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Chicago St Paul Minneapolis and Omaha in Anson Wisconsin

   CStPM&O & CNW

Hannibal Sub-Division

Anson Wisconsin

     A small rural town lies just after the branch-line crossed the Chippewa river. This town called Anson is unique in that it is split into two smaller towns. The first depot that a passenger or crew person would see would have been a modified boxcar. This car would be moved in 1918 when the dam in Chippewa became complete and the river lefts it's banks and flooded many hundreds of acres now called Lake Wissota. Just before the altercation with nature happened, the rails needed to be rerouted further West. The route of the railroad would no longer cross the yellow river and stop at old Anson, so the boxcar depot needed to be moved to a new location. A new Anson grew up about a mile West of the old one. It is unsure at this point exactly where the boxcar depot actually was moved to at new Anson, but it served it's purpose for a few more years.


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Eventually the depot was removed in the late 40's to the Clarence Baltz farm. Two long skids were cut of rock elm trees. The boxcar was mounted to these trees using them as skids. The town of Anson road grader was hitched to it and away down the road we all went. This was in the winter with snow on the road.  The old depot lived out it's years as a hog house. from "Memories of Cobban" by Emil Gerber

Above is a picture of the railroad bridge that crossed yellow river before the rails were move to the new location.

Courtesy of Emil Gerber from "Memories of Cobban" 

The depot would have looked like this example of a northern Wisconsin box car depot. Basically a somewhat mobile shelter that was fairly inexpensive. Traffic would dictate erection of a frame or brick building.


It cost about 35 cents to ride the train from Old Anson to Cornell, a distance of about 25 miles. In the year 1915, a development arose which changed the growth of Old Anson. A huge dam was to be built across the Chippewa river which would put many farmers land under water. The farmers in that area were given notice that hey had one winter to take the timber off of their lands which they could use for themselves. This development caused some unfortunate events to occur. Since the area to be underwater included most of the lower portion of the yellow river, the bridge for the railroad was in danger too. A bridge to cover the new span could not be built. Therefore the bridge had to be taken out and relocated in another place. The new bridge was laid out and put in just west of highway "S". The water covered everything in sight from silos to barns and fences.  From Dennis Harp and Jack and Zilpha Melville from "Memories of Cobban" by Emil Gerber

In later years it was said that there was a drowning of two men when their boat presumably struck a silo just under the water. Their boat capsized and they were trapped inside the silo. The water left farmers with a great loss of acreage. 

 If you have any new information, stories, corrections, or pictures regarding this or any of the other towns along the Hannibal branch line, Please let me know, < E-mail > along with your permission to publish your personal memories in an attempt to keep the history available for future generations. Non-digital pictures will be returned upon request.

Thanks for looking, 

Doug Stoll