Engine #35 eases past the W.W. Cargill elevator in Luxemburg, en route
to a station stop.
William Wallace Cargill bought his first grain
elevator in 1865 in Iowa. By the time the Kewaunee,
Green Bay & Western was built in 1891 his company
owned about 70 grain elevators throughout the upper Midwest, including
several on the Green Bay, Winona, &
St. Paul RR (predecessor to the GB&W).
The Luxemburg grain elevator in this photo was built about the same time
the railroad was constructed through town in 1891.
Cargill recognized the KGB&W as an ideal way to
connect his grain elevators with a year-round port on Lake Michigan. He
was a major bondholder when the railroad was organized, and he was on
the first Board of Directors of the line.
In addition, Cargill purchased the GB&W's dock
facilities on the west bank of the Fox River (which had become excess
property after the KGB&W connection to Lake Michigan was in place)
and established a large coal yard
there. This coal yard was sold to C. Reiss Coal Company in 1904 and
still operates today.
W.W. Cargill was an investor in the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western
Railroad. He owned several grain elevators along the route, such as
this one in Luxemburg. In addition, he owned a large
coal yard in Green Bay. In this photo, KGB&W #35 is
leading eastbound mixed train no. 36 to Kewaunee.
Engine KGBW #35 has a clouded, but interesting history. This 4-4-0
engine may have gotten its start as Green Bay & Lake Pepin #6, one
of the earliest engines purchased by the Green Bay Route. It also
might have been one of the locos involved in a fire at the Marshland engine
house in the late 180os and subsequently repaired. Around 1906 references
to #6 mysteriously disappeared, right about the time that KGB&W #35
(also a 4-4-0) appeared on the roster. #35 was scrapped in 1936; one of
the last 4-4-0s left on the Green Bay Route.
The lettering on the KGB&W boxcar in the foreground is typical of their
boxcars. The elevator burned in a fire on July 5, 1912 and was rebuilt
later that summer.
Who are the people in photo? Who knows, all my great-grandparents were
farmers in the area at this time, it could be one of them! Ninety years
later, Luxemburg's grain elevators and feed mills are still served by rail -- see "Railroad still comes to Luxemburg" from
the April 6, 2000 Luxemburg News and there are reports that 25-car
unit trains will begin serving the feed mills in 2002.
This postcard view is from a real photo by H. Montgomery, Hartford WI.
A cropped version of this photo appears on page 96 of Stan Mailer's Green
Bay & Western.