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Arrival of the Soo at Napoleon

Sperle, Peter. "Arrival of the Soo at Napoleon." Logan County Historical Society Newsletter, March 2003.


The track of the Soo was laid into Napoleon last Tuesday noon, September 20, 1898. All Napoleon people were out to witness the arrival of the construction train. There was no material demonstration on the part of our citizens owing to the fewness of our numbers but every man, woman, and child in the town and county feels grateful to know at least, after so many years of suspense, that we have a railroad.

The building of the Soo into Logan County will develop a large farming and stock raising district that hitherto has been isolated on account of a lack of railroad facilities. The Soo will fill a long felt want, and is cheerfully welcomed to our midst.

A small tool house was unloaded here Wednesday, and it will be used temporarily for a depot until the permanent depot is built.

The supply train, which furnishes supplies of material for the construction train, arrives at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. with six cars of ties and four or five cars of rails. That amount of material lasts the construction train one half day.

It will be remembered that the first locomotive in Napoleon was engine No. 104, with Stephen West, engineer, and E.E. Gary, fireman. This is the locomotive that pulls the construction train.

W.H. Murphy is the operator and timekeeper for the construction train. The first messages ever sent out of Napoleon were sent last Tuesday night by the Homestead scribe as soon as the operator secured a connection with the wire at this place upon his arrival here, Tuesday evening. The messages announced the arrival of the Soo into Napoleon on the Bismarck extension.

A four pen stock yard 63 x 128 feet is now completed and O.T. House is the first shipper.

Further particulars were published in the issue of September 30, 1898, as follows: R.H. Richey of Farwell, Minnesota, arrived here on Saturday’s train and at once took charge of the depot and telegraph office as the initial station agent of the Soo, at this place.

A force of 12 carpenters came in today’s train and will begin building an elevator at once.

The Soo will run two trains-Thursday and Sundays up to Braddock for a while.

Reprinted with permission of the Logan County Historical Society.

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