Fayette Iowa in 1873
Page drop down menu:
...Overview of rails coming to Fayette
...Butment (Buttmans) Bridge
...Rail notes from 1996 History
...Rail notes from 1878 History
...Rail notes from 1910 History
...Timeline notes from Newspapers
...Maps and pictures
A little bit about early Fayette.IA:
Contains webpage links to various Fayette Co. surnames and history
Iowaz Index Page
The photo hosting site contains material regarding history, maps, genealogy of Fayette, Co, Iowa
Iowaz Photo Hosting Site
Page Chronology: 2016July, old project re-started with intent of uploading but stalled again; 2017Feb, initially uploaded. This is an old collection of data and summary page to get a personal handle on the rails coming to Fayette in order to better understand the timelines in some of the other Fayette area history/surname projects. The page is not intended to be a 'story line' project.
Overview of the rails arriving
at Fayette village:
...1830's-mid1850's...The first wave of Iowa settlers lived in a world of oxen and horse team wagon transport.
...After 1850+, many settlers had experience with rail transportation.
...People in Fayette County were fully aware of the importance of RR communication to the 'outside world.'
...Rail meetings were held in the 1850's and continued at short intervals into the late 1860's.
...1854, Rails had reached the Mississippi River.
...1856, Bridges were functional at Rock Island and Dubuque.
...1857-1859, main rail lines crossed Iowa.
...1859Dec, The Illinois Central RR line arriving at Indpendence.IA was the closest to Fayette.Co.
...1860's, Some secondary trunk lines were financed and built.
...1860's, Fayette County was outside the routes chosen for the first trunk lines across Iowa, which delayed RR until feeder lines became a necessity.
...1868Jan...Preliminary organizational meeting at Cascade.IA, of the 'Iowa and Minnesota Trunk Railroad Company.'
...1868Feb...County delegates proposed the route: Davenport or Clinton> Cascade> Hopkinton> Delhi> Strawberry.Pt> Brush Creek (Arlington)> Fayette> then some route north into St.Paul.MN.
...1868May...Delegates acknowledged Davenport was a superior starting point and requested a name change from the 'Iowa and Minnesota Grand Trunk Line,' to the 'Davenport and St.Paul Railroad.'
...1869...Delegates in impacted counties, township, villages worked for funding. The rails would bring greatly increased commerce/trade, reached previously only by wagons/sleds.
...1870May...Civil engineers for the Davenport & St. Paul RR had developed a plan for a 98mi route between Hopkinton in Delaware.Co.IA and Fayette in Fayette.Co.IA.
...1870Jun...Even with concerns over delays in financing/planning, portions of the road were ready to contract for bridge work, grading and tie/rail laying.
...1870Jul...Grading commenced on the road bed all the way to Fayette.
...1871...Significant progress in bridging, grading, and securing iron and ties was made all along the line.
...1872...Road construction continues. Prof Hurd added telegraphy to his Commercial Dept at UIU in Fayette.
...1873Sept...The Davenport and St. Paul Railroad is completed all the way to Fayette. Two elevators of wheat were already waiting for shipment.
...1874-1880, Train service only ran southward out of Fayette.
...1874/75, the Rock Cut at Fayette finished, the butments for a bridge over the Volga built, and 47mi of road bed northward of Fayette was graded but no ties/iron laid until until 1879, then to link to a line at Jackson Junction, going to Calmar> Cresco> St.Paul.
..1877Nov...The Volga/Turkey valley railroad coming through Wadena to Lima was competed to Littleport, Clayton.Co.IA.
...1878Feb...The Volga Branch of the Chicago, Davenport & Milwaukee RR was operating to Elkport, Littleport, Mederville, Volga City and Wadena.
.....1879, the Volga Branch arrived in Lima, with the intent of following a bed westward through Spring Valley connecting to Donnan Junction (plan was abandoned, a spur was laid northward through Fog Hollow to connect at West.Union.
..1879May, Fayette.Co sheriff seized the Davenport & Northwestern RR between Fayette & Edgewood. Trains and moveable property were removed.
...1879Jun, Trustees Burch & Laken of Fayette for the seized RR, put rolling stock back on the line while transactions were being made to take over the struggling finances.
...1879Jul, The Chicago, Milwaukee & St.Paul RR purchased the Davenport & Northwestern RR and the Delaware, Fayette, Northwestern Railroad branch.
...1879Jul, The C,M&St.P RR made plans to clear of the 1873/75 bed from Fayette to Jackson Junction and lay ties and iron.
...1880, Butment Bridge at Fayette would be finished at this time using big timbers.
...1880fall, The rail connection from Fayette> Jackson Jct> Ft.Atkinson> Calmar> Cresco were ready for rolling stock.
......Thus was completed the Davenport & Northwestern Division of the C.M.&St.P RR from Fayette to with their Calmar and Dakota Division.
......Lima would be a shipping & boarding point without a depot utilizing the Lima store for business.
...Fayette had rail service to the south starting late in 1873; rail service north starting late 1880. Wadena in 1879, Lima 1880.
...With the connection north into MN, ND, MT, several families became prominent by shipping horses & cattle, some also becoming pioneers in the wheat/grasslands of the northern plains.
...The rail transportation brought boom years to the Fayette area, allowing agricultural products to be shipped out, commodities shipped in, travel of citizens and UIU students.
...1954, Passenger service was discontinued through Fayette, the Marion to Calmar route.
...1975, The rail through Fayette was closed.
...History notes from 1878, 1910, 1976, father down the page give a more complete story.
...Newspaper notes following the History's give a type of 'living history' timeline.
...Some maps and pics are near the end of the page.
The first bridge was of wooden timbers, finished on the 1874 abutments in 1880.
The steel bridge replaced the timbered bridge in 1899 (above in 1940's).
Early references: Railroad Cut Bridge, Railroad
Bridge, Abutment Bridge, 'going to the butments.'
Later: by WWII, the bridge name became locally 'basterdized' to Buttman's Bridge, with other names forgotten.
How did the railroad bridge over the Volga River at Fayette, become 'Butment's Bridge'?
.....Initially the railroad bed into Fayette.IA was to come into town from the same southern route from Brush Creek (Arlington) and loop around the southern edge of Fayette, moving northward west of Mechanic St., then coming through the area of the old High School grounds and cross the Volga (at the north end of Mechanic.St), going northward up the grade of the original road toward West.Union (the old Hwy150 grade north of the Main.St bridge). That route would have been a rather steep climb out of the Fayette valley, so a rock cut at the SW corner of the village was proposed (also locally, 'the 1st Cut') crossing the Volga at what would become the Butman Bridge and up the Coulee Creek flowage (near the Eagle Point area) (then near Dunham's Grove) toward Donnan Junction. The Coulee route would also require a '2nd Cut' two miles west of Fayette (under Hwy93).
???...1939...Fayette.IA Leader, 1939Apr07, from 'Chats with Old Timers' by O.W. Stevenson: "The Butment Bridge"--How did the railroad bridge west of 'the Rock Cut' happen to be called 'the Butment Bridge?' All bridges of that size have butments. No other bridge, so far as I know, ever had such a name. How did this happen here/Fayette? When did the name get started? "The Banks of the Volga"--Walter E. Hunt told a group of men one evening last year that in early days where was much more water here in the Volga River and in it were many fine fish. He said that the banks wre generally grassy with big trees of the woods growing right up to the water's edge. I wonder if during high water it carried anywhere nearly so much dirt, sand, and gravel as now, and if the nature of the river had shifted about like it has in recent years. Were the floods so high?
