Archive for the ‘Railroad’ Category


Railroad Name is Changed

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 19, 1904

Railroad Name is Changed

Carbon No Longer the Name of the Little Town

Railroad Name of This Place as Well as the Post Office Name has Been Changed

Carbon Junction at last is no more as the railroad name as well as the name of the post office has bbeen changed to Gypsum. Before the post office was located there the place was always known as Carbon Junction to every one in this part of the state. When the post office was located there the post office was given the name of Gypsum because of the fact that there was another town in the state by the name of Carbon. Besides the name Gypsum is more appropriate to the place because of the numerous gypsum mills located there. The railroad still continued to call their station “Carbon Junction,” but at last they too have changed the name and in the future when the brake man goes through the train, “Gypsum the next stop” will be his call instead of “Carbon Junction the next stop.” The ruling has already gone into effect and the name over the station has been changed.

The local freight office employees who were looking for a chance to grumble, said it was a wonder the bill clerk at Carbon could not bill his freight right as a bill which was sent out of there Thursday was headed Carbon, Iowa, when the new rule went into effect on that date.


A Free Trip to the World’s Fair

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 5, 1904

A Free Trip to the World’s Fair

Boston Store Makes Magnificent Offer to Public of Fort Dodge

Give Away Five Railway Tickets

Inaugurates Voting Contest, Winners to Have Free Trip to St. Louis

There is a good trip and a good time in store for five customers of the Boston Store during the coming summer. In this evening’s issue is a notice in the Boston Store advertisement, that the management will give first class railway round trip tickets from Fort Dodge to St. Louis, to the five persons having the largest number of votes. The voting starts Monday and tickets or votes will be given with each fifty cent purchase. A Messenger representative in conversation with Mr. Charon was informed that there would be no restrictions of any kind placed  upon those who vote, except that none of the clerks in the store will be a candidate. A large receptacle will be placed in a conspicuous place in the store where the votes may be deposited. These will be counted once a week and an annauncement (sic) made of the count and the votes for each candidate that have been deposited. The tickets will be awarded some time during the month of July. Just what date has not been decided upon, but will be announced later. It is the intention to procure the tickets over one or more of the roads running into Fort Dodge.

This is the most liberal premium t hat has been offered to the buying public in the nature of railroad fare for some time. There have been trip tickets given away in former years, but no one concern has ever offered to give five away at o ne time. There is every reason to believe that the interest in the voting will spring into popular favor from the start and that there will be a spirited contest. A trip to the World’s Fair will be something to look forward to with great anticipation. Five persons would make an ideal number to go together in a party.


Fireman Lou Pray Injured

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 1, 1904

Fireman Lou Pray Injured

His Foot Crushed in an Accident at Tara Monday – Caught Between Car and Water Tank

Louis Pray is confined to his home suffering from a crushed foot as a result of an accident of which he was the victim Monday night. Pray is a fireman employed by the Illinois Central and was on his engine bound west at the time of the accident. From what can be learned the mishap was due to a string of cars not being “clear” on a sidetrack at Tara. As the engine was passing the cars Pray’s foot was caught between them and the tank in the tender and painfully hurt.


In The Mines Around Lehigh

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 11, 1903

In The Mines Around Lehigh

Great Activity Has Been Evidenced of Opening Lehigh Coal Fields

New Mines are Numerous

Several New Shafts are Being Sunk and Output From Lehigh Will be Increased.

The Lehigh Argus in its last issue has an interesting and comprehensive review of what is being accomplished toward the opening of coal fields around Lehigh, more especially in Deception Hollow.

The statement will be of more than ordinary interest to Fort Dodge people and is as follows:

“The work in Deception Hollow of opening the new mines by Sam’l McClure Co. is progressing rapidly. A large shaft 7×14 feet has been sunk and the work of driving the entries is now under way. It is only seventeen feet down to the coal where the shaft is located but the shaft has been sunk below the coal several feet to make a sump. Double shifts have been put on and the men are driving back into the thicker coal. The entry will be driven due south. At the shaft the coal is two feet six inches thick, 200 feet south from the shaft is it three feet and six inches thick. The coal is very bright and fine looking and those best posted claim it to be the Tyson vein.

“The coal is there and in good quality but until the entry has been driven back and the Great Western people can be convinced of the quantity and qaulity (sic) they will not expend $50,000 in extending their line to the mines. From present appearances it is quite probable the road will be built.”

The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 5, 1903

Fred Clausen, of Ogden, Narrowly Escapes With Life

Almost Ground Under Wheels of Minneapolis Train Bound for Fort Dodge

One of the narrowest escapes form death that did not result in anything more serious than a bruised arm, happened to thirteen-year-old Fred Clausen Saturday night at Ogden. The Minneapolis & St. Louis passenger train had just begun to get up speed after leaving the station and came around a curve directly upon the boy. He saw it coming in time and jumped, but just a little too slow. The fact of his being in the air with his feet off the ground, is probably the only reason he was not thrown beneath the wheels.

