Presented by Terry Davis
Monday, November 17th 7-8 PM
Museum Educational Media Center
The Rails changed everything for small early communities, like the ones in McLeod County. With the railroad came all the products of the east and a way to move the products of the prairie out to the cities. The picture shown above is one example of how the goods of the east were brought to the prairie: Taken around 1900, it shows Charley Senescall’s dray/freight wagon. The wagon is stacked high with salesmen’s trunks on their way to the Merchants Hotel where samples were to be viewed. The photo was taken in front of Schunemans General Store, the meeting hall of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Linne’s Bakery and Restaurant. Charley Senescall, operator of one of many dray line companies at that time, assisted traveling salesmen who arrived in Hutchinson by rail every three or four months. He would haul trunks filled with salesmen’s samples from the railroad depots to the Hotel where shopkeepers could come and view them and place their orders for new goods. Again the rails would be used to ship these goods to the stores and to the awaiting frontier families to purchase. Journalist and railroad history buff Terry Davis will give us an inside look into just how McLeod County’s goods and people were moved by the rails, and how this one technology changed everything for the prairie communities like McLeod county.