The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By M. Timothy Nolting
For The Sun-Telegraph 

Across The Fence: Fort Sanders, a forgotten fort on the U.P. line


As the Union Pacific Railroad stretched its ribbon of steel across the Great Plains, "End of Track" towns sprang up faster than a desert flower after a spring rain.

Although not near as pleasing to the eye as a cactus flower, the tarpaper shacks and canvas tent towns were an integral and thorny partner of the ever lengthening reach of rails and ties.

These temporary towns served as delivery points for the needed railroad ties, spikes and plates, dynamite, and all other supplies needed by the hundreds of men who made up the crews that built the railbed, laid the ties and set the rails.

The U...

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