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 Last passenger train to Marysvale

(Richfield Reaper, 1 September 1949)

No More D.&R.G. Passenger Train for Southern Utah

Small Groups Gathered At Stations as Train Made Last Run Saturday

Marysvale--The D.&R.G. passenger train made its last run Saturday. A few people had gathered to see it come in in the morning and again to watch it depart at 12:45 p.m.

This closing episode in the history of Marysvale and all of Southern Utah was marked by none of the ceremony which greeted it on that first run into Marysvale in 1901.

Among the old timers on hand to see it off, and the only one to witness both its inaugural and final run was John Bertelsen, a former resident of Marysvale, now living in Springville. He operated a blacksmith shop and feed yard here until the advent of the automobile.

Engineer on the first train was Lote Kinny. He and his family made their home here while he continued on the run. It was engineered out Saturday by W.E. James.

Many are the stories told of this train. On one occasion Lote Kinny brought the train in an then very pointedly shouted to a crowd of onlookers, "Get back, I'm going to turn around." This was one of its first runs. Max Krotki, one of Marysvale's older residents, who has seen it come and go, said, "I think I was one of them that ran back out of the way."

Needless to say its arrival each morning will be missed. Marysvale people literally marked time by the train. For some the day's work began "as soon as the train gets in." One man was heard to remark, "I'll have to get me a watch now, I won't be able to tell when it's lunch time."

For half a century now the train has supplied mail service express and freight for southern Utah and part of northern Arizona. Time was when freighting was done by wagon, that Marysvale would have a string of freight wagons coming and going all the time. This in itself was an industry in the community almost unequaled by any other.

But, as Lynn B. Coleman, assistant superintendent for the D. and R.G.W., pointed out Saturday the run has served its usefulness for times when there was no other fast means of travel. Today there is a definite trend toward passenger bus service, and the people are using that.

Meanwhile, he announced that they will continue freight service. The local will come in two days a week or on call to take care of freight shipments.

All along the line as the train stopped for its last time, small groups congregated to take one last look. At the Richfield station, among the crowd, there were only two had been at the station when the first run was made. They were Arlando Thurber and William T. Orrock.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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