Lime Creek, Minnesota
The town of Lime Creek, Section 20 of Belfast Township, Murray County was founded on August 20, 1888 by Nicolaus Costello and Anton Hager. Costello named the village from the creek which flows through the area. The land was owned by Anton and Josefa Hager. It was surveyed on 27 December 1898 and the plat was filed with Herman Nelson, Register of Deeds on 30 December 1898. As was customary the streets and alleys were designated as gifts to the community.
The difficulty of hauling grain to market over unimproved prairie roads was one of the factors that led to the establishment of additional shipping terminals along the railroads about the turn of the century. This suggests that Lime Creek may have been founded for just such a reason. With a shipping point established, other business can flourish.
In 1889 the railroad was built and a depot was constructed. Wade Vreeland was the first station agent. Two trains arrived daily in Lime Creek. The first of three elevators to be built in town, was a primitive structure that had to be filled by hand, no machinery or motors of any kind were used and boxcars were loaded by using wheelbarrows.
A grain warehouse was built along the tracks on the Omaha branch line in 1891 with Fred Deirnstead as the grain buyer. Often times farmers in wagons waited in long lines to sell their harvest at these elevators. At one time more grain was shipped from Lime Creek than any other town on the Black Hills branch of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad.
At its peak, Lime Creek also had a post office built in 1892, a school in 1893, blacksmith shop, general store in 1894 and John Kobbler of Fulda opened a butcher shop and saloon in 1894.
Lime Creek's decline was due to many different factors. One of these was due to the founding of the town of Westbrook. Before that day, Lime Creek elevators served a trade area of over fifteen miles and held their own with even the larger towns in the area. After Westbrook, Lime Creek's immediate trade area was reduced to about five miles. The decline was now rapid with improved roads and an increase in competition in the business community.
Another factor that added fuel to the decline, was when one of the elevators burned and another was torn down. After this, the once bustling stores closed and the village became only a whistle stop for the railroad. The depot closed with W. Werner as the last agent.