The town of Whitetail in northeast Daniels County is set in a beautiful
valley along Whitetail Creek with a dam forming a lake on the outskirts. It was
a small town even before the coming of the Soo Line RR in 1913. The Soo Line
planned to build on farther west but ended up stopping at Whitetail.
The new town began to boom as soon as the rails arrived with numerous business
and professional services being offered. A lot of homesteaders arrived on the Soo as the country around became more and more settled.
The community got a couple of unusual economic
boosts. It was claimed that several gallons of oil were pumped out of a well in
town and this created lots of excitement. Oilmen came from Wisconsin and the
Whitetail Oil Syndicate was formed. This resulted in the sale of all the town
lots and oil leases soared.
A drilling rig was moved in and a well was spudded
in 1928. Action continued for a few years but no oil was recovered, although
enough natural gas was found to fire the steam power unit for awhile.
In the late thirties the Schlecter Bros. invented
the power-take-off driven grain blower which revolutionized grain handling over
a wide area. A factory was built and by the '40s nearly every farm truck had a
"Whitetail Grain Blower". Coming of the more popular grain augers put an end to
For many years an island in Whitetail Lake was the
site of the area's major July 4th fireworks display, with reflections from the
water adding to the enjoyment of large crowds coming from all across Daniels and
Whitetail high school closed in 1942 and the grade
school in 1973.