...1939...Fayette.IA paper, 1939Apr21, from 'Chats with Old Timers' by O.W.Stevenson: "The Butment Bridge"--Ms. Mary Jones telephoned me (O.W. Stevenson) a message which agrees with what James Shoemaker and somebody else has told me. They say that when the railroad came to Fayette (in 1873/74) the rock cut (the 1st Cut through the limestone hill just westward of the old Depot area) was dug out and roadbed graded to the (Volga) river where great limestone bridge butments (abuttments) were laid. No bridge was built, however, until several years later (1879/89) when the railroad was extended northward to Calmar. During these years (1874-1880) the Fayette folks took walking trips (through the Rock Cut, on the rail bed) up the "The Butments," (to fish, swim, picnic, etc) as those stone bridge foundations were named. When the bridge was built it naturally took the name of "Butment Bridge." The original bridge was an interesting great high wooden structure, as I now remember it, much more imposing than the present low steel structure.
The 1976 History gives a good summary of the rails coming into Fayette County, Iowa....
Railroad notes from "Out of the Midwest" Fayette.Co.IA, 1976, pp31-36:
...The first wave of settlers into Iowa had little contact with any railroads. They lived in a world of slow moving ox-team wagon transport for personal use and freighting.
...The second wave of pioneers had been in contact with railroads and looked forward when they might market crops and livestock, have consumer goods, and travel. Many of the settlers from the mid-1850's loaded their goods/livestock on trains to Dubuque, forded the Mississippi, traveled by wagon train to pioneer areas of Iowa. Others came by riverboat or wagons.
...1854Feb, the Rock Island & Davenport RR had reached the Mississippi River from the east. The Burlington, Illinois Central and Northwestern RR in 1855. The Milwaukee RR, 1857.
...1856, the first Mississippi RR bridge was operational at Rock Island, IL, with a bridge at Dubuque later. Until that time rail cars would be ferried to road extensions on the west side of the River.
...1857, the Northwestern RR had competed a line to Omaha, spanning Iowa for the first time, and making connections with the Union Pacific RR which was completing trans-continental rails to the west coast.
...1859, the Rock Island RR reached the Missouri River, followed by the Burlington, Milwaukee and Illinois Central.
...With the trans Iowa roads came the rush to begin 'feeder' lines to all of Iowa to bring commerce to/from the major 'trunk' lines. This led to numerous small RR companies attempting to reach into productive 'markets' in competition with the big corporations. RR projects were never easy due to costs, economic crashes, politics.
...By 1859Dec, the Illinois Central RR completed a line to Independence.IA.
...Financing for large trunk lines was largely by government subsidy and issuance of bonds. A local tax law was allowed to help finance new feeder lines through townships and counties.
...The Civil War stopped any expansion of roads into Fayette.Co.IA.
...After the Civil War, federal give-away was gone so the roads had to be financed locally and by other means.
...Fayette.Co.IA 'feeder' railroads were financed by stock subscriptions and township taxes levied along the road right-of-ways.
...There was no good route to bring a road up from the Mississippi River level route/road between Dubuque and Marquette to the uplands of Clayton and Fayette County other than through the
Turkey/Volga River valley, which was a very difficult/expensive route to build upon.
Three railroads entered Fayette.Co.IA in the 1870's:
1...Operating fully, 1873Sept...Through Oelwein>Maynard>West.Union>Elgin>Clermont (Judge Greene road): The most important railroad economically was a north/south road from Burlington to the Minnesota State line...a direct route between St.Louis and Minneapolis/St.Paul. With branch lines running out in all direction, Cedar Rapids would become a livestock and grain center, as it did. This was the 'brain child' of Judge Greene of Cedar Rapids, and became the best financed and operated road of the area.
...Early 1870's, the Iowa General Assembly allowed for tax money to be raised in townships traversed by railroads, allowing for potentially substantial funding of roads. The usual rate was 5% of taxable property. Judge Greene proposed that his road plan would be best, offering to build via Oelwein, Maynard, West Union, Elgin, Clermont, it guaranteed $135,000 and free right-of-way.
...1871July14, The Deal: 1. Route stated; 2. Built in year of funding guarantee; 3. $90,000 from taxation & free right-of-way; 4. Funds forthcoming when rails laid in a township, with West Union not paying until trains were running; 5. Quality of road equal to others in Iowa; 6. Elections to be held & guarantees within 60days; 7. Each township voting the tax was entitled to a station on the line.
...Jefferson, Windsor, West Union, Pleasant Valley, Clermont townships passed the 5% levy tax. Harlan declined, but later voted a 3% tax. Center declined in hopes of being traversed east/west by other roads.
...Grading started in 1871Nov from both Cedar Rapids & Postville, where the new road would connect with the east/west Milwaukee road.
...The road was over open tall/wet grass prairie country between Independence and West Union, with no platted villages. Long Grove in Harlan.Twp would be a station and become Maynard. Hazelton moved a mile west to the rails. Otsego village, two miles west would move to the rails to become Oelwein. Randalia would be platted in Center.Twp on the rails. Donnan, platted north of Randalia would be a crossing of two roads, envisioned as a rail center, which never happened. West Union would be the largest village on line from Independence to Postville.
...At West Union, the road followed Otter Creek, through Brainard, to Elgin, then up the Turkey River valley to Clermont, and into the hills to Postville. Being very scenic and crooked from West Union to Postville, it became known at the "Pea Vine Road."
...1873Sept, the first trains operated over the entire road system. Trains operated from the ends before that date.
...The 'Panic of 1872-1873' had stopped other railroad building.
2...Through Brush.Creek (Arlington)>Fayette: A feeder line of the Milwaukee Railroad, came from Dubuque, entering the Fayette.Co.IA from the sourtheast between Strawberry Point (Clayton.Co.IA) and Brush Creek (Arlington), paralleling the old Military Road (Admission or Mission Road/Trail, Dubuque to the Ft. Atckinson area in Winneshiek.Co.IA). The Milwaukee would stop at Fayette in 1873, for several years (after1875/76) until a rock cut at Fayette, a bridge over the Volga at Fayette, and another rock cut just west of Fayette was completed allowing rails to be laid to Jackson Junction connection to a main line going to Calmar, Cresco into Minnesota and westward to the Dakota's and Montana (several early Fayette.Co.IA pioneer families began early ranching and shipping of horses and cattle to the Montana grass and wheat county).
3...Through Wadena>Lima>West.Union: Rails were laid coming up the Turkey River valley from Turkey Junction, south of Guttenburg, to Garber where it followed the Volga River Valley through Littleport, Mederville, Volga City, entering Fayette.Co.IA, going through Wadena (by 1878May/June) and to Lima (early 1880's) where it stopped for several years. Just west of Lima the road was to continue westward through Spring Valley Neighborhood, passing just south of the Pleasant Hill Cemetery 2+mi north of Fayette, and going on to Randalia and Sumner where it would a road coming from Waverly & Tripoli. This westward road from Lima was never completed beyond a survey of the line. From Lima, a road would be laid up Frog Hollow valley into West Union. The Turkey/Volga river rails had limited revenue from the narrow valley area so financially struggled, being abandoned by the late 1930's.
The rails reach Fayette.IA from the south, late in1873.
In 1880 rails finally connect Fayette.IA northward to Jackson Junction,
allowing trains to connect to Calmar, Cresco and into Minnesota, Dakota's, Montana.
Railroad story from
1878 History of Fayette.Co.IA,
...The people of Fayette County began to agitate the question
of building railroads prior to 1855, very early in their history, but, although
various schemes were proposed from time to time and various routes were
surveyed, nothing tangible resulted from such agitation until after 1870.
...About that time, the question of building a narrow gauge road up the valley of the Turkey River was seriously discussed, and numerous meetings were held in 1871-1872 to further the project, but nothing was actually accomplished.
...A route was surveyed in 1870-1871, for the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & McGregor line. A line of narrow gauge road was projected from Des Moines to Marshalltown, Waterloo, thence to Fayette County to intersect with the proposed Turkey River line.
...The people of the county, anxious for a road and feeling somewhat discouraged about securing a line from Cedar Rapids, had begun to think that they might be obliged to aid in securing a narrow gauge road from Waterloo and had held some conferences with that end in view. That route was surveyed to West Union, in June 1871, and there rested to await the action of the people.