As it was, he was struck on the shoulder and thrown several feet down the embankment. The train was stopped immediately, and the crew went back to pick him up. Instead of finding him dead, as they expected, the found him sitting up nursing his shoulder, which had been struck pretty hard. The boy says, however, that the train did not strike him, but that he stumbled and rolled down the embankment, hurting himself that way. However that may be, he is extremely thankful for his exceedingly narrow escape.


Promotion for M & St. L. Man

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 17, 1904

Promotion for M & St. L. Man

J.W. Bell Gets Agentship at Winthrop, Minn.

Is an Important Junction of the Railway – Mark of Esteem for Faithful Employe (sic)

J.W. Beck, who has been bell (sic) clerk in the Minneapolis & St. Louis freight office in Fort Dodge for the past eighteen months, has been given a promotion. He has been offered and has accepted the agency of the Winthrop, Minn., office for the same road. This office is an important one, as it is the junction point of the Estherville, Watertown, South Dakota lines. His promotion is significant of the approval of the officials, as very few ever become agents who are not operators. Mr. Beck is not an operator, but as there is both a day and night operator at Winthrop, it is not necessary that the agent be an operator. However, it shows that his ability is depreciated.

Mr. Beck was a Fort Dodge boy, having graduated at the Fort Dodge high school. Later he moved from here and studied to be an operator, but did not continue that work. He enlisted in a South Dakota regiment at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war and served until his regiment was mustered out.

Later he accepted a position in the Minneapolis & St. Louis offices at the Minneapolis Transfer, and was promoted to a position in the general offices. Later he was transferred here as bill clerk. He will leave to take up his new duties as soon as his successor arrives.

Mr. Beck is well known in Fort Dodge, having practically lived here all his life. His many friends here will be glad to hear of his promotion.


Put Dynamite in Oven of Cook Stove

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 8, 1907

Put Dynamite in Oven of Cook Stove

It Exploded and Three Men are Injured – One Will Probably Die.

Occurred at a Grading Camp

Camp Was Located Four Miles South of City – The Injured Men, Albert L. Hook, Merton Hook and Floyd Wicher Are in City Hospital.

(Editor’s note: There is somewhat graphic description of one person’s injury in the section with the subheading Injured by Flying Pieces.)

As the result of putting three sticks of forty per cent dynamite into the oven of a cook stove to thaw out, this morning, and then forgetting them, two men and a boy, all three employed on the Newton & Northwestern right of way southeast of the city, lie badly injured at the city hospital.  They are Albert L. Hook and son Merton and son-in-law, Floyd Wicher.

The accident occurred this morning about 8:00 o’clock. The cook had been up some time and had breakfast prepared when a member of the party placed the three sticks of dynamite in the oven to thaw out. Shortly after, when seated about the breakfast table, the dynamite exploded, all knowledge of hit having passed from the minds of the occupants of the tent.

Great Destruction.

As the explosion occurred the stove was blown to atoms. Small pieces flew in all directions. The tent had practically vanished for nothing but a few small pieces of it remain near the spot where it once stood. The table, dishes, beds and other furniture of the abode were demolished by the concussion, fire starting in several places from small pieces of bedding scattered about.

Injured by Flying Pieces.

There were seven people in the tent when the explosion occurred. The cook had been standing over the stove, but, just prior to it, had walked out of doors on some errand. As the concussion came a small piece of the iron of the stove struck Merton Hook on the back of the head, laying it open until some of the brains oozed out. Other pieces struck his father, causing several fractures about the lower limbs and Wicher, whose right leg was broken in two places, one below and one above the ankle.

For a time the other members of the party were thrown into a stupor from the noise and shock. As they regained control of their minds, they began to care for the injured. A farmer, attracted by the explosion, which was heard several miles away, telephoned to Kalo, summoning Dr. C.J. Musser.

Doctors on Scene.

Dr. Musser arrived on the spot about half an hour after the accident, and later Dr. Bowen, of this city, who also had been called for. Together they performed an operation upon the head of the boy, removing a piece of metal larger than a silver dollar from the gash it had torn in the skull of the youth.

Following this the remaining victims were attended, and everything to make and keep them easy and as free from suffering as possible, was done.

Brought Here in Ambulance.

An ambulance was then sent for, and it left the city shortly before noone (sic), returning from the scene of the accident, with the victims, at about 2:30 o’clock.

Further operations were performed on the arrival at the city hospital, and up to a late hour this afternoon the young boy was still alive though in a very precarious condition.

