The Des Moines Osceola and Southern Railroad (D.M.O. and S.R.R.) incorporated in 1879 for the purpose of establishing a north-south line from Des Moines to Cainsville, Missouri. Included in the original plans was a station at Leslie. All small towns were eager to have a station as it meant growth and more prosperity. Track was first laid in Osceola in 1881 and reached Cainsville on December 4, 1884. The Leslie community collected money to purchase land which was given to the railroad. The railroad built the station, stock pens, and grain bins. The station went through the middle of the town.
Shortly after completing the line the railroad went into receivership. The line was then taken over by the DM & KC RR which wanted a station at either Phillipsburg or Groveland instead of Leslie. The move of the station to Green Bay township would have a devastating effect on the small town. This started a legal battle which ended with the Iowa Supreme Court forced the railroad to rebuild the Leslie station and use it. The line was used until around 1940. Interstate 35 now follows the same line through what was once Leslie.
The legal process took about a year and a half. One benefit to us from this legal battle is it produced lists of residents of the area.Source: "The Four Trails And A Tale Or Two" by Margaret Reeves.
1890 Area Residents
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