Wood County

1.) Wood County Railroad.

This line was incorporated by Henry Sherry on June 21, 1883. It began operating a line that ran northeast from Vesper to Sherry. This line supposedly started out narrow guage. The first locomotive Sherry bought is listed as having been narrow guage as well. At first there was no connection to the outside railroad world. The first locomotive and six log cars were sledded in by oxen. Later, in 1883, the Wisconsin Pittsville & Superior Railroad built a line that connected with the Wood County at Vesper. The Wood County was standard guaged and all subsequent locomotives were also of standard guage. The first narrow guage locomotive seems also to have been standardized as well. All locomotives on the Wood County Railroad were Lima Shays, making it the first company in the state to aquire this form of motive power. In 1884 the Wood County was extended northeast to a connection with the Wisconsin Central main about 2 miles north of Sherry. Further expansion occured a year later when a line was built between Vesper and Arpin to the northwest. Sherry's railroad lasted until Oct. 1, 1893 when the Arpin to Vesper portion was deeded to the Milwaukee Road, and the remainder was abandoned. The Milwaukee operated the Arpin to Vesper line until 1918.

2.) John Edwards Manufacturing Co.

From 1890 until 1896 this company operated a railroad called the Port Edwards Centralia & Northern. Called the 'PECAN', it ran from Port Edwards northwest to Marshfield. It included a 1 mile rail line that ran northeast from Arpin from 1892 until 1894 as well. The 'PECAN was originally incorporated on Jan 20,1890. Tracklaying began that year, with the road reaching Marshfield on Feb. 12,1891. Common carrier service began on the line that April. The company owned a Dunkirk Engineering Co geared locomotive which it purchased in 1892. Trains of 15 to 20 cars of logs operated daily to Edward's mill. In 1892 the track was extended south from Port Edwards to Nekoosa to reach a large paper mill. (Later to become Nekoosa-Edwards which still bears Edwards' name today.)The line was sold to the Marshfield & Southeastern Railroad on Feb. 6,1896 due to Edward's financial difficulties. The M&SE was owned by the Wisconsin Central but not officially merged into the WC until 1901.

3.) Marshfield & Texas Railroad.

This line was owned by the Upham Manufacturing Company of Marshfield and extended southeast from that city for about 10 miles. The line was constructed in 1887. At the time the line was rumored to be extended south to the village of Pittsville, which was angling to become the Wood County Seat. When the question of how far south the line would be extended was asked of owner Wm Upham by the governor of Wisconsin, he offhandedly commented that it would be extended as far south as Texas. That is supposedly how the odd name came about. 3 miles of track were torn up in 1897 for use on other Upham Mfg logging lines, and the remainder in 1900. The 1900 Wisconsin Railroad Commission report states that the line operated only a couple of months a year to haul logs decked alongside it during the winter months to the mill.

The Milwaukee operated from 1896 to about 1899 a 2 mile spur extending west from Rudolph. Two Milwaukee predecessor railroads also merrit mention. Both of them were constructed by 'King' George B. Hiles who's son (F.P. Hiles) later operated in Forest Co. (see Forest Co. page) First was the Wisconsin Pittsville & Superior Railroad. In 1883 it constructed a line north from Babcock to Pittsville (opened in Oct.), and from Pittsville to Vesper and a connection with the Wood County Railroad later the same year. The second was the Milwaukee Dexterville & Northern Railroad which in October of 1887 was constructed northwest from Dexterville to Newtown a distance of 15 miles. From here the MD&N constructed a 4 mile spur that ran east to serve the logging interests of the Neceedah Lumber Company. In 1888 the line was extended a further 2.5 miles to Lindsey. Another log spur was constructed here which extended three miles to the south and served unknown logging interests. MD&N's final construction occured in 1890 when the line was pushed an additional 4.95 miles to Lynn located in Clark Co. Between the two lines, Hiles had 4 locomotives, and several logging cars. The MD&N was leased to and operated by the WP&S. Both were operated as logging railroads. On June 1, 1890 the Milwaukee took over both lines. The Lynn branch was extended to Romadka in 1891.




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