By 1878, the route opened from the town of Waukee to Adel, a distance of approximately 10 miles. By December of 1879, a bridge was completed across the Raccoon River and work continued towards Panora.
In 1881, the route would reach Fonda.
Also in 1881, the DMA&W became part of the Des Moines Northwestern Railroad, which built from Waukee to Clive; and eventually into Des Moines.
At the end of 1888, the route reached Spirit Lake, in Dickinson County. By 1891, the entire route would contain standard gauge track.
Towards the end of the 19th Century, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway was attempting to acquire the route. The deal would be finalized in 1894.
Despite acquiring the line, the Milwaukee Road never had any critical connections for the route north of Yale. As a result, the route was classified as a branch line.
By the 1970s, major abandonments began throughout Iowa as railroads consolidated routes. On this line, the first section to be removed was from Milford to Spirit Lake in 1974.
The route was later abandoned from Spender to Milford in 1978. A mass closure of the route occurred in 1980, and included portions from Clive to Yale, Spencer to Marathon and Jefferson to Albert City.
The remaining segments, from Jefferson to Yale and from Marathon to Albert City were purchased by the Chicago & North Western Railway in 1985.
By 1990, the segment from Jefferson to Herndon was abandoned, and by 1999 the segment from Herndon to Yale would also be abandoned.
The C&NW became a part of Union Pacific Railroad in 1995. Today, they operate one sole portion of this line, from Albert City to Marathon as the Laurens Subdivision.
South of Jefferson, the route is a trail extending to Clive.
Located north of Yale, this deck girder bridge crosses Mosquito Creek.
Built in 1902, the bridge features a pair of deck plate girder spans, which have been strengthened and placed on concrete substructures constructed in 1946.
While the bridge is not known to be secondhand, it is still possible that these spans came from somewhere else.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition, with all portions of the bridge in adequate condition.
The author has ranked the bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.