...The B., C.R. & M.R.R. Co. also surveyed the route from Cedar Rapids to Postville, about the same time, and the people were divided, some favoring one route and others the other.
Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota R.R.:
...In consequence of the proposition to build a narrow gauge road to Waterloo as a last resort, on Friday, 1871July07, a deputation of the officers of the Cedar Rapids & Minnesota Railroad Company, consisting of William Green, General Superintendent; B.F. Randall, Chief Engineer; A.S. Belt, Solicitor; Capt. S.L. Dows and C.C. Cook, Directors, visited West Union and other points in Fayette County, with a proposition to build a branch of their road from Cedar Rapids to Postvillle, through Independence, West Union, Elgin and Clermont.
...Mr. Green soon convinced the leading citizens that his company was in earnest and ready to commence operations immediately, if proper local encouragement should be offered, but he wanted Fayette County to raise $135,000. The people, however, proposed that they would try and raise $90,000, provided the company would agree to build the road for that sum. On this basis, a temporary agreement was made, and a Committee, consisting of S.B. Zeigler, Milo McGlathery, Wm. Larabee, J.W. Rogers and Wm. McClintock was appointed to proceed to Cedar Rapids and perfect the contract with the President and Directors of the company.
...The party of gentlemen from Waterloo, interested in the construction of the narrow gauge railway from Waterloo to McGregor, completed their survey above mentioned to this point and were here at the same time, hoping that the people, who were divided, would decide in favor of their road, but the superior inducements offered by the gentlemen from Cedar Rapids won, and the Waterloo party went home disappointed.
...On Friday, 1871July14, the Committee of citizens before mentioned closed the contract with the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minnesota Railroad Company, at Cedar Rapids, apparently to the satisfaction of all parties.
...This railroad contract was substantially as follows:
.....1. That the Railroad Company agree to build, equip and operate a railroad from their present line of road, to intersect the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad at or near Postville, via West Union and Clermont.
.....2. That said road shall be completed within one year from the date that stipulated aid is raised along the line, with an equivalent extension of time, if the Company is delayed on account of obtaining the right of way.
.....3. That said road shall be a character similar to the one operated by said Company, which will compare favorably with any road in Iowa.
.....4. That depots or stations shall be established in the several townships, if the people along the line raise the required amount of aid, with free right of way.
.....5. That the citizens of Fayette County shall pay said Railroad Company, $90,000, in railroad taxes, legally voted, and conditional notes of individuals, payable when the road is completed through the township where the notes are given. The taxes voted by any township are not to be drawn from the treasury until the road is completed through said township.
.....6. That the citizens shall give said Company free right of way and depot grounds.
.....7. That taxes in West Union Township are not to be drawn from the treasury nor the notes payable, until the road is completed and the cars running into West Union and one-half of the grading done between West Union and he point of intersection with the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad.
.....8. The citizens to have sixty days from 1871July15, to raise the amount of aid, right of way and depot grounds.
...Having made the contract, the people of Fayette County at
once inaugurated energetic measure for raising the stipulated amount.
Railroad meetings were held in all the townships interested in the project.
West Union voted a five per cent tax in aid of the road on the 1871Aug16, by a
vote of 273 to 29. On Aug17th, Windsor.Twp voted a five per cent tax by 40
to 38. The tax and subscription in West Union amounted to about $50,000.
Jefferson.Twp voted the five per cent tax by 75 to 56, and Pleasant Valley by
128 to 33. Harland voted again in Sep1871, and voted a three per cent tax
by a majority of six. Center was the only township that refused to vote
the aid required. It should be remembered that the Iowa & Pacific Railroad
Company were asking similar aid at the same time.
...The required amount of aid having been provided by tax and subscriptions, the Company at once commenced active preparations for commencing work. The surveys were completed and ground was broken on the line between Postville and Clermont, 1871Nov09. The first iron rail was laid in Fayette County on the road 1872Aug14, at 10am. The road was completed to Clermont, and the first train arrived 1872Sept05, and during September it was completed to Elgin; and to West Union (up Otter Creek/Brainard valley) soon afterward, but as not completed through the county until 1873. Trains were run between Postville and West Union, and between Cedar Rapids and Center Point, nearly a year before (1872). The first through train on the 'Milwaukee Division' was run 1873Sep07.
...The road was built by a Construction Company, under a contract with the B., C.R. & M.R.R. Co. By virtue of a decree of foreclosure and sale, under the mortgage by the B., C.R. & M.R.R. Co., the road passed into the possession of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway Company on 1876July20. This road was the first to enter Fayette county, and the only one as yet (1878 History) that passes entirely through the county.
The Davenport and St. Paul R.R.
...In 1868Jan, Judge F.B. Doolittle and Col. J.H. Peters, of Delhi, J.M. King, of Cascade, and several others held a meeting at Cascade for the purpose of discussing the feasibilty of constructing a railway at Cascade vis Cascade and Delhi, to some point in Fayette County. At this meeting, the Iowa & Minnesota Grand Trunk Railway Company was temporarily organized with George W. Trumbull, of Jackson County, President; J.M. King, Secretary; and C.M. Dunbar, Treasurer, and a committee was appointed to draft articles of incorporatioon.
...In 1868Apr, another meeting was held in Hopkinton, Delaware County, at which Articles of Incorporation, reported by the committee, were adopted and the company was permanently organized with B.B. Doolittle, H.S. Brunson, Richard Boon, Benjamin Burch, M.O. Barns, G.C. Crosten, Z.G. Allen and W.H. Finley. Articles of Incorporation filed for record in Delaware County, 1868Jun04.
...The prospects for a road from Clinton were not encouraging. A combination was formed, in which the people of Fayette, Bruch Creek (Arlington), Strawberry Point, Delaware, Delhi and Hopkinton pledged their faith to stand by each other come what would, and that neither town should be left off the line of a railroad if they should succeed in their efforts; and in 1868May, Brunson, Boon, Doolittle and others interested, went to Davenport with a view of interesting the railroad men of that city in the project, proposing to make Davenport the southern terminus, and give them the control of the road if they would engage in the enterprise. Several meetings were held; the people of Davenport became interested; the name was changed to the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad Company and re-organized, with Benjamin Burch, and H.S. Brunson, of Fayette: Z.G. Allen, of Brush Creek (Arlington); Richard Boon, of Delaware; F.B. Doolittle, of Delhi; W.H. Finley of Hopkinton; John L. Davie and Michael Donahan, of Davenport, and G.C. Croston, of Cascade, as Directors.
...Arrangements were made for obtaining subscriptions to capital stock. Various towns along the line voted five per cent taxes in aid of the enterprise, and preparations for substantial work began to be made. In 1868Aug, Wm. H. Holmes, of Davenport, was elected President. The required amount of stock having been subscribed, it was expected that work would be commenced in 1869Spring, but before it could be commenced, the Supreme Court had decided that the law authorizing townships to vote a tax to aid in construction of railroads was unconstitutional. By this decision, the available assest of the D. & St.P.Co., were reduced nearly one-half.
..In 1869April, a meeting was held in Davenport to review the situation and devise means for carrying forward the enterprise. At this meeting the Davenport people were inclined to abandon the project, but after much consultation they finally concluded to persevere, and active efforts were made during the remainder of 1869, to obtain the additional subscriptions necessary.
...At the next session of the Iowa General Assembly, Winter of 1869-1870, however the township tax was revised and so amended that towns might levy taxes for building railroads if the people should so vote. The various towns along the line again voted for the five per cent tax. Assessments were made on the capital stocks, and in 1870June, the contracts were made for grading, bridging and tieing the road from Davenport to Fayette. Work on the line in Fayette County was commenced in 1871Spring. The road was completed to Brush Creek (Arlington), 1873July08; and the first car load of freight was received at Brush Creek on 1873July22, and the rails were laid to Fayette by 1873Sep16.
