. Two engines and a goodly number of cars are on the tracks , the principal work being done now being that of surfacing up the track already laid. The Milwaukee company has a steam shovel placed a short distance the other side of Lowe’s run, where they are taking out gravel and using it as ballast on the newly laid track. No more track can be laid until the graders have completed their work farther west, which is on the Mcintosh work and the McDougall & Yale contract.

Big Fill Yet to be Made.

     The Mcintosh people are pushing their work. At the camp about 80 men are still living and the finishing touches of the heavy work under this contract being made. But farther along about six miles from the city on the McDougall & Yale work is where the largest fill is yet to be made. These people have the heaviest work of the entire line from Muscatine to Ottumwa and being aided by good weather and other favorable conditions, they will probably complete the job by the first of October. The cut up through the farm of Adam Wigim is nearly completed, the steam shovel having already taken five …

Page 182

… trips up through that place. A little to the west of this place is the largest fill of the entire work, 110 feet deep. A big fill was also made, about 90 feet, which is practically completed and now the energies of the entire force are being expanded on this immense fill over the culvert, which with a number of scrappers and teams, the side of the hill is being cut down for a water way. At this place there are three streams coming down from the hills, and as culverts are expensive affairs to build the sides of the hills are being cut down and a water way being made so that all of the water will find an outlet through one large culvert, which has been placed just behind the camp, Thousands and thousands of yards of dirt have been and remain yet to be moved at this point, and to realize the immensity of the work, one should see with his own eyes. Contractor Yale says that this work at the Vanatta hill is heavier than ever before he found in the prairie states and only equafied and surpassed by the mountain work and grading to be found in Montana and Wyoming. This firm, however, is proving itself to be capable of handling the contract, even if thousands of dollars had to be first invested in machinery, capable of moving such an amount of dirt.

Church Being Built.

    The grade from here on is not finished, only in patches Until one arrives pretty near to the new town of Madura. At Ardon, the Catholic church being built at that place is rapidly being completed. The roof is on the structure and the Capulo erected so that the general Appearance of the new building can be seen. The church will be a handsome building when completed and a credit to the new town.

    At Madura the other new town between Muscatine and Cone, nothing has been done as yet in the way of improvements, the people in that vicinity prefering to wait until trains start to run, thus enabling them to get all material more conveniently. Some heavy grading is to be found in and around this place and plenty of work remains to be done. From this point on to Cone, the contractors are at work and will be completed by the time the rest of the road is ready for the rails.

    At Cone all is activity, the road having completed the new depot and the work on the bridges across the Iowa and Cedar rivers is pcing forward with all possible speed. The fence gangs all along the read are out and new line fence is being constructed. By the time snow flies the whistle of the Milwaukee will resound through the hills and dales of Muscatine county and the people will realize that one more railroad has recognized the wealth of the community.

Page 183



Washington is to Have a Handsome Milwaukee Passenger
Depot Near Business District.

     Washington, Iowa, June 20. Special — The Milwaukee road has begun the construction of its passenger depot in Washington two and one half blocks north of the northeast corner of the square. It is to be a handsome one story frame structure 24x244 feet on a concrete foundation. The building is north of the C. R. I. & P. tracks a half block and is on the north side of the Milwaukee tracks. It has a men's and women's waiting room each 31x32 feet, a commodious ticket office, a baggage room and a covered pavilion.

     The citizens are much pleased at its proximity to the business part of town and are praising the road for its efforts to contribute in the largest degree to the convenience and comfort of its patrons.

     A union depot project was considered to some extent, but no petition was ever presented the companies concerned and the roads did not take the initiative in bringing about the building of such a depot.

     Though the road bed is practically graded both sides of town it is not yet completed in the city limits. To secure the right of way condemnation proceedings have not been necessary. The property owners have made terms with the company and have received generous treatment. To clear the right of way and secure yard room it was necessary to move almost a score of houses.

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