This weekend my home community of Monango will mark the 125th anniversary of existence. A century and a quarter where a town grew from a spot alongside railroad tracks to a community of more than 300 people before declining to its current population of 28. Iâ€™ve always looked at the community as the result of a little corporate greed. Let me explain. The mainline of the Northern Pacific passed through Jamestown in what is now North Dakota. The Soo Line passed through Aberdeen in what is now South Dakota. In 1884 the Milwaukee Road planned to build a line to connect the two communities that were separated by 100 miles of open prairie. They were so far along with the project that they had staked out the route. An enterprising group of pioneers from Pennsylvania had an idea. They followed the stakes along the planned route to the halfway point between the two railroad lines and founded their own town. They named the new spot on the map Keystone after the nickname of their old home state. Iâ€™m sure they thought that Keystone would boom and become a major player in the Dakotas once the railroad arrived. But one of the ways railroads made money off the construction of new lines was the sale of real estate. The Milwaukee did a little resurvey and moved the line 2 miles to the west. In 1886, when the railroad had built that far north, the line laid out the streets and lots of Monango. That summer they held an auction and the new town was born. That winter the people of Keystone rigged up bobsleds under their buildings and moved over to the new town. After all, if the railroad wonâ€™t come to you, you have to come to the railroad. The Milwaukee never completed the planned line north to Jamestown. It ends at Edgeley. But it is doubtful Monango, or Keystone for that matter, would have boomed as the midpoint on the short line. Railroads of the steam era traveled about 100 miles before a major service point. Think along the mainline of the Northern Pacific in North Dakota. Fargo, Jamestown, Bismarck and Dickinson are all about 100 miles apart and were all major railroad towns. At each of these communities the train would have changed crews and the engines would have been supplied with coal. So the town of Monango has passed a rather quiet 125 years of existence. In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt passed through but it was the middle of the night and his train didnâ€™t even stop. But over the 125 years thousands of boys and girls got their education in the town. And thousands of men and women made their lives there. And Iâ€™m one of those boys that received my education there culminating in a high school diploma in May, 1976. Which is probably not as big a deal as Teddy Roosevelt steaming through town in the middle of the night.