- The First Seventy-five Years in the Sanborn Community (1878-1953) -
Town of Sanborn Started 1878
The town of Sanborn was started in 1878 when the Milwaukee railroad was extending its line westward. Their first construction train arrived here on November 1, 1878, according to early historical records.
A town site was platted on 60 acres belonging to Stocum, Lawler & Stocum, when it was known that the railroad would take this route. The town planned as the division point of the Western or Iowa and Dakota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railway. A round house was begun the same year and completed in January, 1880. A freight car was placed on a side track and used as a depot. L.E. Whitman was the first depot agent. A depot was built, being completed June, 1882.
When the railroad went across the north part of the county many people in Primghar made plans to move here also moving their houses and business buildings to Sanborn. The first buildings in Sanborn were brought here from the county seat town.
A copy of O’Brien county history tells that:
The McGregor & Missouri Railway Company, predecessor of the Milwaukee Road, had undertaken to build across the state from McGregor to intersect with the Sioux City & St.Paul road in the vicinity of Sheldon. After reaching Algona, 75 miles east of Sanborn, either from lack of good management or money, they stopped, unable to go farther, until 1877, when the road passed into the hands of the Milwaukee, which at once started up the rapid building and western extension.
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