...In 1872Aug/Sept, Benjamin Bruch, J.H. Lakin and Wm. Bruch, of Fayette, under the firm name of Burch, Lakin & Co., took the contract for grading the road north from Fayette to Cresco, and commended work immediately and prosecuted it vigorously until 1873Fall, when they suspended operations, having nearly completed the grading from Fayette to Cresco, including several deep cut--one near Fayette 700 feet long and 57 feet deep, through solid rock, and costing over $30,000. The Company paid the contractors' estimates promptly until 1873May, when its exchequer became exhausted, but the contractors continued work, hoping, Micawber-like, that "something would turn up" to enable the company to make payments and complete the work. But the financial pressure of that time, culminating in a panic in 1873Oct following, effectually prevented any further extension of the road, and work on it has not yet (1878 History) resumed; but its friends fondly hope that ere long it will be completed to Cresco, where advantageous connection can be made.
...The construction of the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad to Fayette affords a remarkable example of energy and pluck in overcoming insurmountable obstacles.
The Iowa & Pacific Railroad
...At the same time that the people were asked to aid in the construction of the B., C.R. & M.R. from the south, the Iowa & Pacific was knocking at the door from the east, and asking that the several townships on its projected line should vote a tax in its aid. A considerable portion of the work of grading this road in Fayette County was done in 1872-1873. The line passes about four miles north of the town of Fayette, crosses the line of the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad near the geographical center of the county, and the B., C.R. & N. R.R. at Randalia, thence west through Center & Banks Townships to the west line of the county.
...The road was completed from the east into the county to Wadena in 1878May, and the first shipment of freight for that point was made on 1878June02. Preparations are being made for the construction of the road west from Wadena, and it is anticipated that it will be completed at least to a junction with the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern at Randalia, if not entirely across the county, during the year 1878. (Note, bz: This rail route was eventually completed through Wadena running along the Volga River to Lima but not continued westward along an already surveyed route through Spring Valley neighborhood toward Donnan. The line from Lima was completed northwest from Lima/Albany, up Frog Hollow an on to West Union).
Railroad story from Fitch's 1910 History of Fayette.Co.IA
The Railroad Question, pp57-61.
...Fayette County was outside the routes chosen for the first trunk lines across Iowa, which delayed RR until feeder lines became a necessity.
...People of the county were fully aware of the importance of RR communication to the 'outside world.'
...Meetings were held in the 1850's and continued at short intervals until the first road was finally built in the early 1870's.
The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, by Rev. J. O.
Paine of Fayette.IA, pp139-141.
...1868Jan...Two men from Maquoketa.IA came through Fayette.Co.IA, from SE to NW, urging the feasibility of a railroad along a line from Delhi, Yankee Settlement (Edgewood), Strawberry Point, Bruch Creek (Arlington), Fayette, Waucoma.
...Their plan was to secure a partly graded road-bed from Clinton to Maquoketa, then on northwesterly toward St. Paul.MN.
...Local meetings were held. Delegates were sent to a general meeting at Maquoketa. Representing Fayette County: J.P. Webster of Waucoma; H.S. Brunson, Ben. Burch, UIU Pres, Wm. Brush of Fayette; Z.Allen, Ben. Shambaugh of Brush Creek (Arlington). No formal organization was made at the time but steps for further study were made.
...A later meeting organized a company under the name, 'Iowa & Minnesota Trunk Railroad Company,' and surveyors were put to work mapping out a route.
...About this time the Davenport railroad group became interested. Through its activity, influence and greater capital, succeeded in capturing the enterprise, reorganizing as the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad Company.
...Work proceeded slowly until the project was satisfactorily financed, after which construction became more rapid.
...1870Jun...Contracts were let to B. & H.M. Burch for grading, piling, mason work (butments, etc) and ties from Fayette village to the north line of Delaware.Co.
...1872Summer...Contracts were let for the line between Fayette village and the south line of Minnesota. Burch, Lakin & Company had the grading and ties. J.B. Webster the mason work, and R. Ballantyne & J.L. Paine the piling.
...During the next year, until the panic of 1873Sept, work on the road bed was pressed as far north as Cresco.
...Promoters in the early stage relied on: 1. Local capital from stock sales; 2. A 5% township tax on all taxable property in townships; 3. Donations of money and right of way.
...Fayette citizens subscribed $20k for stock; Arlington and Waucoma subscribed proportionate amounts.
...Nearly every township along the line voted the tax, plus large amounts of right of way were donated.
...With the early money, the first sections of the road were completed, serving as a basis for the sale of bonds.
...Many other roads were being built at the same time by comparatively weak/small companies.
...1873Jul08, Track laying has reached Brush Creek (Arlington).
...1873Sep16, The first cars reached Fayette village.
...1873Sep18, The great banking house of Jay Cooke & Co closed its doors. By two days later, more than 1/2 of the moneyed capital of the U.S. had closed. RR building basically stopped.
...Large amounts were due contractor's and mechanic's that had already worked on building the road bed. Suits were filed with judgments obtained.
...A court decisions was issued, the entire road north of the Delaware.Co. line was sold by sheriff to Hon. Wm Larrabee of Clermont, as trustee for the creditors, with the possession of the property remaining with the company, which continued to operate it.
...1879Spring...Appeals went on from court to court until the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of the creditors, thus sustaining the opinions of all lower courts.
...Creditors took possession of the road from the Delaware.Co line northward, running for some weeks regular trains from Edgewood to Fayette.
...During this time joint negotiations were being held and the entire property of the Davenport & St. Paul RR, from Davenport north passed to the Clinton, Maquoketa & St. Paul branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul RR. The creditors received full claim, principal and interest.
...1882May...The Milwaukee Company completed the road connection at Jackson Junction, following the old line to a point 1mi north of Waucoma, then swinging back eastward into Waucoma, where the station/depot opened 1882May04, Mr. Webster, Station Agent.
Timeline utilizing newspapers: Rails to Fayette & Fayette.Co.IA
By 1868, there were no rails near
Fayette village nor in the county.
Talk of rails moving into Fayette.Co.IA finally gets serious in 1868
...1868...Davenport.IA Daily, 1868Jul09: The Davenport & St. Paul road will place northeastern and northern counties of Iowa and much of Minnesota in direct communication with Davenport, and add largely to the business of the city. It will insure direct connection with railroads north of Davenport which now are not reached and divert a large portion of valuable traded of regions which the roads penetrate to Davenport. It will secure a line of railroad through a region without railroad communication of any kind, giving direction to and attracting a large trade which is now reached from other points by wagons. It will attract lines from the East, seeking western connections. It will delay other lines through the same region from other points on the Mississippi River, giving Davenport advantages as a commercial point.
...1868...Maquoketa.IA Sentinel, 1868Aug11, from the Clinton
...Clinton seems to be more eligibly located as an outlet for Maquoketa than any other point.
...Neighboring cities are putting forth their strenuous efforts to secure lines of railroad, appreciating the advantages.
...Davenport has voted a liberal tax in aid of what is called the Davenport and St. Paul Railroad, and contemplating a northwesterly line through Wheatland, Anamosa, and ultimately to St. Paul, which is an extension of the organization known as the Iowa and Minnesota Grand Trunk Line, though with some divergence from the original route.
...The people of Davenport know full wall the value of railroads, and the influence they have in building up and maintaining a town.
...1869...Dubuque.IA Times, 1869Dec19: Railroad Meeting at Wyoming, 1869Dec17, Dr. Clakins was in the chair. Hon. J.S. Bronson, secretary. The north and south railroad from Davenport to this point (Wyoming), Cascade, Fayette, etc. has received marked encouragement. Contributions to the amount of $40k have been recently raised to aid of the project. Grading will shortly be commenced.
...1869...Number of School Age Youth: Fayette.Co.IA 6731, Clayton.Co.IA 10,610, Allamakee.Co.IA 6324, Winnechiek.Co.IA 8053, Howard Co.IA 1767, Chickasaw.Co.IA 3234, Bremer Co.IA 3871, Burchanan.Co.IA 5118.
