The Tootin' Louie: A History of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway

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U of Minnesota Press, 2005 - Transportation - 374 pages
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The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway (M&StL), affectionately known as the Tootin' Louie, was founded in 1870 to serve a Minneapolis business community threatened by powerful railway interests emerging from both Chicago and Milwaukee. Although its goal of providing a direct rail artery to St. Louis proved elusive, the M&StL became a 1,600-mile road that supplied essential freight and passenger carriage to the Midwest over its ninety-year existence. In The Tootin' Louie, railroad historian Don L. Hofsommer offers a comprehensive biography of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway and its Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois service areas from the dawn of the steamcar civilization into the post-World War II era. Incorporating an extraordinary collection of primary research documents, including station records and dispatchers' reports, Hofsommer brings the M&StL to life by vividly portraying the lives and times of the people involved in the railroad. His conversational style allows the reader to virtually see the workers, hear their stories, and sense their disappointments. The Tootin' Louie showcases the human dimension of railroading, emphasizing that the M&StL was long-lived primarily due to the loyalty of the communities and companies it served. Also a chronicle of business in the upper Midwest, this book reveals how the M&StL carried flour, lumber, even movie reels and beer between states and was often transportation for family reunions and other recreational excursions. Deeply connected to the Upper Midwest, the railroad company prospered and suffered with the communities it served. Essential reading for railway buffs and transportation historians nationwide, The Tootin' Louie is the ultimate guide to the M&StL and its place in an era of economic, social, and industrial change.
  

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Contents

1 Expectancy
1
2 Lethargy Euphoria and Panic
5
3 Albert Lea at Last
13
4 Optimism and Realism
22
5The Great Rock Island Route
33
6 Independent Again
44
7 The Little Harriman
62
8The Newest and the Best
78
16 Frey and Dismemberment
180
17 Reason for Hope?
195
18 Free at Last
204
19 Dont You Know Theres a War On?
212
20 Sprague and Prosperity
222
21 Sprague at the Throttle
240
22The Ides of May
247
23 Halting Steps
254

9 It Will Be a Hummer
85
10 Everything from Caskets to Corsets
101
11 Struggling among the Titans
122
12 Sweet and Sour
134
13 Hard Times in Good Times
147
14 Soldiering On
157
15 Mean and Ugly
168
24 Days of Red and White
261
25Valhalla
285
26 Under a Green and Yellow Flag
295
List of MStL Stations and Other Places Mentioned
307
Notes
311
Index
361
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Don L. Hofsommer is professor of history at St. Cloud State University. He is the author of, among many other books, The Southern Pacific, 1901-1985, and coauthor of The Great Northern Railway: A History (Minnesota, 2004).

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