The Callanan/Ellsworth Depot
The Ellsworth depot was moved from Callanan
when the Toledo and Northwestern Railway came through Ellsworth in 1880.
The depot was a two story building with the agent and his family living
on the second floor until 1950 when the depot was remodeled. Oscar
Fossum was one of the first agents while Wilford Rash was the last agent,
having served for 10 and one half years.
There were four passenger trains available during the
twenty four hours with three mail deliveries each day. Several freight
trains carried passenger cars as well. People would go down to the
depot to meet their relatives and friends. Others would go down to
visit. They enjoyed watching the trains coming in. One could
hear the whistle from quite a distance. There were many long freight
trains, too, which would move the farmers' grain, hogs and cattle.
They would bring furniture, implements, groceries and other supplies for
The last timetable listing scheduled for passenger
service was dated June 27, 1954. The succeeding timetable dated September
26, 1954 listed only mixed train service and bus service. Freight
trains still go through Ellsworth (This was true in 1980, when the Centennial
Story was published), bring and pick up full freight cars; however, they
are billed out of Jewell.
(This text is from The Centennial Story of Ellsworth.)
This painting of the Ellsworth depot (from the early days) was painted
on a piece of wood by Genevieve Kuhfus in 1990.
Genevieve labeled her art work by writing on the back of this piece
"Chicago & Northwestern Depot, Ellsworth, Iowa
Board with painting is from the Freight Office."
The next paragraphs are from an article in
The Ellsworth News,
August 23, 1933
The Chiago & North
Western paint gang was in town one day last week with a barrel of red paint
and a spray gun, and when they got through, the depot was the color of
a boiled lobster. It used to be slate color; now it's red.
It is understood
that in some localities (not on the North Western), in order to make an
impression on the world's fair travelers, the depots are only painted on
three sides — front and two ends, but I'll
vouch for the fact that the depot here has paint on all four sides.
Some of the women folks are inclined to think the color is a little
loud, but gee whiz, who likes red paint better than the women folks?