The Rich History of Boone County
Featured Boone Historical Person
July 6, 1881, is a date forever embedded in Boone County’s history. As midnight drew near and a wild storm raged, a girl of 15 crawled across the widely-separated ties of the railroad bridge that spanned the Des Moines River. She needed to tell railroad officials on the other side of the river that an engine had crashed into Honey Creek when the trestle gave way in flood waters. The lives of four men hung in the balance.
After inching her way across the dangerous bridge while thunder, lightning, and trees crashed around her, Kate Shelley staggered into Mongoina’s Chicago and Northwestern Depot, told officials about the crashed engine, and warned of the peril faced by the passenger train due later that night.