Railroad Stories: Railroad Agent Found Love On the Job

Railroad agent falls for woman on berry-picking excursion.

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It was the turn of the 20th century in the small town of Galt, Ill., when a new railroad agent began working at the depot. The news spread quickly through town. He was young, tall and good-looking. Most important to a particular segment of the population, he was unmarried. His name was John E. Agnew, though most people called him Ed.

Shortly after hearing the news about the new agent, Olive Mae Stacey, a pretty, dark-haired young lady, recruited her little sister for a berry-picking expedition. Their route was along the railroad track that ran in front of the depot. Olive was sure no one would suspect that the prime motivation for the berry-picking excursion was actually to investigate the new agent.

Ed saw the berry pickers in the distance. He casually walked out on the platform, sat down on the bench and nonchalantly began reading a newspaper. As Olive and her sister approached the depot, they saw Ed sitting there reading the paper. What they didn't see was the hole Ed had cut out of the paper so he could observe them without their knowing.

He must have liked what he saw, for he put down the newspaper, strolled over and introduced himself. I'm told that that’s how my Grandfather Ed met my Grandmother Olive.

Carol Kosek
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.