Stage Lines

In those days, and until railroads crossed the Mississippi River and followed the settlements into the interior, freighting and staging was a prosperous business, and many foundations for large fortunes were commenced by men and companies who engaged in that line of business.

Frink and Walker's Stage Lines—their old four-horse Concord coaches—are still remembered by many of the early settlers, by whom their advent was hailed with as much joy and pleasure as was the coming of the first train of steam-drawn cars in later years.

The arrival of the first four-horse stage coach at Tipton in 1854, set the entire town agog with excitement. What a hero—a man to be envied—was the driver. Many were the young men who sought no higher fame than to be a four-horse stage driver! And in fact, it made many of the fathers and men in middle-life feel wonderfully proud when, for the first time, they took a seat in one of those old coaches to be whirled away toward the East! Whew ! What a long breath they drew. How they looked around them with a self-satisfied air as they took a seat and waited for the stage to start. How they nodded their heads and waved their hands at envious friends as the driver gathered up the reins, cracked his whip and dashed away! But may be they don't go far till the horses almost mired and the stage completely “stuck” in a slough or mud-hole. Then the passengers had to light out and help "pry" the wheels out of the mud. Perchance, they came to a "bad place" in the roads, where the empty stage was a load for four good horses, then again the passengers had to get out and foot it. That was traveling with a stage, and sometimes with a fence rail or pole on one's shoulder to be ready for a "sticking" emergency. But such days of travel are passed.

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


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