...1870...Davenport.IA Daily, 1870May13: Davenport & St. Paul RR, Chief engineer Baldwin returned from northern Iowa where he has been locating (route) for the (new) line between Hopkinton in SE Delaware County and Fayette in Fayette County, a distance of about 98 miles. This section of the country is sparsely settled. Portions of the road are ready to contract to grade, bridge and tie the road. Work will commence in a few days.
...1870...Volga Valley Times, 1870May20: Railroad Meeting in Fayette.Co.IA (notes); The people of Fayette and vicinity assembled at the (Methodist Church) Chapel and elected H.S. Bronson President and O.C. Cole Secretary. Hiram Price, Pres. of the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad took the floor and stated the county needed railroad for the transportation of home products. Whenever a locality raised its quota (tax for RR), contracts were immediately let for grading. The RR bed could not be built without local quota of funds, but that iron and rolling stock would not require additional local funding. Unless we united out forces no road would be built to Fayette by any company. He had confidence in the success of the road. He stated the Company did not demand of a locality unnecessary funds, thus bankrupting the people; that the business was conducted on a fair and honorable basis. He has several bids for contracts to grade the line in this (Fayette) vicinity and knew just what he could do. He gave assurance the Company would comply with the requirements made of them by the people. Mr. Brunson re-enforced that unless we unite and raise out quota, we/Fayette are without a hope of a railroad and with a strong resolve to go to work, vote the tax, and commence grading in the Fayette vicinity.
...1870...Monticello.IA Express, 1870May26: We learn from agents at Fayette and other places have succeeded in adjusting claims for damages and right-of-way. As soon as grading commences they expect to see business more lively and times a great deal better. There has been some dissatisfaction and uneasiness expressed on account of the apparent delay of the Davenport & St. Paul RR to Fayette.
...1870...Maquoketa.IA Sentinel, 1870Jul28: Grading (on the RR bed) was commenced at Fayette.
...1871...Marion.IA Weekly, 1871Feb09: Davenport & St. Paul Road---Judge Doolittle of Delhi, active in the road, promises rapid extension of the line in the spring. The junction with the Maquoketa branch takes place 13mi from Davenport, and from that point to Wyoming 50k yards of earth are to be moved to complete the grading. The bridging is being pushed forward. Iron and ties are arranged for, with much of it on the ground. From 4-6mi are already graded from Wyoming to Monticello, a distance of 16mi, and from Monticello it is intended to use about four miles of the Dubuque & Southwestern Road, which carries the Davenport Road to the Delaware County line. North to Delaware Center, about 14mi, there has been something over $15k worth of grading done, the work still going on with ten gangs of men employed. The grading is also nearly completed from the north line of Delaware.Co to Strawberry Point in Clayton.Co. Most of the heavy work is done in the neighborhood of Fayette. A large amount of ties are being secured from the Turkey (river) timber. Work will make rapid progress when spring weather opens.
...1872...Because of interest/demand, Telegraphy was added to Prof. H.E. Hurd's Commerical Dept of UIU at Fayette.IA.
...1873...Fayette Daily News, 1875June: On 1873Sept16, the Davenport & St. Paul railroad was completed to Fayette. The rock cut at the edge of town is the largest in Iowa to date. The B.D.R. & M. road runs almost diagonally through the county, starting near the NE corner and emerging near the SW corner. The D. & St. Paul road enters at the SE corner and will when completed, pass out near the NW corner. The Davenport & St. Paul is now completed only to Fayette, however the grading is pretty much all done for the remaining distance. The Volga Valley railroad is surveyed and mostly graded through the county, and follows the Volga river, entering at the center of the east side of the county, and running through the center. If the Volga road is completed and the D. & St. Paul finished, Fayette county would be as well supplied with rail facilities as any inland county need wish to get.
...1873...Monticello.IA Liberal, 1873Sep18: The track layers on the D. & St.P.RR reached Fayette on 1873Sep16. Business brightens at the present of the shipment of two elevators full of wheat are ready.
...1875...Fayette.IA, Leader, 1930Feb20: Resided in Fayette when Rock Cut was being dug; H.E. Rundlett, a cousin of Charles & John Knight of Fayette, died at Marshalltown.IA, 1930Jan31 from a lesion of the heart. He was 63y5m4d, and had lived in Marshalltown.IA for 2yr. His remains were taken to Tama.IA for burial. Mr. Rundlett lived in Fayette when a boy, coming at age 9yr, with his parents from Roxubry.VT, where he was born. His father, Thomas P. Rundlett, was a blacksmith and had a shop on the Volga River bank back of Fox furniture store (NW of the NW corner of Main/Water St's, or to the SW of the present Main.St bridge. The old furniture/undertaking building on this NW corner was built in 1862 and still stands. The history of original buildings along the Volga is limited or lost.) Thomas Rundlett sharpened many of the (hand) drills which were used in making the rock cut for the railroad. Later the Rundlett family moved to Nebraska. H.E. Rundlett married Mary Hegardt of Tama, 1892Aug02. They had five children, four survive. H.E. starting young, for 20yr, was an express messenger on the Union Pacific RR between Omaha & Cheyenne.WY. In 1908, he moved to Tama and farmed until 1928, when he moved the family to Marshalltown and was employed by the Light Draft Harrow Co.
...1877...Dubuque.IA Daily, 1877Nov09: The Volga Valley railroad (that would come through Lima) is now finished to Littleport in Clayton.Co, and a mile beyond, the work is still being pushed with vigor.
...1878...Dubuque.IA Daily, 1878Jan09: Commencing 1878Feb01, mails will be sent by Volga Branch train of the C.D. & M. RR to Elkport, Littleport, Mederville, Volga City and Wadena. No postal car or agent being on the route, letters cannot be mailed on the train.
...1878...Brush.Creek.IA (Arlington), 1878May25: Davenport and Northwestern Railroad...The shortest and most desirable route from Brush Creek (& Fayette) to all points. Connections: 1. At Delaware with the Illinois Central RR for Dubuque, Manchester, Waterloo, Ft. Dodge, Sioux City, Yankton; 2. At Monticello with Dubuque Northwestern RR; 3. At Centre Junction with Iowa Midland RR; 4. At Oxford Junction with Sabula, Ackley & Dakota RR; 5. At Eldridge with C.R. I. & P. RR, for Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, New York, Philadelphia; 6. and all points east, plus Muscatine, Columbus Junction, Fairfield, Camron, Atchison, Leavenworth, Iowa City, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Omaha and all Nebraska points; 7. and with P. & R. I. R'y, for Peoria, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, and southern cities; 8. and with R. R. I. St.Louis R'y., for Bushnell, Chapin, Burlington, St. Louis, Kansas City, Hannibal and all points southwest. Through tickets on sale for all points. Baggage checked through. Ask for Tickets vial this favorite route. John E. Henry, General Manager. J. I. Kellogg, Gen. Ticket Agent.
...1879...Postville.IA Review, 1879May09: About 30mi of the Davenport and Northwestern railroad, from Fayette to Edgewood, have been seized by the Sheriff of Fayette.Co.IA, and all trains and loose property has been removed, leaving Fayette, Brush Creek and Enfield inland towns again, with no certainty when railroad facilities will be opened.
...1879...Brush.Creek.IA (Arlington), 1879Jun21: Cars Again; Burch & Lakin have finally succeeded in placing rolling stock on their railroad (through Brush.Creek & Fayette), the first train making its appearance at this place (Brush.Creek) on Thursday evening. We have not received a time table but hope by next week to give full particulars. 1879Jun28: The cars are again running to Brush Creek, and nearly every train brings new hardware for Walrath & Son.
...1879...Brush.Creek.IA (Arlington) News, 1879Jul04: Good News...As we go to press we learn that the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul R.R. have completed the purchase of the Davenport & Northwester R.R. and the Delaware, Fayette, Northwestern R.R. and will complete the same to Cresco.