The party was at work changing the channel of a small creek from the right of way of the Newton & Northwestern. Considerable dynamite was used int he work, and keeping it as they had to in a tent, it became damp and froze during the night.

A.L. Hook, who of the three is the least injured, hails from Cedar Rapids and was sub-contracting under Murray Brothers of Cedar Rapids who have the contract for the right of way. In the party there were the two sons a son-in-law and a daughter.


Seen and Heard

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 4, 1907

Seen and Heard

The way in which ticket agents are pestered by questions is an old tale, yet it does not get exaggerated greatly in being told. The other evening a Messenger reporter sat behind the grating with ticket agent Bert Markin of the Great Western and  heard him carry on the following conversation over the telephone:

“Hello! Why, it’s forty minutes late.”

“Yes forty minutes.”

“No it won’t be here until 8:35.”

“Yes, I’m sure it’s forty minutes late.”

“No! not until 8:35, you see it is due at 7:55. 7:55 plus forty minutes would make 8:35.”

“Well! there’s a possibility of it making up some of that time before it gets here.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“No! its (sic) usually right on time.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter.”

“Yes forty minutes.”

“No! I don’t think there has been a wreck.”

“You’ll have to excuse me a minute, there are a number of people waiting to buy tickets.”

“I think the buses will wait.”

“Yes ma’am, forty minutes.”

“Please excuse me.”


Webster City Young Men Sad

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 29, 1904

Webster City Young Men Sad

One Result of a Recent Trip to the Neighboring Gypsum City.

They Were Given Good Time

And When They Went Back Home They Slept Too Soundly.

Two young men whose homes are in Webster City came to Fort Dodge the other day and had an awful time getting home. The Webster City freeman-Tribune says they were shown a good time in Fort Dodge and from past experience of Webster City’s good times in Fort Dodge it is more than likely that while here they contributed generously to the mulct tax.

Their sad story is told by the Freeman-Tribune in the following:

“A three mile walk and a livery bill of $3.50, all extra was what it cost two certain Webster City young men to make a little afternoon’s trip to Fort Dodge the other day. It wasn’t because the Webster City boys got lost looking at the skyscrapers, or bought the new Crawford hotel of a sharper or anything of that kind. Oh no.

“The boys, whom we will call Jack and George, for the reason that these names will fit as well as any, spent the afternoon in the Gypsum City, were shown a first-class time by the natives, saw the gypsum mills, the ruins of the mill which burned the other night, the site where the Great Western shops were to have been built – if they hadn’t been erected in Clarion – went thru the automobile factory and numerous other sites famed on the pages of history. In the evening, tired of their sight-seeing and weary to the bone, they boarded the midnight train for home. It being so late, they felt sleepy and therefore didn’t see the lights of Webster City until the train was pulling out of Blairsburg. The boys wanted the “con” to run the train back, but he wouldn’t . Then they wanted him to carry them on to Waterloo and promise to send them back on a special car – but he wouldn’t . He just wouldn’t do anything that a good, respectable, polite conductor ought to do. The boys then wanted to fight – and he wouldn’t even do that. He just grasped them by the nape of the neck and ejected them from the train three miles out of Blairsburg.

“The men found their way to the ‘burg and by putting up $3.50 induced the livery man there to bring them back to dear old Webster City.”


Short Change Man on Central

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 5, 1903

Short Change Man on Central

Gentleman With Deft and Oily Fingers Works Smooth Graft

A Nebraska Man His Victim.

Son of the Soil, Out to See the Sights, Exchanges $50 for Meagre (sic) Roll of $15.

Waterloo, Io., February 5. – Marshal Simmering this morning received a letter from Cyrus Alton of Elmwood, Nebraska, stating that he had been victimized to the extent of $35 on the Illinois Central passenger train between Waterloo and Manchester Saturday night. He gave a description of the grafter and told how the game was worked.

Shortly after the train pulled out of Waterloo a well dressed stranger sat down in the seat beside Alton and began conversing with him. Alton readily fell into the snare. Judging by his letter he is a farmer. He had become weary of the long ride and was glad of the opportunity to break the monotony. Soon after the stranger worked himself into the good graces of Alton he told him how badly he wanted to exchange some small bills for a large one to give to a relative who would leave the train at Dubuque. Alton liked to be obliging and inquired how large a bill was wanted. The stranger thought a $50 would do and Alton pulled out his roll and selected a fifty. The stranger had a number of small bills and counted them out. They appeared to be $5 bills. There was just $50 the first time he counted them out, but in order to escape a mistake he counted them again. Sure enough there was just $50. Alton took them and placed them in his pocket, not suspecting the fraud. However, when he arrived in Chicago he took an inventory and found that the roll contained just $15 a number of $1 bills having been substituted for the $5 ones.