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 The county was without railroads until 1879 when the Leon, Mount Ayr and South Western Railroad Company was organized and built a road from Bethany Junction to Mount Ayr, a distance of 23.1 miles. The counties cross voted from 2 to 5 per cent taxes and contributed $48,000 and the right of way. They received stock for this amount but the stock was worthless, as the company went into the hands of the receiver and was sold. It was later reorganized and later owned by the C.B.&Q. Railroad. This and a narrow gauge road started a few years before through Decatur and Ringgold Counties.

In 1880, while this first railroad was officially known as the Chariton and Grant City branch, the road was extended from Mount Ayr to Grant City, Missouri, a distance of 45.4 miles. The towns in Ringgold County served by this railroad are Kellerton, Mount Ayr, Delphos, and Redding.

The Humeston and Shenandoah Railroad is in the northern part of the COunty. It was built in 1881 by the BUrlington and Wabash companies in partnership and extended from Humeston to Shenandoah, a little over 100 miles. The stations in Ringgold County are Beaconsfield, Ellston, Tingley, and Diagonal.

In about 1887, the Great Western built a road north and south through the western part of the county and extends from Minneapolis to Kansas City. This is the best railroad in the county. The town of Goshen about a mile and a half west of the railroad, moved to this intersection and it was given the name Diagonal.

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Railroads of Iowa


LESAN, Mrs. B. M. Early History of Ringgold County: 1844 - 1937 Pp. 95-96. Blair Pub. House. Lamoni IA. 1937.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2010


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