Messages were the lifeblood of the small town station operator. Much of Agent Lau's time must have been spent at his typewriter. Below are transcriptions of a few such messages found in the Indianola depot when it was abandoned by the Rock Island.
chgo 119pm June 30 All Agts: appreciate your contacting elevators capable to load large covered hoppers at stations you handle advise them whenever possible to utilize covered hoppers in lieu of box cars for grain loading. it will be necy to caution tthem that the consignee must be checked to see if they can unload large covered hoppers. DEV 315pm/lau
Indianola 315pm June 30 DEV chgo: Under present set up local elevator unable to load grain in covered hoppers. However, in case of emergency they have a portable vacuum loader that could be utilized in loading covered hoppers providing consignee could handle. ATL
ms Kan City 205pm 10/4 ATL Indianola Iowa. No 27 into KC Date had sou 29905 appli from G.E. Louisville Ky billed stop Indianola Iowa P/U Utler Elec no indication car made stop advise quick if car has stopped your station. ID 905 JOH Indianola 235pm 10/4 JOH DC ID-905 Sou 29905 Car never Recd Indianola. ATL
Ms Chgo 1235pm Oct 3 ATL Indianola Iowa. CNW 170007 excessive weight shopment cnw will deliver Des Moines next day or two destn Indianola Iowa via RI having a gross weight of 229,150 lbs if car in good mechanical condition clearance okay without restrictions D-5993-9 HWM 210pm/lau
Indianola 9am 9/6 DEV Chgo JBF Des Moines: RI 145458 mty box rec'd Sept 5 for grain ldg. rejecting car account leaky roof and floor covered with wet beans giving car foul odor Jt DEV JBF DEV Pls advise dispn. ATL
Ms Kan City 147pm Sept 5 ATL RI 23250 beans on track Des Moines shipper Lavery Elev Co Indianola Iowa turn same over for dispn to Lavery Elev Co Indianola RI all Charges to Lavery Elev Co Dorsal ten am acorn jt HWM CWG RMS Agt. D-260 CRM Indianola 915am Sept 6 CRM KC CWG DM RMS DM HWN Chgo. CRM D-260 RI 23250 Laverty Elev forwarded to Agent Des Moines Sept 5th diversion orders
Indianola 850am May 23 ORT CWG CSG Rdmst Des Moines. Local yesterday did not switch Bell Wood track although advised broken angle bars had been replaced and protection order annnulled. Pls arrange to inspect track so that local will switch this track Friday. JT ORT CWG CSG ATL
Ms Des Moines 301pm 5/23 ATL Indianola turn friday may 24 arrange switch bell wood track at Indianola if track has been okayed for service Jt CSG C&E swter sltower May 24 ATL -acd-2324. CWG 310 m/lau
Indianola Iowa Aug 21, 1967 C S Grimm Roadmaster Des Moines: Received complaint of high weeds along right-of-way on east side of track just south of Iowa Street crossing. Complaint made by Mrs M L Rakes 815 North 8th street. A.T.Lau Agt.
Indianola Iowa 8am June 20 WCH - Des M Spl Agt - Des M CBQ 19137 566 tires Firestone Plant Des Moines to Warren Co Oil Co Indianola Iowa DMCI WB 3514 June 14 arrd Extra 12288 1125am June 16. Consignee advises seal 46407 north side of car broken when started to unload 1pm June 19. Tires loaded into semi for further distribution and first count reveals 11 tires short on consignment to Burlington Iowa. Recount to be made at Burlington and if actual shortage exists number and size of tires short will be furnished later. Jt WCH spl at. A-20 ATL
Indianola 8am 8/12 CSGrimm RdMstr DM CWG DM; Cndr Wehrer reports Elev switch rn thru by Laverty Elev does not fit right. Jt CSG CWG ATL
Indianola 830am 11/6 CWG - Des Moines. Yardmaster SLine. Protect agains bad order door on CNW 34880 mty box billed Clean out track Des Moines on turn date jt CWG Ydmstr C&E Indianola turn at Indianola ATL C&E Indianola Trun: This door on south side of car and is just hanging loose. ATLau Agt
Indianola Iowa May 31, 1968 Mr W S Aargon Jr Manager Car Accounting CRIP RR Chicago, Ill File CNW Claim no 17-309-0880 Attached: According to attached inquiry, you have advised the CNW RR that car CNW 21264 arrived Indianola Iowa on Feb 13, 1967. Please be advised that I have no record of this car, nor do I have any consignee as "General Mills". This car could have ben on what is called the "Indianola Switcher", however, car would have been set out at Avon, which I think is handled by Des Moines agency. Pleas handle with CNW for correct information. A.T.Lau Agt RI Indianola, Iowa cc: Aud Frt Claims CNW RR Chicago, Ill
Indianola Iowa 815am Oct 4 1967 WCH CWG CSG Dspr: Des Moines. C& E Indianola Turn Date, at Indianola, Iowa. Protect against broken angle bars both sides joint south rail just seast of highway crossing mill track. Jt WCH CWG CSG Dspr C&E local date at Indianola ATL
Ms Chgo 332pm 10/2 All Agents; advise all concerned critical shortage box cars for all types loading do not any cars go home. all commodity inspected cleand and applied on orders from this office, too many cars being billed home to owners unable protect loading as long as this exsits demand for grain cars critical both N.W. 7 S, W Al02. DEV 130 m/lau fone.
Ms Des Moines 205pm Dec 18 All Agts; Acct long holiday period see all surplus foreign equipment moved home do not hold cars for prospective ldg date that will have to be held over holiday watch this matter closely A-32-18 WCH 213pm/lau
Nove 2 1967 Mr. Fister gave me "Okay" to take some brick from old CBQ depot platform to build patio ATLau 1150am
Ms Chgo 448pm 8/29 All Agents Extreme shortage 50' plain box southern div, do not let any forn 50' box get away, continue to dispose of forn 40' box in line with car service rules and instructions for car distrts. DEV 955am/lau/8/30
Chgo 356pm 9/7 All Agents: Due to surplus of covered hoppers encourage all shippers possible to load same in preference to box cars still receiving may grain box orders where hoppers may be furnished. DEV 10am/lau 9/8
Indianola Iowa April 27, 1967 Stationery Dept Chicago, Ill Please refer to my attached copy of Reqn 3-ATL of April 10, item 10. The 500 forms 565 ordered are marked off as being forwarded from your department, however they were not included in the reqn rec'd date. You did send the two forms attached that are stamped with my station stamp of April 27. In order to compy with superintendents directory file 422 (attached) plese forward 500 of form 565 sample of shich is attached. Kindly return entire file with forms. Until the new 565's are rec'd will have to continue using 20TW for freight bills. A.T.Lau