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Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot (Clinton, Minnesota) facts for kids

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Former Milwaukee Road passenger rail station
Clinton Depot.jpg
Clinton's Milwaukee Road depot from the southwest
Location Main Street, Clinton, Minnesota 56225
Opened July 2, 1884
Preceding station Milwaukee Road Following station
towards Fargo
Fargo – Ortonville Ortonville
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot (Clinton, Minnesota) is located in Minnesota
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot (Clinton, Minnesota)
Location in Minnesota
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot (Clinton, Minnesota) is located in the United States
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot (Clinton, Minnesota)
Location in the United States
Location Clinton, Minnesota
Built 1885
Architect Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul R.R.
NRHP reference No. 86002118
Added to NRHP July 31, 1986

The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot in Clinton, Minnesota, United States, is a historic railway station. It is now known as the Clinton Depot, and serves as a local history museum for the Clinton area. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The interior has hardwood floors and decorative wainscoting in the waiting room, an office in the middle and a freight room at the south end. Exhibits include military memorabilia, farm and agriculture displays, train memorabilia, and photos, posters, newspapers and historic items about Clinton.

Line information

The Fargo and Southern railroad company built a loading platform in 1883 two miles south of Clinton. It was called Rupert.

Two years later they moved their station to Clinton and it was called Batavia as late as 1899. The Fargo and Company line built from Ortonville to the South Dakota line near Wheaton, going through Clinton in 1884 and sold to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad company in 1885.

The first through train on the line ran July 2, 1884.

From 1885 through the late 1920s four trains stopped at the Clinton depot each day including morning freight and passenger trains northbound for Fargo, an afternoon southbound train, and an evening southbound passenger train.


Posted at the depot was a sign which read "Western Union Telegraph Office." Railroads not only carried the mail and newspapers, they also meant another means of communication. Depot agents were necessarily telegraphers. In addition to handling railroad communications, they also relayed messages to the general public.

Telegraphy was the fastest means of news, business, and personal transmission at that time. Telegrams were use extensively until the late 1940s. J.P. Pratt became the depot agent in 1891. He had driven a streetcar in St. Paul and then learned telegraphy before he came to Clinton. While Mr. Pratt was depot agent, Frank Petrick became interested in the work and learned the Morse code and operation of the telegraph from him. Mr. Petrick started working as depot agent in 1901 and continued, except during the year 1908, until he retired in 1945.

Business, especially freight, increased to such an extent that Frank's wife, Alice Condit Petrick, was hired as depot assistant from 1909 to 1934. In 1900 a sleeping car was added to the passenger train. The 1904 Platt book shows the railroad depot to be located north of Main Street, and directly west of the crown elevator.

Line discontinued

There was daily service until May 1930, when Sunday passenger trains were discontinued. After 1932, a freight train with one passenger coach provided mixed service until 1956.

The Campbell Post American Legion purchased one of the discarded railroad coaches in 1935. They installed it on the Legion lot opposite the advocate office and used it as a legion hall. A.L. Makinster succeeded Frank Petrick as depot agent in 1945 until 1969. On December 16, 1968 the Milwaukee railroad discontinued operation of passenger trains numbers 15 and 16 (the unnamed remnant of the Olympian Hiawatha), operating between Chicago and Tacoma, Washington. The Milwaukee depot in Clinton closed December 12, 1969.

The line was discontinued March 1, 1980, and the track torn up a year later. By 1980 the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad was bankrupt and the survival of the line depended on heavy subsidization.

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