The St. Paul, Pacific and Manitoba Railroad was built through Maple Plain in 1868 and 1869 and a railroad station was established. About this time the post office was moved from Armstrong in Independence to Maple Plain. The first postmaster, named Yokley, resigned to become the first depot agent and John Perkins became the second postmaster. The settlement of Armstrong consisted of a depot, a general store and several houses. Mr. George W. Smith became postmaster of Maple Plain in 1870 at which time one pigeonhole 3 by 4 inches furnished ample storage for all mail matter.
After the completion of the railroad there was market for cord wood. A railroad station was started at Armstrong to load the wood, which brought in cash to the settlers, as stoves were coming into common use. Some settlers, used to heating with fireplaces, had never seen a stove before. Cord wood was also sold to the railroad for the wood burning engines. Prior to the coming of the railroad, settlers would haul wood on sleds pulled by oxen to St. Anthony, selling it there and buying needed provisions, salt pork, corn meal, salt, sometimes cotton cloth and nails for building. If they could not afford nails they used wooden pegs. Some homes still standing are examples of this. The trip to St. Anthony took three days, a day travelling each way and a day to do their trading. St. Anthony Falls furnished water power for flour and lumber mills and was growing rapidly.