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Soo Line Depot

The Minneapolis, St Paul, & Sault Ste Marie Railway, popularly known as the Soo Line Railroad, was extended from Hankinson to Portal, ND beginning in 1891.

Construction was;       1891  Hankinson to Valley City

                                    1892  Valley City to Cathay

                                    1893  Cathay to Portal

            The station of Manfred was established in 1893 with a 2013 ft house track, or industry track, for loading or unloading freight cars.  A section crew, or track maintenance crew, was located at this station at this time.  They were supplied with a 9x10 tool shed and a 24x28 living house for the Section Foreman.

            A Water Station for providing water for the steam locomotives was built in 1893 also.  This consisted of a water tank, windmill, and pump house.  Water was obtained from the river and the railroad built a dam and a water line, 875 ft long, to supply water to the tank.  The pump house had a steam pump.  In 1903 the pump house was replaced with a 14x14 concrete block building and the steam pump was replaced with a gas engine.  At this time a well was dug, 8 ft wide and 30 ft deep, located near the pump house.   The Water Station was discontinued in April 1926 and the structures removed.

The pump house may have lasted longer, used as a tool house.

            A siding, 2700 ft long, was built in 1903 for meeting and passing trains.

            A small portable depot was supplied; possibly about 12x32 ft shortly after the railroad came through.  Manfred was opened as a regular billing station Sep 6, 1899 with Floyd Ford as the agent.  This portable depot was replaced with a 24x80 building with living quarters on the second floor for the agent-operator.  The portable depot was moved to Ruso, ND in 1907.

            Other facilities installed were a 2 pen Stockyard for shipping live-stock in 1905 and a Loading Platform for unloading and loading machinery in 1907.  A bunkhouse for section crew laborers was placed in 1913.

            It is unknown when these facilities were removed.  The depot was closed about 1969 or 1970 and removed some time after 1971.


            There is no complete record of personnel assigned to stations on the Soo Line.  From what can be determined from sketchy records, the following can be determined.

            Between 1899 and 1927 no record.(see updates below) updates from old Manfred news supplemented information provided by Soo Line)


            Sept 15, 1905 – Station agent Ruff bid adieu to Manfred Monday night and departed for the big city of Minneapolis.  Mr. Richie, formerly operator for the N.P. at Verndale, MN succeeds Mr. Ruff as agent here.  Old Manfred News item


      ?  to   1905             Agent Walter Ruff departed from his position in Manfred for the city of Mpls

   1905                         Mr. Richie (formerly of NP at Verndale, MN)

   1906 to 1908            C-N Vincent (2 years)

   3/1908 to  4/1908    C. E. Anderson temporary

   1908    1912              J. E. Turner (still there in 1912)

   1913                            S. V.Salven  or maybe T Salven

           1914-to 1936 Greenfield was a depot agent (this disagrees with next entry) maybe a depot agent and an agent                operator are different positions – can’t find that although he lived in Manfred, he ever served as a depot agent)

   1927 to 1932   L C Grinney was Agent-Operator

   1933 to 1947   Norman H McCain

   1948                V J Munt or Mundt

    gap in records

   1951 to 1957   Victor E Harrison

   1958                L V Bjork

    gap in records

   1960 to 1964   Fred J Sommerfield

    gap in records


Agent-Operator position was abolished about 1969-70 and a traveling agent from Carrington handled agency services between Kensal and Manfred.  About mid-1980’s the system was changed again and all contact was by telephone from Harvey or Minneapolis.


                                                                        Stuart J Nelson

                                                                        Nov 26, 2006

Articles from the Old Manfred News

Soo Line New depot info 

24 Aug 1906

Is Manfred to have a new loading platform this year?  We saw a petition to that effect some time ago, all ready for signing but what became of it since, that we do not know.  The well diggers have been here for some time; the depot crew arrived Thursday with a crew of four and is engaged in repairing the water tank.  It has been in a dangerous condition for some time, as foundation posts are fearfully decayed.  The agent has had orders for some time to carry only eight feet of water in it.  

Foreman K. Kleven and crew of men arrived here last Sunday night and are engaged in erecting a new depot for Manfred.  It will be east of the old one 24 x 80 office and waiting room 2 stories high with living quarters in the upper story.  The old depot will be loaded on a flat car and taken to a smaller town.  It came from Emrick some 7 – 8 years ago.


Soo Line change 

Anderson, C. E.

27 Mar 1908

There has been a change in the depot lately. 

C. N. Vincent who had been the Soo agent for more than two years departed with his family for Bowman and

C. E. Anderson from Condee, S.D. has taken his place. 

Harry N. LeGrand is serving as helper and puts up the danger signals. 


Soo Line

Anderson, C. E.

17 Apr 1908

C. E. Anderson, temporary agent for the Soo has left and J. E. Turner has taken his place.


Soo Line windmill

22 May 1908

The high wind Wednesday forenoon tore the R. R. windmill to pieces and scattered the broken pieces all over.

