Railroad Stories: Riding the Rails

Will never forget experience of riding the rails.

| Good Old Days

In 1937, I left home for Chillicothe, Mo., to attend Chillicothe Business College. I boarded the Chicago Northwestern Railway and rode to Omaha, Neb., where I caught the Missouri Pacific Eagle, and continued riding the rails on to Chillicothe.

I traveled that route many times while in college, and it was an experience I will not forget. In those days, trains zig-zagged all around, picking up and letting off passengers and freight at every little town along the way.

After I graduated from college, I was determined to be a success, so I headed for Chicago to seek my fortune. My dad took me to the train station in Gregory, S.D., and he cried when we parted, saying that this was probably the last time I would be living at home with my family.

Once I arrived in Norfolk, Neb., we had a layover so the conductor could eat lunch. My grandfather met me there and joined me for the remainder of the trip to Chicago. Apparently, my folks had arranged this so there would be someone to watch over their daughter.

Once we got to Chicago, my grandfather saw to it that I got settled in my residence with a friend from college. Then he left for his son's house, where he stayed the whole time I was in Chicago. Eventually, I got homesick, and Grandfather and I took the train home, where my father got me a job at the local bank.

After more than a year in Norfolk, I headed for Washington, D.C., to live with my friend from college again and to serve Uncle Sam. After a couple of years in Washington, I moved to Kansas City, Mo., with my sister.

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