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BY MIKE AVITT
I was very fortunate to come across this picture of the Redding railroad station recently. This view is looking north and we can see some of the homes in “old” Redding on the right. Old Redding was about a quarter of a mile north-northeast of present-day Redding. A town company platted Redding as we know it today but the origin of old Redding is a mystery. The depot seen here was located between old and new Redding.
The Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad was extended from Mount Ayr to Grant City, Missouri in 1880. The town of Delphos was created with this move and Redding was relocated. Grant City was the terminus of this line until 1899 when the railroad extended its tracks to Albany, thus connecting with a line to St. Joseph, Mo.
Redding’s first depot burned about March 1, 1890. The second depot was completed near the end of April 1890. There was a section crew (for maintenance) at Redding in 1895 with Crockett Oney as the section foreman.
The railroad reservoir at Redding was drained in May 1897. This tells me a water tank was probably erected at Grant City or Mount Ayr about this time. Steam locomotives required water at certain intervals. Water was pumped from reservoirs and ponds before water tanks were built. An 1894 plat map shows the Redding reservoir was just east of the railroad station.
In 1901, W. D. Miller was the depot agent and he was soon followed by Issac Frank Hillhouse of Delphos. Hillhouse would be the agent here until 1920 (except for a year and a half at Gentry) when he moved back to Delphos to be the agent there. After a temporary agent, C. D. Bradley came as station agent and stayed until 1938.
In 1928 the CB&Q discontinued Sunday Doodle Bug and mail service at Redding. Doodle Bugs were gasoline-powered motors that transported mail and passengers only. In 1933, the CB&Q did away with the section crew at Redding. Grant City and Mount Ayr section crews extended their coverage to make up for the loss.
Passenger service ceased entirely in November 1939 and the CB&Q applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1942 to abandon the line between Mount Ayr and Albany. In 1943 the Station agent position at Redding was discontinued.
The railroad line between Grant City and Mount Ayr was abandoned in June 1945 eliminating service to Delphos, Redding, and Irena, Mo. In July 1945, J. S. Saville bought the Redding depot and stock pens. Alan Culbertson told me his father was hired to dismantle the depot and stock pens about about 1946.