The McLeod County Historical Society and Museum would like to introduce you to our 2014 Theme, “History of the Railroads of McLeod County!” The McLeod County Historical Society and Museum is filled with historical information about how the Railroads changed Minnesota and McLeod County forever, as well as artifacts and documents that show the progression of railroad technology and all the tools and schemes used to keep the rails running.
Each month, the Museum will feature an excerpt from our theme booklet, “History of the Railroads of McLeod County”, which will be available for purchase in the Museum’s gift shop. The Booklet will cover the early history of the railroad system in Minnesota, each of the railroad lines that ran through our county, plus the “Paper Rails” that were never to be. So come along with us, and ride the rails of history in 2014.
Taken from: The Glencoe Register-March 26th, 1859-
“A Land Grant Railroad from Hastings”
We are gratified to learn that the remarks of our correspondent in regard to a Land Grant Railroad from this city to St. Peter meets with such universal favor among our citizens. The first thing necessary to consummate the object in view is to create a sentiment along the line in its favor, and resolve to make this sentiment felt. To effect this we suggest that public meetings be held here, as well as at other towns along the route at which a favorable expression should be made. Such a number of people as are interested and such a wide and fertile country as it penetrates, will make such a road immensely popular.
A road such as contemplated would connect at this place by ferry with the Wisconsin Road at Prescott, thus placing central Minnesota in direct communication with Chicago, the East and South by Railroad. In fact the road now contemplated is but another link in the great chain that is gathering the wealth of remote regions. (Hastings Independent) Hastings and Nininger are due east from Glencoe. The line should start from one or both there places, and run directly west. It would then open up the great agricultural depot of the State, and make a town out of Hastings and Nininger or both, larger than St. Paul, or any other town on the Mississippi above Dubuque. There is no use to talk; there is but one great vast agricultural region in this State, and that is the country west of Hastings and north of the Minnesota River. And, strange to say, it was entirely overlooked in the disposal of the land grant railroads. Hon. Joel B. Bassett in the council, and Gen. Joseph R. Brown in the House, were all the members who looked out for the portion of the State west of Hastings, and they, knowing that eventually the whole balance of the State must ultimately depend upon the part of Minnesota north of the Minnesota River, for their breadstuffs, did the best they could to plant a railroad through this part, but they were thwarted by St. Paul, St. Anthony, and a portion of Hennepin County members, who, when they voted against this reasonable proposal, cut off their own right arm. Which would have been of more moment to them than all of the country up the Mississippi, including the sandy barren, God forsaken soil, pine lumber, and everything else…