JUNE 29, 1900 – Aberdeen, I believe, is destined to be one of the important cities of the West. If the citizens here have one trait in common, it is a desire to make the community as progressive as possible.
Trade at the store where I am employed has been unusually brisk of late, due no doubt to recent increases in the price of grain. Wheat is selling for 58 cents a bushel, eight cents more than a year ago and corn is up to 29 cents.
Possibly the most popular social events in Aberdeen are political rallies, not so much because of the quality of the speeches as the abundance and flavor of the barbecue. "The boy orator of the Plat-tee," as folks here refer to William Jennings Bryan, is still a very popular figure in this part of the country. There is some hope that he will speak here again, as he did in 1896 when the Grain Palace was filled to overflowing for his address.
AUGUST 14, 1901 – We could use some of those famous rain makers from Kansas right now. We're noted for our sunshine out here, but as a doctor friend of mine says, "We've got too durned much sunshine."
There's been a lot of gossip around Aberdeen lately about the possibility of The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul pushing on west. The northwest terminal now is west of here at Evarts, just short of the Missouri River. There have been all sorts of tales in circulation to the effect that the Railroad will not be bottled up either by the Hill or Harriman lines but will control its own right of way to the Pacific Coast.
According to the latest versions, Mr. Roswell Miller, Chairman, and Mr. Albert J. Earling, President of the Company, intend to have their engineers look for an easy gradient route through to the Pacific North Coast and not to northern California as first reported.
SEPTEMBER 7, 1901 – Aberdeen and the rest of the nation is in mourning over yesterday's assassination of President McKinley. After that tragedy I think those easterners had better examine themselves before referring to us out here as "wild westerners."
Father, who used to fret about his future as a telegrapher when telephones first came into general use, has got something else to worry about now. I just read of a man named Marconi who has succeeded in signaling the letter "S" by radio – without wires, that is – from England to Newfoundland.
JANUARY 4, 1903 – This has been a red letter day for the St. Paul Road, according to the newspapers. The company has inaugurated through service from Chicago to San Francisco as well as Denver, using rails of the Union Pacific from Omaha to Denver and Ogden, Utah and the Southern Pacific on to San Francisco. The Overland Limited is making one of the California runs. Father undoubtedly is proud as a peacock.
DECEMBER 15, 1903 – Father writes me that the Railway is now running a fine new train over the line between Chicago and Kansas City. He was delighted by an item written by Editor C. H. Smith of the Chula, Missouri, News that I feel is worth recording here:
"The new train on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway passed through Chula for the first time Sunday night, about three hours after dark. There was no hesitation at Chula town, at least none perceptible. There are no high places in Chula town, hence we question whether she ever touched the track. She just ripped a great fiery hole in the darkness and left the atmosphere heated steam hot for a second, then whistled for Niantic or Chicago, we are not certain which. If 'Central' had not been closed, we would have telephoned to Chicago to see if she hadn't run clean through the Union Station. She is sure 'nuf a 'hurry-up train.' Chicago is only about three miles up the track now. She is a gleam of summer sunlight, vestibuled and electric lighted from the cow-catcher clear back a hundred yards behind the last coach. She is knee deep with velvet carpets, and her cushions are as soft as a girl's cheek. She is lighted to a dazzle and heated to a frazzle. She was built to beat the world and her gorgeous splendor makes us chuckle to think we have a pass on her. She goes so fast that the six porters look like one big fat porter. She is called 'The Southwest Limited.' She stops, going both ways, at Chillicothe, and you can get on her there, but you'll have to hurry."