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Wimbledon in Barnes County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Midland Continental Railroad

 
 
Midland Continental Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 25, 2021
1. Midland Continental Railroad Marker
Inscription.  
1830 Beginning of the railroad era in the United States.

1850 9,021 miles of track are completed, all east of the Mississippi.

1869 The First Transcontinental Railroad is completed when the Golden spike is driven in Utah Territory, linking the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad.

1870 52,922 miles of track are completed in the U.S.
An economic depression slows down railroad development in this decade.

1890 163,605 miles of track are completed.
Four transcontinental railroads reach the Pacific.
The framework of the rail road system is largely completed.

1906 Herber S. Duncombe, a Chicago attorney, sets out to create the Midland Continental Railroad, to run from Winnipeg, Canada to Galveston, Texas; he is joined the next year by Frank K. Bull, another Chicago entrepreneur.
The Midland Continental Railroad Construction Company is organized in Chicago to finance and build the railroad.

1907 Financial panic delays railroad finance efforts.

1909 A grading contractor turns the first dirt on the railroad, two miles north
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of Edgeley; "Jamestown by Christmas 1910" is the goal.

1910 Lack of funds continues to delay construction progress this year and the next.

1912 The first section, from Edgeley-to-Jamestown, is completed on November 1; by December two trains are running every day except Sunday, carrying over 20 carloads of freight per day.

1913 Grading gets underway in April for the Jamestown-to-Wimbledon section, and by October the tracks are complete to the new Wimbledon depot; in November, four trans run daily except Sunday between Edgeley and Wimbledon.

1914 The Midland Continental Railroad transport 18,520 passengers, the greatest number in any year of its history.

1916 After difficulty obtaining funding from American and European investors with the onset of World War I, promoters are forced to abandon all plans of extension beyond the Edgeley to Wimbledon sections.

Frank Sieberling, head of Goodyear Tire and Rubber, takes ownership of the Midland Continental Railroad through the default of a loan from him that used Midland Continental Railroad notes as collateral; he retains ownership for 39 years until his death.

Mr. Sieberling hires Henry S. Stebbins as general manager; the experienced railroad manager begins to turn the Midland Continental Railroad's financial situation around.

1917 With World War I,
Midland Continental Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 25, 2021
2. Midland Continental Railroad Marker
expansion of US railroads stops altogether, and more lines are abandoned than constructed.
A passenger depot, roundhouse, and freight depot are completed in Jamestown. .

1918 The Railroad Control Act puts the Midland Continental Railroad into government hands in March, but the railroad is back under private control later that year.
After a rainstorm, a train overturns at a washout and two crew members perish.

1920 When it becomes clear that the Midland Continental Railroad will not be extended beyond Frazier, a half a mile away, the Wimbledon depot is moved to its present downtown location.
The Midland Continental Railroad earns an operating income for the first time; the railroad begins adding motor-rail cars and diesel-electric locomotives to its rolling stock in this decade.

1927 The Midland Continental Railroad ships 2,865 carloads of freight, mostly grain, coal, and petroleum products.

1930 The Great Depression of this decade has the Midland Continental Railroad operating at a deficit.

1937 The Midland Continental Railroad loses its government contract to carry mail over the Jamestown to Wimbledon section, and trains on this section are put on a "working schedule," operating according to traffic needs rather than on a regular time table; the same change is made in the southern section in 1950.

1940
Midland Continental Wimbledon Depot - Featuring Peggy Lee image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 25, 2021
3. Midland Continental Wimbledon Depot - Featuring Peggy Lee
The line's employees become unionized early in this decade.

1942 The Midland Continental Railroad values its own property at $5,627,214; the next year, the company is required to accept the Interstate Commerce Commission's valuation of its railroad property, at $1,430,823, exposing the railroad's severe over capitalization.

1950 The Midland Continental Railroad ships 6,699 carloads of freight, mostly coal, petroleum products, cattle, and grain.

1952 The Midland Continental Railroad hasn't stopped developing; an extension from its State Hospital spur is built to a large power transmission sub-station, and a third diesel-electric locomotive is put into service.

1965 The last passenger rides the midland Continental Railroad.

1969 A spring flood does more than $200,000 in damage to rail beds and bridges; the Soo Line and Burlington Northern pick up small stretchers of the line, but the Midland Continental Railroad will cease to exist in 1970.

1970 The Midland Continental Railroad depot in Wimbledon, with Wimbledon native Helen Russel as the last depot agent, closes on October 31.

2003 The Wimbledon depot is listed on the National Register of Places and is dedicated in 2005 during the town's All-School Reunion.


 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is November 1, 1830.
 
Location.
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47° 10.114′ N, 98° 27.548′ W. Marker is in Wimbledon, North Dakota, in Barnes County. Marker is at the intersection of Railway Street and 4th Avenue North, on the left when traveling east on Railway Street. Located at the Midland Continental Wimbledon Depot Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 Railway St, Wimbledon ND 58492, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Norma Deloris Egstrom - Peggy Lee (here, next to this marker).
 
Also see . . .  Wimbledon Depot Museum. (Submitted on October 13, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 13, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 13, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 14, 2024