Historic Train

A Crossroad of the Heartland

Wolsey has been a crossroad of the heartland of South Dakota from its beginnings. In 1880 the Dakota Central Railway, a subsidiary of the Chicago and North Western, laid track through Wolsey following a wagon trail called the Black and Yellow Trail, now US Highway 14. This trail was so named because it led to the Black Hills and Yellowstone country from Chicago. In 1883 Wolsey was platted by Magdalen Mosher who acquired the land from the railroad. Within two years the Chicago and Milwaukee railroad, following what is now US Highway 281, laid track at the northwest edge of Wolsey called the “Y” junction. Richard Sears, who later started the Sears and Roebuck Company, was a depot agent in Wolsey for the C&WRR. In 1890, Wolsey was in the running for the state capital with railroad lands being the basis for its campaign. The opening of the pipe line terminal in 1964 made Wolsey a hub for gas-hauling companies, just as the opening of the South Dakota Wheat Growers, now Agtegra, grain terminal has made Wolsey a hub for agricultural markets. BNSF and RCPE rail lines are still in operation running in all directions keeping Wolsey deeply connected with its railroad roots.

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