were perhaps the BIGGEST
reason for a great number of settlers making the river valleys and plains
County their home.
|Businessmen began laying the tracks around 1905 once they knew more people would come to the plains to earn a living. Trains would take the people west and then would return to the east with settlers' products to sell.|
|Towns along the railroad lines would GROW, and trains could stop to deliver goods. They would trade articles with the eastern cities. Farmers could come to the small towns to bring cattle and grain. The people themselves could travel comfortably for business and for pleasure.|
|Farmers, who needed cash, were eager to work for the railroad companies. Some men would build roadbeds for the tracks. Others laid ties and the tracks, while some drove the spikes.|
|Railroad companies had another plan that made both their business and South Dakota grow. A SIDING, or a short branching track, was built about every ten miles. Here loaded cars could be cut out of the long train and unloaded. Farmers could come to the sidings to get the goods they needed without traveling very far from home.|
|When South Dakota became a state in 1889, there were 2500 miles of track.|