Rails to the Rosebud

The Chicago & North Western Branch Line to Winner, S.D.

By Vernon F. Linnaus
with Michael M. Bartels

80 pages, softcover


ISBN: 978-0-942035-77-3

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, stand 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, S.D., 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.

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