News: Curtiss – Railroad


Surnames: Curtiss, Friezener, Finnegan, Platetter, Radke, Crosby, Potter, Carter, Christenson, Teach

----Source: Olson Family Scrapbook

1880 A.D. — The Wisconsin Central Railroad received sizeable land grants for extending their lines through Central and Northern Wisconsin. In an effort to make these lands accessible to potential buyers, the railroad began running branches from their main North-South line.

In 1880, they began planning a branch from Abbotsford westward. Six miles west of Abbotsford, on the proposed route, there was a small settlement informally called "Quar." Charles Curtiss, a civil engineer employed by the railroad, lived there for two years and was instrumental in routing the branch line through the tiny village.

The line was surveyed in 1879, and on November 23, 1880, the first freight and passenger train arrived in Curtiss. This was part of the main line between Chicago and Minneapolis. At one time, there were as many as four passenger trains daily in either direction.

Because the Wisconsin Central Railroad was extending the lines, Curtiss became a bustling community. The railroad had a small depot and a wooden platform for fueling locomotives. This was located a quarter mile west of the present site of Curtiss. Buildings were soon built and the railroad moved the depot. It was located where the park buildings are today.

During the 1920's, there was a combined passenger, mail, and freight train called the "Scoot" number 28 and 29. This ran between Abbotsford and Superior, Wisconsin. Since it ran daily, it was handy for students in the Curtiss area to ride to high school in Owen. In 1934, the line was abandoned from Abbotsford to Curtiss. In September, 1938, the line to Owen was torn up.

Some of the depot agents and telegraphers were: Mrs. Cox, Glenn Friezener, Wm. Finnegan, Joe Platetter, William Radke, Harry Crosby, Bob Potter, Dell Carter, Mr. Christenson, and Guy Teach.

After the railroad no longer ran through Curtiss, the depot was used for a church before being moved to Owen for a residence.



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