...1879...Brush.Creek.IA News (Arlington), 1879Jul18: Railroad Time Table, Delaware, Fayette & North-Western Railway... Going South--Leave Fayette (mail and acc.) 6:45am, Brush Creek 7:35am, Strawberry Point 8:25am, arrive in Edgewood 9am; Going North--Edgewood (mail and acc.) 6pm, Strawberry Point 6:40pm, Brush Creek 7:25pm, arrive in Fayette 9pm. B. Burch, General Manager.
...1879...Maquoketa/Jackson Sentinel, 1879Jul24: The
Davenport & Northwestern Railroad will go into the hands of the Chicago,
Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad company before too many weeks. The Company
is engaged in efforts to effect a settlement between the
trustee of Birch & Laken (of Fayette.Co) who holds the north 26 miles of the D.
& N.W. on an execution issued by the Fayette County District Court, and
the D & N.W. Co.
...It will be remembered that a (rail) bed for the D. & N.W. was graded north from Fayette nearly to Cresco, a distance of 47 miles, so now little work needs to be done on that bet to make it ready for the iron (rails)--about 15,000 yds of grading will fix it all right. The bed has been protected by masses of brush and weeds which have grown on it, shielding the bed from washing rains. The Milwaukee and St. Paul own the Sabula, Ackley & Dakota and Dubuque Southwestern roads, and in possessing the D. & N.W., they will get rid of a competitor and have a direct line between Davenport and St. Paul through connection at Cresco. Note: We learn the C.M. & St. Paul Co. will be in possession about Aug01.
...1879...Postville.IA Review, 1879Jul27: From the Dubuque Times; During the past we have pointed out the probably transfer of the Davenport & Northwestern Railroad to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company. The Davenport Gazette states on authority that the 'road' has been purchased. The sale would have been earlier if not for delays in the seizure of the Fayette County section (of the railroad) by the sheriff on the order of execution creditors.
...1879...Brush.Creek.IA News (Arlington), 1879Aug01: The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company have timely taken possession of the Davenport & Northwestern R.R., the first trains appearing last evening. R.N. Gregory is again at his post as Station agent and we understand that nearly all the old hands have been retained. The Davenport papers say. The (rail) road bed between Fayette and Cresco will be tied and railed within the next sixty days, and close up the gap and make a continuous line between Davenport and St. Paul. We have received no time table but understand that the trains will run on the old time.
...1879...Ames.IA Intelligencer, 1879Oct03: There are 200 men at work on the extension of the Davenport (rail) road from Fayette to Calmar.
...1880...Waterloo.IA Courier, 1880Feb04: Seven thousand tons of rail have been purchased and the iron is now being distributed along the line, to complete the Davenport and Northwestern division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad from Fayette to Ft. Atkinson, near Calmar, on the main line. The road-bed and bridges are all ready for the iron.
...1880...Dubuque.IA Times, 1880Mar27: Fayette Correspondent; The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad are still pushing on their track laying north from Fayette, and expect to reach their Calmar and Dakota division, 25 miles to the north. Then Fayette will have a northern as well as a southern outlet.
...1880...Brush.Creek.IA News, 1880Apr23: Railroad Time
Table for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul R.R., Racine & Southwestern
Division--Davenport Line. Leaves Brush Creek. Going south, Freight 6am,
Express 7:30am; going North, Freight 8:15pm, Express 9:40pm. H. N. Gregory
...1882...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1882Dec12:
Card for the C. M. & St. P. Railway
.....Going North: Passenger/Frieght; Davenport 5:20pm/2pm> Eldridge 5:57pm/3pm> Wheatland 6:51pm/4:05pm> Oxford Junction 7:57pm/7:20am> Center Junction 8:35pm/8:25am> Monticello 9:05pm/10:30am> Delaware 9:57pm/12:20pm> Fayette 11:42pm/3:35pm> Jackson 12:45pm/6pm> Calmar 1am/.
....Going South: Passenger/Freight; Calmar 3:05pm/> Jackson 4:05pm/2:30pm> Fayette 5:15pm/4:43pm> Delaware 7:15pm/8:10pm> Monticello 8:05pm/11:05pm> Center Junction 8:35pm/11:59pm> Oxford 9:07pm/7:50am> Wheatland 9:48pm/8:50am> Edlridge 10:44pm/10:36am> Davenport 11:20pm/11:35am.
...1883...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1883Jul03: There is no depot at Lima, we discovered the other day, not even a platform for passengers to get on/off. There is something resembling an inverted hog trough that answers the purpose. There are accommodations for hogs and cattle, but no storage for grain. It resembles a flag station, minus the flag. Simon Nefzger is building a store building at Lima.
...1889...Fayette.IA News, Brush.Creek.IA paper, 1880Arp16: Workmen are busy setting telegraph poles and wire was stretched over the rock cut at Fayette/
...1889...Fayette.IA News, 1889Nov29: We understand Mr. Schrack is in the stock business and would like to operated the (grain) elevator at the Fayette depot.
Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1891Apr03: The flats east of the Volga railroad bridge at Fayette are being shorn of timber. The old-time sacred groves adjacent to Fayette have been somewhat mutilated since we first saw them in the 1850's.
...1890...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1890Feb14: Geo. A. Davis & Co., is the firm that is to put in a new lumber yard at the depot (the Davis family would open/run the lumber yard that still operates, that was just south of the 'lost' Grade School
...1890...Fayette.IA Postal Care, 1890Aug29: Jo. Grow, so long telegraph operator at the depot, has been transferred to some other station and a lad from Brush Creek (Arlington) is manipulating the electric sounder at Fayette.
...1890...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1890Sep12: Two more vacant lots near the depot were purchased, on which residences will appear in due time.
...1891...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1891Aug14: Banty Green always blows the crossing whistle when entering the rock cut running west of the Fayette depot. It is probably to prevent people from driving onto the overhead bridge while the train is passing under. Why do not all the engineers do that same act? (He would more likely be warning anyone walking in the cut the train was coming through, bz/2014).
...1891...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1891Sep18: The railroad company sent up an engine and train of flat cars to Fayette with a gang of 25-30 shovelers, dagoes mostly, to raise the track from the water tank to Union St. bridge, so as to give more clearance to teams with bulky loads passing under Washington St. bridge. If the whole business past the depot and through the rock cut were elevated 5-8ft, heavy trains would not have such hard work getting out of Fayette both ways. But that will hardly happen during this generation.
...1891...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1891Sep25: Sunday was a busy day 'on the dump' at the depot, all hands being at work jacking up the track from 4" to a foot, according to elevation. In another week more dirt will be trained in and another lift given to the track. That Washington St. bridge has to go up high enough to let a load of pumpkins through under it.
...1891...Time Card, C.M. & St.P. Railway: Going north out of Fayette...Passenger No152, 10:22am; Freight No155, 7:15pm. Going south out of Fayette...Passenger No151; 5:20pm, Freight No155, 7:15am. Agent: J.W. Merrill.
...1891Oct032, Fayette.IA Postal Card: Jeff Smith's (bridge builder) gang went home Saturday night, returning Monday forenoon to jack up the railroad bridge another foot.
...1892...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1892Jul08: The water tank at the depot has been filled by hand the past few days.
...1893...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1893Jun09: W.F. Boyce has a new foundation and set of hay scales at his yard near the depot.
...1893...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1893Jul14: The new water-lifter (Eclipse Windmill) at the depot commenced duty.
...1894...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1894Mar09: We hereby call attention of all fishermen or anybody interested in fishing, to the fact that several hundred croppies/crappies, lake bass, etc., have been placed in the Volga near Klock's (mill) dam, by the state fish commissioner, and that all persons are forbidden by law from taking any such fish from the stream of a period of one year under penalty of a heavy fine. It is hoped all will be conscientious and honest enough to refrain from fishing anywhere between the dam and the railroad bridge. Give the fish a chance to propagate and in a year or two we will have much better fishing than of late years. There are a score of people here who will report any violation of the commissioner's order, that they know of or can prove.
