The map of Nebraska and South Dakota shows many abandoned railroad lines. But in both length and elapsed time of construction, the 208 miles of the Chicago & North Western Railway branch line from Norfolk, Nebraska, to Wood, South Dakota, stands out.
The first part was built only six years after gold was discovered in the Black Hills, when South Dakota was still part of Dakota Territory. The final push beyond Winner, South Dakota, one of the last agricultural branch lines built, came on the eve of the Great Depression. In between it traversed country rich in scenery and history. The line played a vital role in bringing in trainloads of land seekers to the opening of the Rosebud Indian Reservation to white settlement in the early 1900s, and the story of this both dramatic and tragic period in American history is told in detail.
Acknowledgements and Introduction, pp. 4-9;
Beginnings in Northeast Nebraska, pp. 9-13;
On to South Dakota, pp. 9-13;
Rivalry: The Milwaukee and the North Western, pp. 19-22;
Sidetracks, pp. 23-25;
Homestead Prospects, pp. 26-30;
Registration and Settlement on the Rosebud, pp. 31-34;
Beyond Bonesteel, pp. 35-38;
Opening Tripp County, pp. 39-42;
The Final Terminus: Mellette County, pp. 43-47;
Over the Years, pp. 48-54;
End of the Line, pp. 55-61;
Branch Line Business: An Essay by Charles W. Bohi, pp. 62-66;
Extra Section: An Addendum by Michael M. Bartels, pp. 67-74;
Footnotes and Sources, pp. 75-80.
South Platte Press, softcover, 80 pages, 8.5 x 11 x .25 in., B&W photographs with text.