Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

 November 18, 1993, Page 32

 Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Good Old Days" Articles 



Good Old Days    

By Dee Zimmerman


The Foster’s & North Eastern Railroad Co., an independently owned railroad company, centered at Fairchild, pioneered railroading in this area of Wisconsin.  Its beginning was inspired by the logging, clearing of land and hauling logs to the mills.


The demise of Foster’s railroad started when the timber was gone.  The economic problems began in 1907 and continued.  From September of 1918 until March 1919, the F & N.E. Railroad was taken over by the Railroad Administration during the World War.  There was little maintenance of the equipment or tracks during that time which deteriorated the line, adding to its financial burden for the Foster family.


Starting in 1919, Fosters transferred the railroad from one management group to another in efforts to get rid of the business.  Eventually, and little by little, the Foster railroad subsided, to be abandoned entirely.


Most of the Foster depots were similar design, easily recognized by the standard construction.


The changing modes of the transportation resulted in many other railroad companies vanishing.  Most of those railroad lines have little evidence of having been, as the depots are gone and the tracks were removed.  However, the elevated railroad track beds are still visible in some communities.  Various clubs, etc, have by permission, groomed some of the bed lines to be used for hiking/biking trails, recreational vehicles trails which are ideal for those purposes.


Railroad Bridge over Black River

*The above photo was not originally part of this article.  It was submitted by the family of Peggy L. Walter and was taken from a postcard booklet titled, "Souvenir Letter", Neillsville, Wis.


(Information about the F & N. E. Railroad is from “Fosters & Nobody Elses” book compiled by Wm. W. O’Gara, is also in the Mid-Continent Rail Heritage Series.)


The two Fairchild depots; the F. & N.E. is on the right, the other is the Omaha


Passengers waiting for the train at the Tioga depot in 1917


A standard design was used in building the Foster depots, such as the

Osseo depot photographed in the 1890’s


The Owen depot was built of red brick, close to the J. S. Owen’s saw mill,

in later years it was remodeled to be used as a plumbing shop.


The Greenwood depot was built in 1898 and dismantled in 1954


The railroad turntable at Greenwood, used by the F. & N. E. railroad


A stone – concrete piling remained for many years,

a reminder of the railroad bridge that spanned the

Black River near Greenwood




This week’s “Deer Tales of Years gone by,” appearing in the Hunter’s Guide had a couple “typo errors” that should have read:


The first stories were from the November 1934 Neillsville Press.


In November, 1939, Emil Dusack claimed the second buck, a 10 pointer which had locked horns with a 20 pointer.


November, 1940, Max Feuerstein, of Neillsville, who had no idea of going hunting, at 10 a.m. Sunday, when he purchased a deer hunting license and back tag.  He went into the woods and was back with his deer by mid-afternoon.  He hunted south-west of Neillsville with Everett P. Skroch.





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