Photograph of Kate Shelley (9/25/1865-1/21/1912) around the time of the 1881 flood that encompassed central Iowa. During that summer, Shelley was a girl of fifteen and was living near Honey Creek on the east side of the Des Moines River in Boone County. The Chicago & North Western Railroad's tracks ran past her house. Kate's father, Daniel Shelley, had been a section foreman for the C&NW, but had died in a railroad accident in 1878, leaving Kate to help her mother Margaret to care for her four younger siblings, Margaret, Mayme, James, and John. Shortly after their father's death, Kate discovered the body of her little brother James, drowned in the Des Moines River. None of the Shelley children knew how to swim. On the night of July 6, 1881, Kate heard the bell of a "pusher" engine ring out in distress, followed by the hiss of steam as the train hit the water of Honey Creek. The engine, along with a tender car, had been inspecting the tracks for wash-outs. With only her father's old lantern to show the way, Kate Shelley ran to the creek and discovered Adam Agar and Ed Wood (two other men, George Olmstead and Patrick Donahue drowned in the mishap) clinging to tree roots in the creek. She then headed toward the depot in Moingona to alert the people there to the accident and to get them to stop the Midnight Express passenger train coming from the west before it reached the washed-out bridge. By the time Kate approached the high trestle bridge over the Des Moines River, her lantern had gone out and she crawled across the long bridge on her hands and knees. Then she ran a half mile to the Moingona depot. Unknown to her, the Midnight Express had already been halted forty miles to the west. She accompanied train men back to the washed-out Honey Creek bridge and helped to rescue the two standed men. In 1901 when the new steel bridge replaced the old high bridge over the Des Moines River, it was named the Kate Shelley Bridge to honor her heroism. Kate Shelley became the stationmaster at the Moingona depot in 1903 and served there until shortly before her death in 1912.