Only 35 minutes west of Fargo, ND
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Buffalo, North Dakota

A Buffalo NP Depot Story

I'm mildly amazed that there seems to be no mention of the NP Ry Depot which I believe has been removed and is now at the historical site at West Fargo.  That depot sat at the end of double track from the east and single track from there westbound.  I and many others worked at that depot as telegraphers (if I thought long enough I could come up with a few names and the name of the long time agent (Ray Myrha I believe) escapes me.  For a few years I worked what was called a "swing job" one assignment of which was the 2nd trick (4pm-midnite) on Sundays...particularly after I got out of the marine corps in 1954 and then again during the period 1958-60 (I attended the U. of Minnesota during the period 54-58 and then worked on a Master degree in ag. economics at NDSU 58-60 and that Sunday evening assignment allowed me to do some of my homework during the dead time at the depot...there was not a lot of activity during that particular time period).  The duty required copying and hooping up train orders (Buffalo was at that time an important point for engineers and conductors to get orders), manually handling the switch at the end of the double track, loading cream and other stuff onto Train No. 4 at night and handling the mail bags (at that time a man whose last name I believe was Pierson would show up and help with the mail bags...I believe he was a farmer nearby and simply did this out of long time habit and everyone who worked there new him...I wonder what ever happened to him).  While I was attending NDSU I met my future wife to be and one time I asked her to come along on Sunday afternoon and evening and I actually proposed to her in that depot (probably in January or February of 1960...she said yes and we have been married now 45 years.  I later completed my work at NDSU and then accepted an offer to pursue the Ph.D. in Ag. Economics at the U. of Nebraska and completed that program in 1964 at which time we returned to Fargo with our first child (we had two) to join the NDSU Ag. Econ. faculty in 1964...in 1968 I became the founding director of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (which exists yet today and is doing very significant work)...I left NDSU in 1972 to accept an assignment in Cameroon, Africa with Southern Univ and returned to then Moorhead State College in 1974 as head of the Department of Business and in 1975 was named Dean (founding) of the Faculty of Business, Industry and Applied Programs (now the College of Business and Industry and the School of Business)...I returned to Cameroon in 1985-87 to do additional work and retired from MSU (now MSUM) in 1993.  We now live and play in a retirement complex called The Villages north of Orlando about 60 miles and south of Gainesville about 60 miles (there are nearly 60,000 people living here now).  Occasionally we return to Fargo-Moorhead to see old friends, etc.  I have very fond memories of the days that I worked at the NP Depot in Buffalo (I recall vividly one terrible winter night I decided that returning to Fargo was not a good idea and checked into the Buffalo Hotel...an interesting place.  Another, among many, memory I have is when an eastbound freight train derailed at Koldok...then a few miles west of Buffalo...one extremely cold winter Sunday evening...that must have been in the early 1950's I believe).  I wish you all success on your celebration!!  
 
David C. Nelson
8110 SE 177th Winterthur Loop
The Villages, FL 32162
352-259-0147
ddnelson@atlantic.net      
Last updated 5/13/2005
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