This depot is now used for storage behind Paul’s Hardware Store. As of Oct., 1977, the structure was still wearing the peeling yellow and brown paint of the Harriman era. The “Elba” signboards were still intact on it.
On January 27, 1969, the NSRC granted the railroad permission to close the Elba agency.
The depot moved to a new site behind Julesgard store in 1971.
The Julesgards were the third party to have acquired the former depot, the initial party having leased it on site for storage, with the windows boarded up at that time. The local elevator then purchased the depot, intending to move it to a new locale, reinforce the walls, and use it as a granary. Unable to attain the desired land, the elevator sold it to the Julesgards who were in need of storage space, bought the depot for $100 from the elevator and had it moved by truck. the cost of moving, done by Williams Brothers of Hastings, was $900 for the moving and $180 to temporarily remove overhead wires.
Mrs. Julesgard said the elevator had gutted the depot interior in preparation of their intended use for it, so all interior partitions had been removed by the time of their acquisition.
The trouble was experienced in moving the depot when the depot was being angled into final position, the rear portion of the truck fell into a “slough” resulting from an old ice-house which had been on the site before and had been bulldozed under, creating a soft spot in the area. The cement foundation under the depot cracked in the middle due to the settling of the ground under the heavy weight of the depot.
The depot is used for hardware storage, with Julesgards putting a roll-up door in place of the regular baggage-room door so as to allow use of a lift-cart in it. The loft was also constructed in it for some special storage while Julesgards’ son uses the depot on occasion for his garage.
As of November 1978, depot was still in old paint scheme, though Mrs. Julesgard voiced a desire to have the exterior refinished sometime. Both signboards were still on the depot, though she said one might be given to the Howard County Historical Society. Offers have been made by individuals, and turned down, to buy signs. They also refused an offer from a couple who wanted to move the depot and convert it to a residence.
The last day of service by an agent at Elba was on May 29, 1969, with the depot being closed then.
We are continuing to research further information about this and other depots and the communities they served. If you have any information you would like to share about this depot, community, or any other piece of Howard County history, please contact us, we would enjoy speaking with you.