The first depot was begun in Hersey in 1871. A coincidence, my grandparents, Duncan
MCNAB, began building their house on the same day, on their claim, the place now
occupied by Florian KUNERTH. In the
spring of ’72 the depot and agents cottage were completed. The agent’s cottage or the “parsonage”
as the early residents called it sat across the track about where the present
Highway 60 goes through. The
cottage is now located on the Eric MARTINSON farm. It is the center house there being three
on this farm. The R.R. was laid
through Hersey in the fall of 1871.
John J. FITCH secured the position of head teamster with the R.R. Contractor for grading
The Railroad Co. gave the name Hersey to our Village, the name in honor
of General S.F. HERSEY of
In the county paper it reports L.L. MORRIS as a station agent in 1879, who the following year, left for Blue Earth. He was succeeded by Mr. CHEESES. John GARY (sic) became agent in 1893 in which capacity he served until 1931, when he retired. Mr. GRAY(sic) died in 1938.
The railroad station was called Brewster after 1880. In the meantime, after our Village was
named Hersey, the
In the early years the night agents changed so fast it is hard to keep up with them. Some were promoted to steady jobs, others were elevated by the toe of the superintendent’s boot, and others were compelled to go to other roads to secure recognition of their greater abilities.
In 1907 there were 5 east-bound and 5 west-bound passenger trains, two of which carried light freight. In these days large crews of Greek and Italian laborers worked on the tracks, many causing great hardship on the law officers, and leaving an odor of filth behind them. This is no reflection on the nationality but on the caliber of the workers.
In 1911, the yellow colored depot was painted a dark read; business on the railroad was good, from 5 to 15 traveling men called on Brewster merchants each day between trains. In 1912 a new roof was put on the depot. In 1915 a crew arrived to begin remodeling at the station. The wooden platform was torn down and a crushed stone platform put in. The old platform was level with the cars on one side for easy loading.
In 1907 C. LIEN of
In 1916 the R.R. officials met with the Commercial Club to discuss plans for a new depot. In 1917 a new depot was built, the walls had a tiled-finish up to 5 feet, with a molding around. The remainder of the wall was plastered. The floor was of hard-wood, seats of the latest design in oak. The ladies waiting room had a large writing table and 2 rocking chairs. The structure consisted of the large waiting room, ladies waiting room, agents’ and ticket office and a trainman’s lobby. The building was electrically lighted.
In 1918 Chris LIEN resigned as section foreman and accepted a job as a 2nd yard man for Brewster Lumber Co. Mr. GROFF of Ashton became foreman.
In 1919 there was a wreck on the Omaha R.R., a mile north-east of Brewster, when a truck broke on a car containing lead. Nine cars were derailed, making a scramble of apples, salmon, sardines, dried peaches, an automobile, barley and numerous other articles. The track was torn up several rail lengths. In 1922 Frank WESTON, agent, left and Ernest SCHEMMEL took his place.
In 1925 stop-signs were installed at the crossing. In 1926 Dick BUSSER was section foreman. In 1932 George KLEEMAN was the new agent. In 1933 Paul MASON was night operator. In 1936 George BLOOM was section foreman. In 1938 KLEEMAN went to Mr. Lake; ROSS of Bingham Lake was temporary agent until 1939, when Evan TRIMBO, Miloma agent, was appointed.
In 1945 TRIMBO left Brewster to go to
In 1954 blinker-signal lights were finally installed at the crossing.
If you would like to reminisce, here is a list, or partial list, of night agents, helpers and agents I gleaned through my various reading sessions: A.G. LANE, G.G. DUNN, BYERS, COSGROVE, LEHMAN, JAMIESON, KILBURN, BRADLEY, HAMILTON, JOHNSON, NELSON, BECKER, GIBB, OLSON, PATRICK, FARNELL, SWANSON, SMITH, IVERSON, DOUGAL, ZIEBERTH, BRADY, SCHNEIDERLAN, JORDAN, CRAVEN, HOLMBERG, ANTILLA, AXELSON, SCARP, F. & L. KREKELBERG, Miss Alice KNEEFE, WESTON, SCHEMMEL, MARTIN, LONG and Miss COKER.