T&N Railroad

Tabor is historically rich, and much of its early glamour came through the Tabor & Northern Railroad. Robert L. Ripley, in one of his "Believe-It-Or-Not" cartoons, referred to it as the shortest standard- gauge railroad in the world. In every way, the Tabor & Northern was a full-fledged railroad that shouldered well the responsibility of opening the outside world to Tabor College, Tabor merchants, and Mills County farmers.

Prof. Thomas McClelland, Dean of Tabor College, fostered the idea of starting a railroad to boost enrollment and gratify a teaching staff. He became the Tabor & Northern's first president. Railroad headquarters were located in Gaston Hall. Trustees were of the opinion that the college should remove itself from running a railroad.

In 1899, a relative, Robert McClelland of Omaha, one of the trustees, bought the bond and took over as president of the Tabor & Northern, transferring headquarters to the depot.

The Tabor & Northern had a rather difficult, hilly route to travel in its 8.79 miles to Malvern, where facilities were shared with the Burlington Railroad. Its first run was on January 1, 1890, and for some 39 years, the T&N served faithfully until paved highways changed the economy.