...1894...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1894Mar22: A foundation is partly constructed in the hillside nor far from the wagon bridge spanning the rock cut, which is to be used as a slaughter house. It will add aroma to the previous reputation of Lover's Lane. The railroad well at the depot has been drilled beyond rock and now has an abundance of water for the thirsty engines that halt there. But the pumping apparatus is peculiar, there being a wind mill and a steam pump, the latter used only when the former fails to hoist sufficient watter.
...1894...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1894May03: Time Card, C.M. & St.P. Railway: Going North, Passenger No22, 10:35am, Freight No94, 4pm; Train No08, 7:38pm. Going South, Passenger No21, 5:23pm; Freight No93, 7am; Train No69, 8:50am. Trains 68 & 69 will not carry passengers. Agent, J.W. Merrill.
Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1894May31: There have been over two hundred new railroad ties put in between the rock cut and the railroad over the Volga, and more going in daily.
...1895...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1895May16: I hereby notify all parties who indulge in swimming in plain view of my residence and grounds, even as far away as the bend in the river near the rock cut, that they will be arrested if I catch them in the act, unless they wear suitable bathing costume, John T. Fockler.
...1895...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1895Aug01: It is affirmed that the railroad company intend putting in a new sidetrack this fall, the work to commence in Sept. The new track is to be located just south of the depot and the old track, and run from the vicinity of the water tank to Washington St. bridge, or nearly. It will be arranged so that water can be taken from the south side of the tank as well as the north. It is also proposed to remove the depot platform.
...1896...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1896July02: The wagon bridge over the rock cut is 65ft above the railroad track. The rock cut cost the railroad company $85,000 to cut the 'right of way' through this 'hog back' of almost solid rock.
...1896...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1896Oct29: The overhead bridge at the rock cut has been propped at each end, the lower ends of the supports resting in niches in the rock sides. This creates a suspicion that the bridge was not and maybe is not altogether safe. Of all the bridges in this county as its fall of 65ft would make horrible havoc.
...1897...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1897Mar25: A new bridge with iron stringers has been built over the rock cut west of the depot. (replaced the first 1874/75 timbered bridge)
...1897...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1897Sep16: The ice house just west of the depot was burned Tues. morning. It was on fire, when the passenger train came in but there was no way to put out the blaze and it was allowed to burn. It is supposed to have set itself on fire, or in other words was a case of suicide or spontaneous combustion (ice was stored/insulated in saw dust, thus spontaneous combustion, such as occurs in stacked hay or saw dust and coal piles was not uncommon). The wind was nearly from the south, or the elevator a few feet away might have burned. 1897Sep23: The ground at the depot where the ice-house stood has been leveled and raked off, making a much better appearing locality than formerly.
...1897...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1897Sep23: An entirely new railroad bridge spans the Coolie (creek) southwest of town (Fayette) (a wooden tressel westward of the Butment Bridge).
...1898...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1898Sep15: The railroad company is putting in almost all new ties between the rock cut and the railroad bridge, and the trestle beyond the bridge is being newly tied, and other repairs. The roadbed in this vicinity is getting in good shape for fast time, if exigencies should demand.
...1898...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1898Oct20: The depot and the water tank have been recently painted. Also Graf's grain elevator.
...1899...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1899Oct26: Notice--I wish to warn people against roaming through 'Oak Park' (timber land south of the railroad between the rock cut and the Volga bridge) with dogs or guns or shooting in that vicinity. My residence and family and stock are in range of any random shooting in that vicinity. Keep off. W.H. Robertson.
...1899...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1899Nov30: Workman arrived here
(Fayette) last week to replace the wooden railroad bridge across the Volga with
steel stringers. One set of stringers reach the length of three flat cars,
said to be 105 feet in length; and we noticed another set covering two flat
cars. The Company is evidently preparing for more and heavier trains than
were in operation a year ago. Extra trains are common thing now and for
the past three months, besides one and two sections to the regulars. We
understand considerable of the freight from the west is transferred to this line
at Jackson Junction instead of going via McGregor and the river road to Savanna.
The wooden trusses supporting the railway bridge over the Volga was all down and
piled up for future reference last Saturday night. The
steel stingers for
the new structure--the exact length of two flat cars-- were on the side track
(near the Depot) Sunday. About thirty pilling have been driven into the
river bed for a sup-structure to support the old bridge while the new frame is
being placed. Replacing old bridges with new without delaying trains is a
science by itself and a matter of curiosity to many people who have never seen
...Tuesday forenoon we saw the two derricks, one at each end of the three lat cars of stringers, hoist, swing and lower them to temporary supports near the bridge. It was all done in fifteen minutes. Other large steel contrivances and supports were handled as easily as though they were made of wood. The abutments are being overhauled and built up on top with a concrete hat will make the entire top as firm as though composed of solid rock. There is considerable work to be done before the stringers will be placed in permanent position. Mr. Everhart, a bridge-builder on the line twenty years ago, and whom we used to see frequently on the line those years ago, has charge of the work.
...1899...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1899Dec14: Frank Beach is learning telegraphy and general station work at the depot. He has been their several weeks.
...1899...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1899Dec28: We understand now that the gang that is to erect the new railroad bridge is expected the first week in January. Their first date was Dec 11th; now they can come whenever they feel like it, or when the weather gets so rough they cannot do anything else. The abutments are likely to be there when they arrive.
...1900..Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1900Jan11: Kodak pictures of the railroad bridge, in all its stages of construction, were taken by various practitioners. The railroad bridge builders completed their work Tuesday afternoon and all hands, cars, derricks and other apparatus went south. The railroad bridge gang and work train began operations on the new steel bridge across the Volga last Friday morning, and all that could be down before 11am was to drop the main 'chords,' (stingers, ordinary people call them) into position, but after that rapid progress was made, and by 3pm, the new steel sections and cross sections were all in position, the new ties in place, the rails re-laid and spiked so that by 3:15pm, the regular freight passed over it at usual speed. By 4:30pm, the brace rods were all in and fastened at their lower ends ready for the top chords. Saturday everything was commenced, which was really the longest part of the process, as a job by itself. By today the substructure will be down and the new bridge--all steel except the ties, will be standing on it own merits and trains running over it at regular speed. It is fire proof and storm proof, excepting cyclones.
...1901...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1901Apr25: From the railroad station to the Volga Bridge, the railway has become a highway or toe-path for the wandering population on Sunday. The streets of Fayette are too conspicuous, perhaps--too many inquisitive eyes behind lace curtains--or some other reason for leaving the ordinary path. Hunters, anglers, "spoonies"--all 'go up the railroad track.' Some obtain proper reflections by visiting the cemetery.
...1902...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1902Nov06: A pile-driver has been at work on the piling (wooden) section of the Volga Bridge to brace it for the passage of heavier engines which may come plunging up this way before the fall and winter traffic is over.
...1905...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1905Apr20: An immense amount of rock 'avalanched' down at the east end (depot end) of the rock cut, covering the railroad track with debris. The section men went to work along the 'cut,' prying away loose masses of stone with pike-pole and crowbar. At the time time we visited the scene George Klock was on the summit of the hill holding one end of a rope, the other end of which was tied about Will Frayer, who was half way down the face of the 'abyss' prying out huge rocks with a crowbar. Some parts of the cut were in dangerous condition, and every spring the situation grows worse. Several tons of stone have been 'barred' from the rock cut within a few day. There ought to be 5,000 tons worked off the south wall and dumped where needed along the line of the road. The cut was never half wide enough for its height. As a matter of fact the cut out never to have been made through such shelly rock.
...1906...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1906Apr19: Martin Maloney, station agent for the C.M. & St. P. RR, has been working for a new depot. The business done at this station has doubled since Mr. Maloney came to Fayette 7yrs ago, and amounts to $18-20k per year. As Fayette is a coupon ticket office the passenger business is very heavy. The inadequacy of the waiting room and requirements constantly growing, the prospects are good for better equipment. The sum of $5k would put up a commodious and convenient station what would meet all demands for years to come.
