Ellsworth, Iowa in the 1940s - Page 4B

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 stores.

     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.)

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This photo from the 1940s shows a locomotive that has come from Jewell (from the west) parked at the two-story Callanan/Ellsworth depot.  This was a few years before the second story was removed.  The second story was used as a home for the railroad agent and his family.

Learn about the recent history of the Ellsworth Depot (on Pages 8).

This drawing shows the two-story construction of the Callanan/Ellsworth depot before the second story was removed.

The second story was used as living quarters for the stationmaster and his family.  The Ellsworth Depot, built about 1877 or 1878 in the early settlement known as Callanan, was brought to Ellsworth three years later to become Ellsworth's railroad Depot.

See images of other similarly aged depots in this area.  Those images show more two-story depots (from the same time, about 1876 or so) in other nearby central Iowa communities.

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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 of wood,
"Chicago & Northwestern Depot, Ellsworth, Iowa
Board with painting is from the Freight Office."

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(Click for a larger view.)

Coming from Jewell Junction, this train crosses the South Skunk River on the way into to Ellsworth.
Railroads were important to every community.

1940s view of the east side of Main Street

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Memorial Day tradition

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  The band's program on Main Street
before marching first to the School, and then out to the cemetery


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The Ellsworth High School
Girls Basketball team
from 1942-1943

Click to view advertisements published in the The Ellsworth News of March 24, 1943. 


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The Ellsworth High School
Girls Basketball team
from 1943-1944

 Pictured above, from left,

Marilyn Sogard, Freda Ward,
?,   ?,  Joan Hovda, 
Shirley Voga, Avis Hovda,
Ruth Hanson, Kathryn Sogard, 
Ruth Thoreson, Dorothy Johnson,
and Charlene Loux, holding the ball.


Do you know the year of this photo of a band and truck waiting for a parade?
And do you know the names of the men in the picture?

The sign on the side of the truck says,
"Hamilton County - The Blackest Soil & the Whitest People on Earth"

More 1940s
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