Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
The Ismay-Ekalaka Electric Railway
Few, if any, of you readers will remember when the Miles City Dressed Beef Company organized, built a plant on the banks of the Yellowstone just north of Old Town and were prepared to start a meat dressing plant when a disastrous fire destroyed the entire plant. This was in the early eighties. There will probably be a goodly number remember the proposed railroad that was to connect Miles City with Sheridan, Wyoming, and then go on south to Denver at least. But we wonder if any of you remember the electric railway which was to be built from Ismay to Ekalaka, and then further south. Well, there was such an enterprise started. And it was not too long ago either -- just back in 1914. On April 4, 1914, articles of incorporation of the Ismay, Ekalaka and Southern Traction Company were filed in the office of the county clerk and recorder of Custer County. The purposes of the organization, as stated in the articles, were to build and operate a railway to carry freight and passengers -- said railway to be operated by gasoline, electricity or such other power as would be found most convenient. The principal office and place of business was to be Ismay. The term for which the corporation was to exist was 20 years. The stock subscribers were: William Fulton, David Bickle, Charles O. Wright, J. E. Prindle and A. J. Haley, all of Ismay, George W. Burt and Kenneth McLean of Miles City, and John Oliver, Walter H. Peck and W. W. Cadle of Ekalaka. The capital stock of the corporation was $500,000. One terminus was to be located in the town of Ismay, and from there the road would run into Fallon County, by such route as should be found most desirable, to a point in the town of Ekalaka -- thence southward to such point or points as might be decided upon later. For the time being the termini of the railway would be in Custer and Fallon Counties. It was also stated that the estimated cost of the railway would be about $500,000 according to the information and belief of the incorporators. That the railway did not materialize is evident -- for there is no such road in existence today -- nor is there any reminder of it along the route, as there is along the route of the proposed North and South Railway that was to connect Miles City and Sheridan. So far as is known, all of the persons named as incorporators, with one exception, have passed on to their reward -- the exception being John Oliver, who is still living in Ekalaka.