...1906...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1906Nov08: The regular freight train ran into the work train while in the Rock Cut and wrecked several cars. The work train had been in the vicinity of Butment Bridge and came into town just ahead of the fright train, stopping just at the depot end of the cut in order to pass in on the siding. The fright was immediately behind and coming at such speed that the collision could not be avoided, though the engineer applied the air brakes and the sand. The caboose of the work train was badly smashed. The conductor and brakeman escaped without injury of any importance. The engineer and firman of the fright also escaped with slight bruises. Several traveling men were in the caboose of the freight train, and they too, received some bumps and bruises but no one was hurt seriously. Four cars of the work train were splintered.
...1907...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1907Feb07: If anyone should be injured or killed in passing through the rock cut, he or his relatives could not collect a cent, as it is railroad property and signs warn against trespassing on its property.
...1907...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1907May02: Contrasts Life in Seattle and in Fayette.IA, letter from Bobbie Boyce; ....It is a great thing that train, without it my home town of Fayette.IA would have hard work in keeping itself on the map. It goes through in the morning on its way to Calmar, and comes back again about 5pm. It is the only road that leads into Chicago, and it is the only way you can get out of town, unless you walk. It was a great inspiration to me as a boy. I used to watch it puff slowly out of the depot until it had accumulated the terrific speed of 18-20mph, and its going, some way, seemed to conjure up phantom cities like Cedar Rapids or Chicago. And as for riding on it--the wildest dreams of those dreamy days was that some time I might be able to sit on the red plush seats and go as far as Arlington, although when it came to Dehli or Monticello, that was something simply beyond the most exalted dreams of men.
...1908...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1908Jan23: An extra train loaded with ice, from Waucoma, went through Fayette, and came through the rock cut as though trying to keep ahead of a raging cyclone. Had the engine left the rails while coming through the cut it would have taken a week to clear up the wreck of wood, iron and rock that would have resulted.
...1908...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1908Aug13: The railroad company has replaced the old ties on the piling section of the Volga Bridge (Butment Bridge) with new and substantial ones, good for another twenty years, and also braced the piling with new material. There is also a car load of new road ties in the yard to replace those worn and rotten, on the section.
...1908...Fayette.IA Postal Card, 1908Aug20: The C.M. & St. P. R'y Co. is planning to run more and heavier trains over this branch of their line. Occasionally a heavy engine is sent over the line alone, to test the roadbed. Twp bridge gangs are in the vicinity and bridges are being strengthened. With cold weather the steel gang is expected to complete the substitution of heavy rails which was begun some time ago. Nearly all section crews have received at least 500 sawed pine ties, soaked in creosote. The Fayette section has had about 2000 ties. The improvements seem to signify a greater train service in the future, probably when the Pacific coast extension is finished. In a short time it is expected that the railway company will remove the bridge across the Rock Cut and substitute one of steel this fall. 1908Oct29: The bridge gang has been putting a new bridge over the Rock Cut. It is about the same style of a bridge as the old one.
...1908...Fayette.IA Postal Care, 1908Oct29: The bridge gang has been putting a new bridge over the Rock Cut. It is about the same style of a bridge as the old one.
...1910...Fayette.IA Postal Care, 1910Apr28: One or more train loads of piling and heavy bridge timbers have been sidetracked for reconstructing the bridge over the Coulie (creek) south of the upper rock cut. A big pile-driver was with the outfit. There was one car from the Boston & Maine railway, an all-steel car from the Pennsylvania railway, and one from the Atchinson and Santa-Fe.
...1917...Fayette.IA Leader, 1917Apr12: Freight Train Hits Hand Car; Extra freight encountered by section men early Friday morning. Last Friday morning between 7-8am, as Wm. Frayer and his section crew were rounding the curve just the other side of the Abutment Bridge, they came face to face with an extra freight train. Without even time to utter a word of warning they jumped just in time to save their lives and their gasoline hand care sped on for a few feet until it encountered the oncoming engine and was hurled from the track into the air with tools, lunch pails, clothing and hand car flying in every direction. A minute more and all might have been killed but fortunately all escaped with only one injured. A crowbar thrown from the hand care by the impact of the train, struck Frank Thompson, who has been working with the crew but three days and broke his bones in one leg. The train stopped and brought Mr. Thompson to town also the rest of the crew, Lloyd Shafter and Wm. Frayer. One of the brakeman telephoned from a farm house for Dr. McLean and he was at the depot when the train arrived. Dr. Walsh was also called from Hawkeye and assisted in setting the fractured member, and Mr. Thompson seems to be getting along nicely.
...1937...Fayette.IA. Leader, 1937Apr09: Steel Bridge will span "Rock Cut;" Workman have been employed for more than a week preparing for the creation of a new bridge over the railroad "Rock Cut." Excavation has been going on for a few feet back from the edge of the cut for new concrete foundation on each side of the chasm. The new bridge, which is being put in by the C. M. St.P & P. Railway company will be six fee wider than the old wooden structure that has been in use for many years, and it is also longer. The bridge will be a single girder, steel bridge, abut 65ft long. According to the plans it is expected that the bridge will be completed about the end of May or fore part of June. The road over the deep cut was closed last summer (1936) about the time the underpass on Hwy No.11 (the viaduct at the base of College Hill, Hwy11 became Hwy150 through Main.St and across the Volga bridge to West.Union) was being constructed and has not been used since. The combination of closing the road at the cut and the closing of Hwy No.11 at the same time caused considerable trouble for most traffic into Fayette fron the south. The reason for closing the road over the cut was the unsafe condition of the old wooden bridge, many of the timbers being rotted and unsound.
...1937...Fayette.IA Leader, 1937Jul07: Bridge Work Begins: With the arrival of steel, work has begun on the erection of the new bridge across the rock "Cut' west of the Milwaukee depot in Fayette. The foundations have been in for some time, and it is expected that it will not be long now before the public can get across the chasm where traffic has been barred for many months.
...1947...Fayette.IA Leader, 1947Aug07: Dick DeVoe has just qualified as a telegraph operator. Dick graduated from FHS in May. During his school days he assisted his grandfather, Station Agent, M.A. DeVoe, around the depot and has been under his instruction in learning the telegraphic code. Since June, Dick has been on the payroll of the road as an apprentice and now goes on thejob at the Fayette station as a full fledged operator. He has just returned from visiting his parents, Mr/Mrs. Bruce DeVoe, at Maquoketa.
...1954...Fayette.IA Leader, 1954July15: A hearing on the proposal by the Milwaukee (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) railroad to discontinue the passenger train on the Cedar Rapids to Calmar branch through Fayette will be held in Anamosa on July28. The death knell for Fayette's only passenger traini service was sounded in the roar of the box-car trucks which took over the delivery of mail through Northeast Iowa. When the railroad was notified that the highway post office would begin mail transportation between Cedar Rapids and LaCrosse, the Milwaukee posted notices announcing the intention to discontinue the train. The railroad mail contract was also cancelled. The gasoline powered train has been making a round trip daily except Sundays. It carries express and passengers. Until 1954June16, it carried mail for the towns along the route. The Milwaukee also maintains freight service on a basis of three round trips each week. Mr. James Houseman if the Milwaukee railroad agent in Fayette.
...1975...Fayette.IA Leader, 1975Oct23:
Fayette rail line to close,
Interstate Commerce Commission Notice; The Chicago, Rock Island and
Pacific Railroad Company, abandonment of 70.58 miles from West Union and Linn
Junction, Iowa in Fayette, Buchanan and Linn Counties Iowa.
...Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company abandonment of 79.07 miles between Hopkinton and Jackson Junction in Delaware, Clayton, Fayette, Winneshiek.Co.IA.
...1977...Fayette.IA Leader, 1977Jun30: Police join in chase for former Fayette man, an escaped convict while being transported for treatment at Iowa City, from the Ft.Madison prison. He returned to the Fayette area and according to hearsay, supposedly slept over at Buttman's Bridge that night.
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