Stage Companys

(Norwestern Stage Line, Western Mail Stage Company & People’s Line)

When the railroad was completed to Dyersville in the Winter of 1856-7, M. O. Walker, the proprietor of the Northwestern Stage Line from Dubuque to St Paul, commenced running from Dyersville, via Burlington and Forestville, to Strawberry Point, West Union, etc.

The Western Mail Stage Company running a line of mail and passenger coaches from Dubuque via Rockville Delhi, Bailey's Ford, Coffin's Grove to Quasqueton and Independence, also changed the eastern terminus of its line from Dubuque to Dyersville. This company had previously promised the people at Burlington, that it would put a stage line from Dyersville via Burlington direct to Independence, over a more direct route than the mail stages were compelled to travel, but the promise was not fulfilled.

During the Winter, through the influence of Judge Dyer and others, and the active efforts of the leading men at Burlington, parties at Dyersville and Independence were induced to organize a new stage company, and in the Spring of 1857, the " People's Line " of stages commenced running from Dyersville to Independence by way of Burlington; the people along the line volunteered to make the way passable, by filling up or bridging the sloughs, etc. The new line at once drew the travel from the old mail route through Delhi, and very soon the Western Stage Company withdrew its coaches from that route and placed them on the Burlington road to run in opposition to the " People's Line," and transported the mail over the mail route by single wagons. The " People's Line " run about a year and suspended, and soon afterward, the completion of the railroad sent stage coaches into permanent retirement, although the Northwestern Stage Line made Manchester its southeastern terminus for some time after.

[History of Delaware County, Iowa, 1878]
Submitted by Cathy Danielson

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