Soo Line Agent

19 Feb 1909

G. K. Van Sickle who was agent for the Soo at this place some time ago, stepped off the east bound freight Monday to greet old friends and see how our town has grown.  He is now in a bank at Ryder.

Soo Line Depot

27 Aug 1909

There has been a change at the depot, Agent J. E. Turner has been moved to Fessenden and P. E. Rutter from Barret has taken his place.


Sysaken, Ole


28 July 1911

Ole Sysaken is now assistant at the depot.


Stackinger, M.


11 Aug 1911

M. Stackinger came up Monday on the Soo from St. Joseph, Minnesota, to act as assistant at the depot

Turner, H. J.


8 Mar 1912

H. J. Turner and family of Gilbert, Minn. are visiting with E. Turner, the brass collar at the Soo Depot, who feels very proud of being a grandfather and delighted with the grandchild who is now filling the depot with childish glee.

Salven, S. W.

Soo Line Depot agent

14 Mar 1913

S. W. Salven, agent for the Soo Line here, returned Monday after a few days absence. 

Soo Line

11 Feb 1915

The Soo Line water tank is receiving much needed repairs this week. 

Soo Line depot

4 Nov 1915

The Soo Line painters are painting the depot.

Greenwood, Ed.

22 April 1915

Ed. Greenwood resigned his position as Soo helper and returned to Harvey.


Hedahl, O. S.

16 Dec 1915

P. A. Anderson of Manfred gave a party to a few of his friends Sunday, December 12, the occasion being his 56th birthday. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. O. K. Melby, Mr. and Mrs. O. S. Hedahl, Mr. and Mrs. R. Jacobson, Mr. and Mrs. Ole Onstad, Mr. and Mrs. T. O. Roble and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Greenfield, Miss Nina Swedlund of Manfred, Nils Nertrost. 

Cowan, M. F.

15 Feb 1917

W. S. Sorenson who assisted at the depot for about 8 months was promoted, and given a depot at Foxholm, N. D.  Mr. Sorenson came here from Sanger, N. D.  He was a hard worker and deserves the promotion.  M. F. Cowan of Enderlin, N. D. is the new assistant here.


07 Feb 1924

A crew of Soo Line carpenters are busy building a new foundation under the depot.


10 Mar 1927

A fire of unknown origin started in the Depot Tuesday evening about eleven o'clock, but it was seen before much damage was done.

Lawler, Dan

10 May 1928

We understand that Mr. and Mrs. Dan Lawler will move in the rooms over the depot in a few weeks.  Mrs. Lawler was  a Fiebeck.

Greenfield, Mr.

06 Jun 1929

Mr. Greenfield of Fessenden was a Manfred caller Friday morning.

Grinny, L. C.

20 Jun 1929

Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Grinny moved back to the Depot this week. 

Erickson, Mr.

29 Sep 1932

The new Soo Line Agent, Mr. Erikson, arrived Monday.  We hope he will enjoy his stay with us.

Soo Line

09 Oct 1930

The Soo Line is repairing the depot and section house this week.

McCain, Mr.

03 Nov 1932

Mr. Norman McCain, the new depot agent, arrived Saturday from Emrick.  Mr. and Mrs. McCain are busy getting settled in their new home over the depot.

McCain, N. H.

23 Jun 1938

N. H. McCain is building a garage and wash room near the depot, as he is now sporting a new car.

Manfred Depot

15 Feb 1940

A Soo line crew is repairing the depot at Manfred this week.

Munt, V. J.

16 Dec 1948

The Manfred Homemakers Club met Wednesday at the home of Mrs. Emil Schepp.  After the business meeting. Mr. V. J. Munt gave an interesting lesson flower arrangements.  This was followed by a demonstration on the making of winter bouquets by Mrs. Russell Johnson.  The hostess served a delicious lunch.  The next meeting will be in the form of a New Year’s party Jan 15 at the H. S. Solheim home.

Mundt, V. J.

17 Mar 1949

Mr. and Mrs. V. J. Munt left Wednesday on a few days vacation trip.  Relief Agent Johnson has taken care of the depot during their absence.


Munt, V. J.


24 Mar 1949

Mr. and Mrs. V. J. Munt have resigned their position here to become the Soo Line station agent at Wimbledon, ND.

Munt, V. J.

7 July 1949

Mr. and Mrs. V. J. Munt of Wimbledon were Friday callers in Manfred. [ he was the depot agent in Manfred in 1948]


Harrison, Vic

1 Mar 1951

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Harrison and family formerly of Kief, ND moved here last week.  Mr. Harrison is Manfred’s new depot agent.  Mrs. Harrison is the former Louella Boese.


17 Dec 1953

Oil burners were installed at the Soo Line Depot here.

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