Next morning we got up early and packed our suitcase, got the children ready, and then went out and got a good breakfast. By that time it was nearly 8:00 and time for the train to leave, so we headed for the depot.
We found our train already made up. It consisted of a combination coach and baggage car; one end for the passengers, and the other and partitioned off for the baggage and Express and Mail. The rest of the train was made up of freight car loaded with various commodities for the different stations along the line.
The train started right on time, 8:00, and we were on our way. The coach was pretty well filled up with passengers. It was pretty cold, and there was quite a lot of snow on the ground. In one end of the coach was an old time caboose stove, a coal heater, and it was filled with coal and going full blast to heat up the coach, and it felt pretty good.
My friend Mr. Doyle, the traveling auditor, was on the train, going to Crown King to check me in and the old agent out. We were glad to see each other again, and we had a real nice visit. He introduced me to all the trainmen and also to the Wells Fargo Express Company's traveling auditor, who was also going to Crown King for the purpose of checking me in as the Wells Fargo agent and checking the old agent out.
After going north four miles on the main line to a siding called P & E Junction, we switched off onto a branch line and headed east. We then went over some pretty level country for about 15 miles, when we came to our first station, a little village called "Cherry Creek" (Post Office Dewey). We stopped there and the crew set out a couple of cars, and unloaded some express and baggage, and several passengers, and took on a few new passengers. There was an agent and wife assistant working this job, and I got off the train and looked around, and Mr. Doyle introduced me to the agent, a Mr. Knee. I also met his wife, who was also a telegraph operator. They seemed very nice people. As soon as the train was through with the work at Cherry Creek, we started on our way to the next station, which was one mile from Cherry Creek, and this was a much large town. It was named Humboldt, and was a smelter town, with a large smelter, to which ore was shipped for smelting from the numerous mines in the state. We were at this town for about an hour as the train had quite a lot of switching to do. I met the agent, a Mr. Holder, and also met the other station help, and had a nice visit here.
After about an hour we started on to the next town, which was ten miles from Humboldt, and this town was called "Mayer." It was quite a nice little town, not quite as large as Humboldt, but was a real busy little mining town, and the train was here for over an hour, so I got to visit here also. I don't remember the name of the agent here, but he was leaving the job, and the man I was to relieve at Crown King, a Mr. Marks, was going to be the new agent at Mayer. I liked Mayer very much. The altitude here was about 4,000 feet above sea level, and there was still snow on the ground. Beside mining, there were a number of large cattle ranches near Mayer, whose business was all handled through the Mayer agency, so it was a quite busy little town. We left a number of our passengers here and also took on a few more.
We were soon on our way again, and after leaving Mayer we started gradually climbing into a more mountainous country. The next stop was a siding about miles from Mayer, called "Bluebell." This was just a side track where ore was loaded into gondols cars from the Bluebell mine and shipped to Humboldt. There was an ore train running between Bluebell and Humboldt, this was in addition to the regular train, and all they handled was ore. We stopped at Bluebell for a few minutes while the train crew unloaded some merchandise, then we were on our way again. The next stop was three miles further on, a siding called "Cordes." There was nothing here but the stock yards, where the cattle from the surrounding country was loaded for shipment. We unloaded some merchandise here for a store that was located several miles from the siding, and was run by a man named Cordes. It was located on the Black Canyon Highway. There was no agent at this place.